Supporting research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises - Eurostars 2008-2013 EUROSTARS Closed!


The objective of this initiative put forward by the Eureka Member Countries is to establish the Eurostars Joint Programme targeting R & D performing SMEs. These SMEs are knowledge-intensive, technology/innovation-based companies, playing a key role in the innovation process. The Community financial contribution shall be paid from the appropriation in the general budget of the European Union allocated to the ‘Research for the benefit of SMEs’ part of the Specific Programme ‘Capacities’.

EUREKA’s Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to research-performing SMEs. Eurostars stimulates them to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects. The Eurostars mission is “To support R&D-performing entrepreneurs, by funding their research activities, enabling them to compete internationally and become leaders in their sector.”

They are characterised by strong customer or market orientation, aiming to achieve a strong international position by leading highly innovative, market-oriented projects. Based on their own R & D capacity, they are able to develop products, processes or services that have a clear innovative or technological advantage. Companies may vary in size and in scope of activities, being e.g. established businesses with a track record of performing application-oriented, cuttingedge R & D, or highpotential start-ups. R &D constitutes a key element in their corporate strategy and business plans. These companies should be SMEs within the meaning of Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and should dedicate a notable part of their activity to R&D.

EUREKA unites 39 member countries and also counts the European Union as its 40th member. It was founded in 1985 to challenge the increasing migration of R&D and industrial innovation to Asian and North-American countries. The members promote international, market-oriented research and innovation through the support they offer to small and medium-sized enterprises, large industry, universities and research institutes. Through EUREKA, these organisations are introducing new products, processes and services to market, helping make Europe economically strong and socially sound.

In addition to our useful documents section, further information on Eurostars Programme aimed at supporting research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises can be found at the programme website.


  1. Creating an easily accessible and sustainable European R&D support mechanism for them.
  2. Encouraging them to create new economic activities based on R&D results and bring new products, processes and services to the market faster than would otherwise be possible.
  3. Promoting their technological and business development and internationalisation.

EUREKA Clusters are long-term, strategically significant public-private partnerships. Clusters aim to exploit the technologies developed through existing national and European programmes and play an important role in defining European standards and interoperability.
The clusters are CATRENE (2008-2012), EURIPIDES (2006-2013), ITEA 2 (2006-2014), EUROGIA+ (2008-2013), CELTIC+ (2011-2019), MF.IND (2008-2013), ACQUEAU (2010-2015).

EUREKA Umbrellas are thematic networks that focus on a particular technology or business sector. Their goal is to generate and support R&D projects in their specific field of operation. The Umbrellas are EUREKA TOURISM (2006-2012), EUREKABUILD2 (2010-2013), E! SURF (2010-2015), PRO-FACTORY PLUS (2007-2011).

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the programme is:

  • 400,00 Million EUR (Orientation of the budget)