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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Eurostars grant for innovative SMEs

Innovation, market orientation and internationalisation are success factors for SMEs with growth ambitions. The Eurostars subsidy programme was created specifically to help SMEs with R&D activities in order to get innovation off the ground at a European level.

Eurostars is interested in all areas of technology
One of the strengths of the programme is that is focused on market-driven innovation. It is therefore about innovation that is aimed at strengthening competitiveness, to create value and for practical application of new products for a good business case. Eurostars is intended to limit the financial risks involved with innovation projects that are in the research and development phase (technology readiness levels 3-6). Grants are available for all areas of technology; your idea is the focal point, without any restrictions on the topic matter. It is nevertheless important that this innovation serves a social purpose. Below are two Eurostars projects by way of example that PNO has successfully guided in the past:

  • the development of a fully automated laboratory system for the rapid analysis of bacterial infections and for determining the most effective antibiotic treatment required;
  • the development of an energy-efficient ventilation system based on permanent magnet technology for use in livestock sheds and greenhouses.
Strong together with Eurostars
Cooperation is a very important part of Eurostars. This often involves collaboration between SMEs, but larger companies, universities and research institutes may also be partners in this collaboration. Cooperation within the innovation chain often works very well, e.g. a supplier, a production partner or a potential customer. With a typical Eurostars project three to four parties work together from two or three different 'Eurostar Countries'.

It was recently announced that parties from Canada and South Africa would also be accepted in Eurostars projects due to the growing importance of globalisation of R&D. Canada and South Africa are thus added to the existing Eurostars network, which consists of the following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland.

Want to become a Eurostar?
The next application period for Eurostars runs from June to 15 September 2016. To apply for a Eurostars grant it is important to know that the static success rate is an average of 23%. This is relatively high compared to other European subsidy programmes such as the SME instrument. On the other hand, the EU intends to get the best out of the participants and get the most promising "star" projects out in the open. This means that only the best projects will receive a grant.

Establishing, developing and defining an excellent innovation project and the establishment of European collaboration is fortunately one of the core activities of PNO. Our international network includes other SMEs, major companies and research institutes with expertise in all sectors. So, if you need help with your grant application or with finding suitable partners, contact us at
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