Eurostars is a grant scheme supporting international innovative projects led by research-performing SMEs. With its bottom-up approach, Eurostars supports the development of rapidly marketable innovative products, processes, and services that help improve the daily lives of people around the world. It is an ideal first step in international cooperation, enabling small businesses to combine and share expertise and benefit from working beyond national borders.

To get funding through Eurostars, the project must fulfil several criteria. The two most important ones are:

  • The projects must be collaborative: this means at least two participants from two different countries, of which the main participant (covering > 50% of the project’s core activities) must be a research-performing SME.
  • The project should be market-driven: having a maximum duration of three years and after two years after the project completion, the product should be ready for market launch.

Eurostars is a joint programme between EUREKA and the European Commission, co-funded from the national budgets of 36 Eurostars participating states and partner countries and by the European Union through Horizon 2020. In the 2014-2020 period, the scheme has a total public budget of EUR 1.14 billion.

What is the relevance for Circular Cities?

Eurostars is focused on research-performing SMEs. These SMEs play an important role in the transition to a circular economy in cities. Besides the fact that most of them are located in urban areas, they often develop new technologies and business models that are required to make the transition happen. However, due to their limited resources and high risk profiles, SMEs could usually have difficulties obtaining funding to market their products properly. By providing funding for collaboration projects, Eurostars lowers the barriers for SMEs to invest in innovative circular solutions.

As a city government, you can help research-performing SMEs by pointing them to the opportunity of the Eurostars programme and putting them in contact with universities or research institutes.

Have a look on the Eurostars website to learn more about previously funded circular projects external link icon.

How to apply?

Applications for Eurostars can be submitted via an online application form that can be accessed only through the secure section of the Eurostars website. Read more on the application process here external link icon.

Eurostars has two submission deadlines per year. The upcoming submission deadlines can be seen on the Eurostars website external link icon. The grant rate varies among all Eurostars countries. If you want to know whether organisations in your country are eligible for funding under Eurostars and to what grant rate, have a look at the Eurostars website external link icon and contact your National Project Coordinator, if existing.