Funding competition Eureka collaborative R&D: Eurostars 3 Call 7

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for collaborative research and development (CR&D) in partnership with organisations from participating Eurostars countries.

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Competition sections

Description

This competition is for UK businesses that want to apply to the Eureka Eurostars 3 Call 7. Please visit the Eureka call for proposals web page if you are not a UK applicant.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £2.5 million to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research.

The aim of this competition is to support international collaboration on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialisation.

This competition is open in theme and we will fund projects from all sectors, which meet the eligibility criteria.

Your project must have high market potential and develop at least one of the following:

  • innovative products
  • technology-based applications
  • technology-based services

Projects must include at least one partner from another Eureka Eurostars country.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition has a funding budget of up to £2.5 million, so we may not be able to fund all the proposed projects.

Your project team must submit the Eurostars project application form to the Eurostars Project Management Platform by 2pm Central European Summer Time (CEST) (1pm UK time) on 12 September 2024.

This Innovate UK competition closes at 1pm UK time on the deadline stated in this Innovate UK competition brief. We cannot guarantee other government or third party sites will always show the correct competition information.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

UK applicants can apply for total grant of up to €360,000 (euro) or 60% of total eligible UK costs for each project, whichever is less.

Accessibility and Inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Who can apply

Your project

To apply, you must fulfil the seven Eurostars eligibility criteria:

  1. Your consortium must be led by an innovative SME from a Eurostars country.
  2. The project organisations concerned must be independent from each other.
  3. Your consortium must include organisations from at least two Eurostars countries with a minimum of one organisation coming from an EU or Horizon associated country.
  4. The budget of the SMEs from a Eurostars country, excluding subcontracting, is 50% or more of the total project cost.
  5. No single participant or country is responsible for more than 70% of the project budget.
  6. The project duration is 36 months or less.
  7. The project has an exclusively civilian purpose.

UK registered SME’s can apply for a total grant of up to €360,000 (euro) for each eligible UK project or 60% of total eligible project costs, whichever is less. The UK project partner must fund the remainder of their project costs.

To be eligible for grant funding from Innovate UK your collaboration:

  • must include at least one UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • must include at least one eligible partner from one of the Eureka Eurostars members countries participating in the competition

Your project can last up to 36 months and is expected to start at the earliest 1 April 2025. The start date depends on the national funding procedures of the Eureka members involved in the selected projects.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Eureka terminology and roles

The terminology differs between Eureka and Innovate UK. In the Innovate UK application the ‘project lead’ is responsible for the entire project but Eureka uses the term ‘main participant’. For partners in the collaboration Eureka uses ‘other participants’.

Even if the project lead is from a participating Eureka member other than the UK, the UK registered partners can still claim funding from Innovate UK. These collaborations must include at least one UK registered SME.

UK organisations

In the UK, only UK registered innovative SMEs are eligible for funding. More than one UK SME can be involved in each project. Micro entities must have a minimum of three full time staff to be eligible.

These conditions must be met by each of the UK innovative SMEs.

You must:

  • have registered as an entity at Companies House at least 12 months before the Eurostars deadline
  • be able to resource your participation and fund the remainder of your project costs

Innovate UK will not fund any other types of organisations, including:

  • sole traders
  • academic institutions, including universities
  • research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • charities
  • large businesses

These organisations can take part but must self-fund or use funds from other sources.

You must follow the Eurostars eligibility criteria and the Innovate UK eligibility criteria, at the application deadline and throughout your project:

The Innovate UK eligibility criteria is that:

  • UK SMEs will only receive funding for one live Eurostars project at a time, if you have an existing live project, then you must self-fund your participation in this application
  • UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities
  • UK partners must have been trading for 12 months at the competition application close date
  • all UK funded work must be carried out in the UK and your project costs must be incurred in the UK
  • UK subcontracting is capped at 20% of the UK partners’ total eligible costs
  • a UK-led project must be managed by an innovative SME, you cannot subcontract project management
  • your labour costs must be on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis, following the PAYE rules section
  • overheads are capped at 25% of labour costs

If you require a permit or licence to carry out your project deliverables, you must have these in place prior to the project start date.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition but they must not account for more than 20% of the UK partners’ total eligible costs. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process. Where subcontractors are non-UK based, please justify in your application why you are unable to use a UK alternative.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

We would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

Partners not claiming funding

A non-grant claiming UK partner cannot lead on a project.

Your collaboration can include organisations from Eureka members that are not participating in this funding competition provided:

  • they have secured full funding elsewhere
  • you describe in your application why and how they will be involved and where they have secured financing from

Overall Eureka project team

The organisations from participating Eureka members must meet the funding and eligibility conditions of their respective national funding bodies. These will be published on the Eureka call for proposals web page when this competition opens.

These organisations must apply through their own funding bodies and not through the Innovation Funding Service.

Each partner must carry out the majority of their funded work within the Eureka Eurostars country from which they receive funding, for example the UK for Innovate UK funding.

There must be a genuine collaboration. No more than 70% of the total eligible project costs can be claimed by a single partner or by all partners from a single participating Eureka member collectively.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see the Windsor Framework to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must always make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.


This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

This award is classified as a Subsidy which does not form part of your Minimal Financial Assistance or De Minimis allowance.

Funding

We have allocated up to £2.5 million to fund the eligible UK partners innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For industrial research projects, UK registered SMEs could get funding for each eligible UK project of up to €360,000 (euro) or 60% of total eligible UK project costs, whichever is less.

The UK registered research organisations in your consortium must provide their own funding.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to support international collaboration on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialisation.

This competition is open in theme and we will fund projects from all sectors, which meet eligibility criteria.

Your project must have high market potential and develop at least one of the following:

  • innovative products
  • technology-based applications
  • technology-based services

Your collaborative R&D proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market or have gone to clinical trials within two years of project completion

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • work on non-civilian technologies
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s and Eureka Eurostars eligibility criteria
  • do not submit all mandatory documentation

We cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

10 July 2024
Online webinar on Eurostars, organised by Eureka: register here
12 July 2024
Competition opens
19 July 2024
Online webinar: register to attend
23 July 2024
Online webinar on Eureka, organised by Innovate UK Business Connect: register to attend
12 September 2024
Eurostars competition close date and submission deadline 1pm UK time (2pm CEST)
12 September 2024 11:00am
Competition closes
1 December 2024
Eureka notification date from
19 December 2024
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

UK led consortium

If you are a UK lead applicant, you must:

What we will ask of you

The application is split into two sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

Accessibility and Inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

1. Project details

This section provides background for your application and is not scored.

Application details

Give your project’s title and acronym, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

2. Application questions

You must answer all questions. Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Animal testing (not scored)

Will your project involve any trials with animals or animal testing?

You must select one option:

  • Yes
  • No

We will only support innovation projects conducted to the highest standards of animal welfare.

Further information for proposals involving animal testing is available at the UKRI Good Research Hub and NC3R’s animal welfare guidance.

Question 2. Permits and licences (not scored)

Will you have the correct permits and licences in place to carry out your project?

We are unable to fund projects who do not have the correct permits or licences in place by your project start date.

You must select one option:

  • Yes
  • No
  • In process of being applied for
  • Not applicable

Question 3. Eureka Application (not scored)

Have you completed your Eureka application? State ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as your answer. If you answer no to this question your application will be made ineligible.

You must submit your Eureka application as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs in pounds sterling (£) on the Innovation Funding Service application using the exchange rate of 1.18 EUR. Each organisation in your project must also complete their own organisation details and funding details in the application.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance. You can also view our Application Finances video.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, other participating Eureka countries, and the Eureka Secretariat (each an ‘agency’).

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use. Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to each agency and vice versa.

Innovate UK is directly accountable to you for its holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. It is held in accordance with its Information Management Policy.

Innovate UK and each agency are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK, and each agency will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Innovate UK’s Privacy Policy

Eureka Privacy Policy

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and is committed to upholding data protection legislation, and protecting your information in accordance with data protection principles.

The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Extra help

If you want to find a project collaborator, register here or contact Innovate UK Business Connect or the Enterprise Europe Network.

If you need help with the Eureka project application form, contact Eureka directly.

If you need more information on submitting to Innovate UK, email us at eurekanpc@iuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK or any of our partners will not tolerate abusive language in any written or verbal correspondence, applications, social media or any other form that might affect staff.

About Eureka

Eureka is an intergovernmental network launched in 1985. Its aim is to support market-oriented R&D and innovation projects by industry, research centres and universities across all technological sectors. It has 47 member states, including the European Union, represented by the European Commission.

With its flexible and decentralised network, Eureka offers project partners:

  • rapid access to skills and expertise across Europe
  • national public and private funding schemes

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