Funding competition Eureka Eurostars 2: round 11

Innovative SMEs can apply for a share of £2.5 million to collaborate in research with partners across Europe and associated countries.

This competition is now closed.

Register and apply online

Competition sections


This competition is aimed at small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) working on high-quality research and development (R&D) projects across national borders. These enterprises often find it difficult to attract public-sector funding. EUREKA Eurostars was set up to overcome this barrier to innovation. With its market-led approach, it encourages international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised.

Eurostars supports SMEs in leading international collaborative research and innovation projects by helping them get access to guidance and funding.

A Eurostars project must have a civilian purpose and be aimed at the development of a new product, process or service.

Projects must be led by a research-performing SME.

Funding type


Project size

Eurostars will award each UK project partner up to 360,000 euros funding or 60% of eligible project costs, whichever is the least. Projects can last up to 36 months.

Who can apply

In the UK, only SMEs are eligible for funding. The project must be led by a research-performing SME, one that:

  • invests 10% or more of its turnover into research, or
  • has 10% of its full-time equivalent staff working on research activities, or
  • has 5 or more full-time staff working on research activities, if the SME has 100 or fewer employees, or
  • has 10 or more full-time staff working on research activities, if the SME has more than 100 employees

You must follow:

  1. UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time.
  2. If you have an existing project, your final project report on it must have been accepted by the Eurostars secretariat before the application deadline for this competition. You can apply for other Innovate UK funding without this restriction.
  3. UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities.
  4. UK partners must be a legal entity and have been trading for 12 months at the competition application deadline.
  5. All work must be carried out in the UK and your project costs must be incurred in the UK.
  6. Your labour costs must be on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis.
  7. UK subcontracting is capped at 20% of the UK partner eligible costs.
  8. UK-led projects must be managed by an R&D performing SME. Project management cannot be subcontracted.

Your partners must follow the eligibility criteria of their countries’ national funding bodies.

(Text update 18 Dec 2018: we have changed bullet point 4 to make it clearer that sole traders do not need to be registered with Companies House.)

Previous applications

Failure to exploit

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole company and were awarded funding by Innovate UK or UK Research and Innovation, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, we will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest our decision. We will:

  • assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • document our decision, which will be made by 3 team members
  • communicate our decision to you in writing

Previous projects

Under the terms of Innovate UK funding, you are required to submit an independent accountant’s report (IAR) with your final claim. If you or any organisation in your consortium failed to submit an IAR on a previous project, we will not award funding to you in this or any other competition until we have received the documents.


We have allocated up to £2.5 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

You can get funding of up to 60% of your eligible project costs, which can be up to 360,000 euros per project.

Your proposal

Eurostars is a European funding programme dedicated to supporting R&D performing SMEs in innovative R&D projects.

It has a market-driven approach, which gives companies full control over project content. It also supports collaborative research and innovation projects that can go to market 2 years after the project finishes.

You can apply for Eurostars funding for any sector and industry. Your project can address any technological area but must be aimed at the development of a new product, process or service.

Your project must have a civilian purpose. It cannot have a military purpose.

Projects we will not fund

Innovate UK will not fund:

  • academics, including universities
  • research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • large companies

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

12 December 2018
Competition opens
28 February 2019 7:00pm
Competition closes
28 February 2019 7:00pm
Registration closes

Before you start

In order to apply for a Eurostars project and submit your application, you must create a Eurostars account.

Eurostars will send you an email with your sign in information. This will allow you to access the restricted website and the application form. Using your email and password, you can access your own personal workspace on the website.

You should complete all sections of the application form as required. Edit, save and retrieve drafts, or download the content as a PDF so that you can email it to your partners. For help refer to the:

Applications can only be submitted using the Eurostars online tool. Application forms and other documents submitted by any other means will be automatically rejected.

Background and further information

For further information about Eurostars, please see the Eurostars process.

Each participating country has a National Project Co-ordinator (NPC). To find yours, choose your country from the list of 36 Eurostars participating states and partner countries.

If you need more information, contact the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at

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