Text update 13 October 2021: we have changed the SME description to make it clearer.
Any UK registered SME requesting grant funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time of application. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.
To apply, you must fulfil seven eligibility criteria:
- Your consortium is led by an innovative SME from a Eurostars country.
- Your consortium includes at least two independent entities.
- Your consortium includes entities from at least two Eurostars countries, the entities concerned must be independent from each other.
- The budget of the SME(s) from a Eurostars country, excluding subcontracting, is 50% or more of the total project cost.
- No single participant or country is responsible for more than 70% of the project budget.
- The project duration is 36 months or less.
- The project has an exclusively civilian purpose.
UK registered SME’s can apply for total grant of up to 360,000 euros for each eligible UK project partner or 60% of total eligible project costs, whichever is the least.
Your project can last up to 36 months.
Your project start date depends on the national funding procedures of the Eureka Eurostars members involved in the selected projects.
Projects must be collaborative.
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’.
In the UK, only UK registered innovative SMEs are eligible for funding. More than one UK SME can be involved in each project.
Each of the UK innovative SMEs must meet one of these conditions:
- invest 10% or more of their turnover into research
- have 10% of their full-time equivalent staff working on research activities
- have 5 or more full-time staff working on research activities if the SME has 100 or fewer employees
- have 10 or more full-time staff working on research activities if the SME has more than 100 employees
Innovate UK will not fund any other types of organisations, including:
- academic institutions, including universities
- research and technology organisations (RTOs)
- 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 detailed in this competition at the application deadline and throughout your project:
- UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time.
- If any UK partner has an existing project, it must declare that all project deliverables are met. You cannot apply for new Eurostars projects until your previous projects have been completed.
- UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities.
- UK partners must have been trading for 12 months at the competition application deadline.
- 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.
- UK-led projects must be managed by a research and development innovative SME. You cannot subcontract project management.
- Your labour costs must be on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis, following the PAYE rules below.
If you do not currently operate a company PAYE scheme and are working directly on the project, you can include your labour as an eligible cost. This must be in line with the European Commission policy and meet the following conditions:
- your labour costs must be calculated using a maximum of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, 40 hours per week and £22 per hour
- your costs must be recorded through the business accounts
- your project time must be supported by timesheets and project records
Overall Eurostars project team
The organisations from participating Eurostars countries 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 all of their funded work within the Eurostars member from which they receive funding, for example the UK for Innovate UK funding. Any work which you wish to carry out, outside of the UK, must be authorised by Innovate UK prior to your project starting, if you are in receipt of funding. You must provide justification by email to firstname.lastname@example.org who will then pass it on to the Programme Manager. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your request has not been approved by us, then these costs will not be eligible.
Your project must be a genuine collaboration between partners and participating Eurostars country members. No one partner, or partners from a single participating Eurostars country member, can be responsible for more than 70% of the total eligible project costs.
UK project team
The UK applicant can also collaborate with:
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. Where subcontractors are non-UK based, please justify why you are unable to use a UK alternative.
Project Management roles cannot be included within subcontracting costs. This must be carried out in house.
We would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.