Eurostars – for small and medium-sized enterprises

Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that carry out research and development may seek funding for R&D projects from the Eurostars Programme. There are two application deadlines in Eurostars each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn.

Eurostars is a part of EUs Partnership for Innovative SME's (small and medium sized enterprises) in EU's Horizon Europe. The partnership is co-funded by EU.

Funding under the scheme is considered state aid and is awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the Group Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation 651/2014 of 17 June 2014).

Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that carry out research and development may seek funding for R&D projects from the Eurostars Programme. To be eligible for funding, projects must seek to develop new products, services or processes to be introduced to the market soon after project completion. The projects must have international collaboration. Funding is available in all branches of industry and may address any technological area.

Eurostars is a support scheme for SMEs planning an R&D project with international cooperation. Eurostars projects are collaborative projects, where all partners shall have a clear role in the project and interest in the result.

Information about the application and application deadlines

There are two application deadlines in Eurostars each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn. The next application deadline is 12 September 2024 at 2:00 CEST. The call will be published on 12 July 2024.

A webinar for applicants will be arranged in connection with the launch of this autumn's call for proposals. More information to come.

Applications must be created via Eurostar's international pages.

The main partner in the project submits the application on behalf of all project partners in the consortium. To access the application form, one must register on the Eurostars website.

You can also find information about Eurostars and announcements on the Eureka website.

Who can apply for funding?

Eurostars is mainly for SMEs. All Norwegian Eurostars applications must include a Norwegian SME. Research institutes, universities and university colleges and large enterprises may be partners, but the project must be led by a SME.

Norwegian SMEs and other Norwegian partners can only submit one grant application per call and at any given time participate in a maximum of two ongoing Eurostars projects.

If you have two ongoing projects, at least one of these projects must be completed before you can submit a new grant application.

To qualify for funding, the project must meet a number of criteria

  • The applicant company must fall under the definition small or medium-sized enterprise 
    (SME definition | Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (europa.eu))
  • There is also a requirement to include a Norwegian SME in all Eurostars applications with Norwegian participants. This means that Norwegian universities, colleges, institutes and large companies must include a Norwegian SME in order to participate in Eurostars.
  • All partners must be able to finance their own part of the project.
  • All Norwegian SMEs must have at least NOK 500 000 in equity at the time of the deadline for the call. (Documentation requirements: Publicly approved annual accounts. Alternatively, in the event of a capital increase, there must be a declaration from the auditor, lawyer, financial institution/bank or accountant).
  • Cooperation between at least two independent partners from at least two Eurostars countries is required. The project must have a clear goal of a new product, process or service.
  • At least 50 per cent of the total project costs must be covered by the partners in the project. Subcontractors cannot therefore exceed the total project costs by 49 per cent.
  • The sum of each country's participants' project costs may be a maximum of 70 per cent of the total project costs.
  • Introduction to the market/commercialisation must be planned soon after the end of the project.
  • The activities that can be supported must fall under the definition of industrial research or experimental development.

See more detailed information on the criteria for support in Eurostars here.

What can you receive in support?

  • For SMEs, the Research Council's funding cannot exceed 50 per cent of approved reported project costs (experimental development or industrial research).
  • For institutes, universities and university colleges, the Research Council's funding cannot exceed 70 per cent of approved reported project costs.
  • For large enterprises, the Research Council's funding cannot exceed 30 per cent of approved reported project costs.
  • The maximum amount of support is NOK 6 million, which assumes project costs of NOK 12 million for the Norwegian partners.

Read more information about business costs and calculation of hourly rate. Overhead costs are calculated into the hourly rate as indirect costs for the Norwegian partners.

Support levels may vary from country to country. The Research Council of Norway funds the Norwegian partners in the project.

How can you combine Eurostars with other support schemes?

It is not possible to combine support for the Eurostars project with other direct public support from Norway or the EU. However, it is possible to have public loans (Innovation Norway).

It is possible to combine Eurostars with indirect support from SkatteFUNN based on the expenditure of R&D in the project. The funding via an approval in SkatteFUNN will be truncated over the tax assessment in accordance with the State Aid Rules.

SMEs can apply for project establishment support from PES Horizon Europe. You must submit the application no later than four weeks before the application deadline to Eurostars. You cannot apply for PES support by submitting the same application several times.

The coordinator (Main Partner) can apply for project establishment support (PES), read more about the PES scheme here. For Eurostars projects, the amount of support amounts to NOK 100,000.

Eurostars has specific requirements that must be met before eligibility to receive PES support:

  1. The project must meet all Eurostars requirements. You will find the link to the requirements here. 
  2. SMEs must comply with Eurostars' Legal and Financial Viability Check. Furthermore, the national requirement for a minimum of NOK 500,000 in total equity must be met and documented. This also applies to start-ups. The documentation of NOK 500,000 in equity must be attached to the PES application.
  3. The application must achieve a minimum threshold value of 3.6 to qualify for PES support. The project must achieve an average of 3.6 or more for each of the three criteria, Quality, Impact and Excellence, in the opinion of the experts. Find out how applications are assessed here.

Tips and advice for the application process

  1. Before you start your application, it is important tofamiliarize yourself with the "Guidelines" from Eurostars".
  2. Read the text of the call for proposals well and answer what the call for proposals requests.
  3. Use the guidance texts in the application forms.
  4. The main partner in the project submits the application on behalf of all project partners in the consortium.
Blått flagg med gule stjerner med teksten "European partnership, Co-founded by the European Union"

Messages at time of print 24 April 2024, 05:38 CEST

Important message

For the application deadline 24 April, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 Monday 22 April and Thursday 23 April at CEST 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 24 April at CEST 08.00-13.00.