Eurostars-2 is aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy, the related Flagship initiative ‘Innovation Union’and ‘A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth’will aim at supporting research performing SMEs by co-financing their market oriented research projects in any field. As such, and in combination with the activities under the ‘Leading and Enabling Technology’ objectiveset out in the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, it will contribute tothe goals of the Industrial Leadership part of that programme to speed-up development of th e technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow’s businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. As part of the improvements from the previous Eurostars programme, Eurostars-2 should head towards shorter time to grant, stronger integration and lean, transparent and more efficient administration to the ultimate benefit of research performing SMEs.
The Horizon 2020 Communication indicates that: ‘partnership approaches on the basis of Articles 185 and 187 of the Treaty will also be continued’. Article 20(2)(b) of the proposal for a Regulation establishing Horizon 2020 lists a number of criteria for how public-public partnerships are to be identified. Eurostars complies with those criteria: the ‘Budapest document’ on Eurostars-2 was endorsed by all Eureka countries.
In line with the recommendations from the interim evaluation of Eurostars-1, Eurostars-2 will be characterised by:
Eurostars-2 aims to:
(a) the activities are carried out by transnational collaboration of research-performing SMEs among themselves or including other actors of the innovation chain (e.g. universities, research organisations)
(b) results of activities are expected to be introduced into the market within two years of the completion of an activity increase the accessibility, efficiency and efficacy of public funding for SMEs in Europe by aligning, harmonising and synchronising the national funding mechanisms
of participating states
Eurostars-2 respects the proportionality principle as the Member States themselves will be responsible for implementation and all operational
aspects. The role of the EU is limited to providing incentives for improved coordination of participating programmes and harmonisation of rules and regulations, to the benefit of SMEs interested in transnational R&D activities, and also ensuring synergy with relevant complementary activities in Horizon 2020.
The joint implementation of Eurostars-2 requires an implementation structure. The participating states have agreed on designating the Eureka Secretariat as the implementation structure for Eurostars-2 In order to achieve the objectives of Eurostars-2, ESE should be in charge of the organisation of the calls for proposals, the verification of the eligibility criteria, the peer-review evaluation and the selection and the monitoring of projects as well as the allocation of the Union contribution. The evaluation of proposals should be performed centrally by independent external experts under the responsibility of ESE following calls for proposals. The projects’ ranking list should be binding for the participating states as regards the allocation of funding from the Union's financial contribution and from contribution from participating states.
The contribution shall be paid from the appropriations in the general budget of the Union allocated to the relevant parts of the Specific Programme implementing the Horizon 2020.A maximum of 2% of the Union’s financial contribution may be used to contribute to the administrative costs of Eurostars-2. Participating states shall cover any other administrative costs necessary for the implementation of Eurostars-2. Contribution from the participating states shall consist of the following financial contributions:
Adhering to the criteria is imperative to the success of an application. All applicants must fulfill all criteria or your application will be withdrawn. A summary of the criteria is as follows:
• Consortium leader is an R&D performing SME from a Eurostars country
• At least one other independent participant from another Eurostars country
• Eurostars R&D performing SMEs contribution is 50% or more of the total project cost (subcontracting costs excluded)
• The consortium is well balanced (no single participant or country is responsible for more than 75 %)
• The project duration is 3 years or fewer
• Market introduction is within 2 years of the project’s completion
• The project meets the EUREKA criteria (No restrictions on thematic area, civilian purpose)