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EU gives financial support to the Eurostars Joint Programme

On 2 August 2008, the EU formally gave its support to the Eurostars Joint Programme. The EP and the Council of the EU have established that the FP7 contribution to the Eurostars programme will not exceed €100 million.

This allowance will be drawn from the general budget of the European Union allocated to the FP7 Capacities theme called ‘Research for the benefit of SMEs’, which aims to enhance research and innovation capacities of SMEs throughout Europe.

The Eurostars Joint Programme aims to create an easily accessible and sustainable European Research & Development support mechanism for businesses by primarily funding research and development activities involving one or more SMEs, as well as research organisations, universities, and large companies. In addition, Eurostars will assist enterprises in promoting their technological and business development. The programme will adopt a bottom-up approach, supporting research, development and demonstration activities carried out by trans-national consortia driven by R&D performing SMEs. Where possible, co-operation with research organisations and large enterprises is encouraged. In addition to EC contribution, Member States will pay financial support in the form of lump sums. The EU hopes that Eurostars will be a positive force towards contributing to European competitiveness and innovation, while also contributing to the achievement of the Lisbon and Barcelona objectives.