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Is your company the next Eurostar?

ICTOulu went to Amsterdam last week to learn about funding opportunities for developer companies at the EU’s Eurostars campaign event. The Eurostars program is a joint initiative of 37 countries managed by the Brussels Eureka Secretariat as part of international Eureka cooperation. Participants in projects always come from two or more Eurostars countries. Applications are centrally evaluated based on common criteria, with Business Finland funding Finnish participants. The event showcased campaign opportunities, successful projects, and evaluation criteria. Did you know that the success rate of Eurostars projects is as high as 25%, which is significantly higher compared to other similar calls?

The next call is scheduled for the coming summer. Applications cannot be submitted by individual companies; there must be at least two companies from different countries involved, thus forming a joint project and also supporting the international collaboration.

Camilla Del Latte (person on the right), Campaign Coordinator introduced the key contents of the Eurostars in an introduction event that took place in an Amsterdam Zoo Planetarium – not bad place to organize an event promoting innovation.

Funding is provided as a grant under specific Eurostars conditions. Innovative growth companies approved by Business Finland receive a 50% grant for SMEs and a 40% grant for large companies (midcaps) with turnover of less than 300 million euros. For other R&D performing organizations such as large companies, the support level is 40%, with a maximum grant per company of €60,000.

Universities and research institutions can also receive funding from Business Finland, with a support level of 70% and a maximum of €70,000 per organization. If at least two Finnish SMEs or midcap companies approved by Business Finland are involved, the maximum is €140,000.

Projects have a maximum duration of three years, and their results are expected to be on the market within two years after the project’s completion. It is important for developer companies to note that development projects aim for products and solutions with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4, 5, or 6. The event also discussed successful past projects, indicating that nearly any local developer company could consider this opportunity. Solutions can be subcomponents, complete solutions, software, or hardware, and digital solutions are widely applicable to this funding format. Additionally, one option is to offer expertise to a European partner, with the Finnish company either in a lead or supporting role. It was inspiring to hear an example of a successful project where a Finnish developer company played a supporting role, providing an AI software product to a Dutch company for their overall solution.

For companies in Oulu and elsewhere in Finland, it’s a good idea to contact Business Finland early in the planning process, as they are Finland’s contact organization. The contact person is Eurostars Project Coordinator Markus Rankka. Here are his contact details: +358 46 9210 647, email: Feel free to also contact us, and we can share more information about our insights from the event.

Best regards,

ICTOulu Team