“Higher, Faster and Stronger – Eurostars, a vision for Europe’s most innovative SMEs” is the title of the Eurostars 2 programme launched yesterday, supported by 33 EUREKA member states and the European Commission. Eurostars 2 will run from 2014 to 2020. The programme is aimed at SMEs which invest in research and development. Compared with the previous programme, Eurostars 2 will have three times as much money available (€1,2 bn), be implemented more quickly and cater more closely to the needs of SMEs. An initial call launched yesterday invites SMEs to submit projects by March 2014. Thereafter there will be two calls for projects annually, with a free choice of topic.
Swiss SMEs very successful in Eurostars
Switzerland is one of the most successful countries taking part in Eurostars. A hundred and sixty-one Swiss project partners took part in 107 projects in the ten calls for projects in Eurostars 2008-2013, attracting funds of CHF 42 million. This puts Switzerland in seventh place, behind the large industrial countries Germany, France and the Netherlands. 60% of the Swiss project partners are SMEs. The majority of projects were carried out in biotech & medtech (32%), ICT (30%) and manufacturing (17%).
Swiss hold Eurostars 2 chair
Eurostars was developed as part of the EUREKA research programme, of which Switzerland was a founding member. As chair of EUREKA in 2014/2015, Switzerland is keen to promote the Eurostars 2 programme. In particular, project implementation under Eurostars 2 will concentrate to a greater extent on the needs of SMEs and existing international links will be exploited to improve SMEs’ competitiveness.
Address for enquiries:
Sonja Merwar, project manager Swiss EUREKA presidency, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, Tel. +41 31 323 52 78
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation