The EUROSTARS programme, a partnership between the intergovernmental EUREKA initiative and the European Commission, is intended to support SMEs that are heavily involved in research and innovation, are "market-oriented”, have significant potential for growth that wish to conduct a research project within the framework of an international collaboration.
This programme targets projects that are carried out by SMEs heavily involved in research, that is, SMEs that invest at least 10 % of their turnover or jobs in R&D. This is what sets these projects apart from Eureka projects (in addition to an integrated evaluation system). Projects are bottom-up; they can be submitted in any sector, but must be very clearly market-oriented.
A consortium of at least two partners from two EUROSTARS member countries can submit a proposal and as many partners as necessary may be involved. The main partner must be an SME that is heavily involved in research and over 50 % of the research must be carried out by an SME of this kind.
In addition to submitting the project to the EUROSTARS programme, applicants must submit an application for funding with FPS Research via the ONTIME portal, under penalty of being deemed ineligible. This application must be written in French and submitted via the ONTIME portal when the EUROSTARS call closes.
The EUROSTARS programme wants to ensure that project partners have not been convicted for fraudulent behaviour, other financial irregularities or illegal business practices. To this end, FPS Research asks each Walloon partner to upload an extract from their criminal record when submitting their proposal via ONTIME at the latest.
The types of eligible partners include:
- Approved research centres
- University research departments
- College research departments and associated research centres
Target audience – Eligibility criteria
A proposal is eligible if the following elements are all answered in the affirmative:
- The partnership must be formed by at least two independent organisations from two different EUROSTARS member countries and 50% of the research must be carried out by an SME(s) that is heavily involved in research sub-contracting. Furthermore, the research budget for the partner(s) from a given countries may not exceed 70% of the total budget of the project.
- In addition to submitting the project to the EUROSTARS programme, applicants must submit an application for funding with FPS Research via the ONTIME portal, under penalty of being deemed ineligible. This application must be written in French and submitted via the ONTIME portal when the EUROSTARS call closes.
- The research budget for any country or partner may not exceed 70% of the total budget for the project.
- The research budget for Walloon partner companies must correspond to at least 40% of the total budget for all the partners from Wallonia.
- Walloon industrial partners must be in good financial standing.
At the time of submitting the application, the company must not be experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty.
- Walloon participants must have a business unit in Wallonia.
- The project cannot have already received public funding.
- The portion of the budget for research activities subcontracted by approved research centres, university research departments and college research departments and associated research centres participating in the project may not exceed 20%.
- A project cannot last for more than three years.
- The EUROSTARS programme wants to ensure that project partners have not been convicted for fraudulent behaviour, other financial irregularities or illegal business practices. To this end, FPS Research asks each Walloon partner to upload an extract from their criminal record when submitting their proposal via ONTIME at the latest.
Assessment criteria and project selection
You are guaranteed to receive a notice after acceptance of the project ranking, which will take place a maximum of four months after the call is closed.
The assessment and selection procedure for projects comprises several stages:
- Stage 1: The potential added value for Wallonia will be assessed by an expert from FPS Research.
- Stage 2: The proposal is assessed based on three criteria (quality of the proposal, technological quality and added value) by three independent experts, who have been appointed by the EUROSTARS programme.
- Stage 3: All of the proposals are presented to a selected committee appointed by the EUROSTARS programme, which establishes the ranking for the fundable proposals.
- Stage 4: The project leaders of the selected proposals are notified by the EUROSTARS programme.
- Stage 5: The selected proposals are funded to the extent that there is budget available from each of the involved funding bodies.
The aid is granted in the form of a subsidy or a recoverable advance, with a financing rate ranging from 40% to 100% of the budget of each partner in Wallonia, depending on the type of partner and the qualification of the research.
Recoverable advances and subsidies are intended to cover all of the costs related to conducting the research. They cover:
- staffing costs for researchers, technicians, administrators and managers;
- operating costs;
- general costs;
- cost of equipment used;
- subcontracting costs.
The agreement will last for a maximum of three years.
Preferably, an information meeting will be organised between the Walloon partners in the project and the representatives responsible for the programme within FPS Research prior to the submission of any proposal.
Projects are submitted via the ONTIME platform at the same time as they are submitted via the EUROSTARS platform.
How can I contact the department who made the decision?
You may contact the administrative department that made the decision at any time, independently of the appeal procedures outlined below, in order to obtain information about why the application was rejected.
You must contact the following department:
PSW Economy, Employment and Research
Technological Research and Development Department
Place de la Wallonie, 1 (Building III), 5100 NAMUR (JAMBES)
Phone no.: +32 (0)81 33 45 32
This free process is not subject to any specific formalities and does not suspend the periods for filing an appeal. The absence of a response from the administration does not constitute acceptance of your request.
How to file an appeal
Unless the dispute can be viewed as relating to a subjective right – in which case only courts of law and legal tribunals have jurisdiction – an appeal may be submitted to the State Council, in accordance with the procedures outlined below.
Request for cancellation
Cancellation of the decision may be requested by filing a request with the State Council, either:
- electronically to https://eproadmin.raadvst-consetat.be ;
- via a signed and dated registered letter to
Section du Contentieux administratif
Rue de la Science, 33
You must submit your request within 60 calendar days from the date of notification for the disputed decision.
In your request, you must indicate the ‘reasons’ for your appeal, that is, the legal rights that have been infringed by the decision and the way in which they have been infringed.
Request for suspension
Sending a cancellation request does not suspend the effects of the decision.
If an emergency arises which is incompatible with the processing of the case, and if a serious argument is manifestly likely to lead to the cancellation, you may file a request to suspend the decision with the State Council.
The request for suspension may be submitted before, at the same time as, or after sending the request for cancellation.
In exceptional cases, and under specific conditions, you may also request the suspension of the decision in cases of extreme emergency.
Requests for cancellation and suspension requests are only valid if they contain certain annexes and information. Reference is made to the coordinated laws and decrees mentioned below, which are available at http://www.raadvst-consetat.be (‘Procedure’ section).
Each requesting party must pay a fee of €200 (amount as of 9 January 2017), using a transfer form that will be sent to the party after the appeal is received. Payment is not currently subject to any deadline and the payment of the sum may be made at any time before the closure of the dispute.
Find out more: laws on the State Council, coordinated on 12 January 1973, Regent Decree of 23 August 1948 determining the procedure before the administrative disputes department of the State Council, Royal Decree of 5 December 1991 determining interlocutory proceedings before the State Council, which are available at http://www.raadvst-consetat.be (“procedure” section).
The Eurostars Program opens two calls per year (in March and September).
Mandatory annexes: Financial documents of companies, signature of depositaries
Optional appendices: Figures - drawings - diagrams