EU Funding

EU Funding

There are a number of EU programmes which provide funding to small businesses that support research and innovation.

EU Funding

There are a number of EU programmes which provide funding to small businesses that support research and innovation. The four main programmes are:

  • The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - FP7 provides funding for research aimed at strengthening the scientific and technological base of industries in Europe.
  • The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) – This programme supports innovation activities and provides better access to finance.
  • EUREKA’s Eurostars Programme – This programme provides funding for small businesses that undertake research and development programmes.
  • European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) – This programme does not provide funding but allows for collaboration between European countries on nationally-funded research.

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

Who can apply?
Companies that want to engage in research and innovation that fall under the following categories:
• Internationally traded services companies
• High potential start up companies
• An individual or group who want to develop a business plan

For more information on eligibility, please see the European Commission's CORDIS website here.

Areas of Interest
The Programme is divided into four themes:

  1. Cooperation: Collaborative Research
  2. Ideas: Frontier Research
  3. People: Marie Curie Actions
  4. Capacities: Research and Innovation Capacities

The most important area for Irish business is the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways. This programme assists companies to work with universities by paying for the placement and training of qualified researchers. The funding is awarded through a competitive process based on international peer review.

For more information regarding the submission of proposals, visit the FP7 PeopleNetwork website here.

The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme

Who can apply?
Any small business with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50 million can apply under this programme.

What does the programme provide?
This programme works by providing loan guarantees to encourage banks to make more debt finance available to small businesses. For more information on how to avail of CIP, please see the EC's access2finance website here.

EUREKA’s Eurostars Programme

Who can apply?
Any R&D small Irish business planning on undertaking a research project can apply. This means that the business must dedicate at least 10% of their turnover or full time equivalent to research activities. There is specific criteria in relation to the project which can be found here.

How does the programme work?
To avail of funding under this programme, the project must involve at least one other partner from another Eurostars member country and last no more than three years. The product of the research must be completed within two years and the product must be ready to go to market at that time.

European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
COST makes it possible for national facilities, institutes, universities and private companies to work together on research and development activities. It acts as a bridge between different European countries in the areas of science and technology. The research undertaken is funded nationally but COST provide financial assistance for joint activities such as conferences, short term scientific exchanges and publications.

For more information about COST, please see the COST website here.