Smart or Eurostars – which open scheme is for you?

Innovate UK’s Smart competition and eureka Eurostars are both open schemes that support technology innovations across a broad range of industries and sectors. These schemes open for applications more than once per year. Read on to find out more about each scheme to help you decide which one is suitable for you.

Innovate UK Smart Grants

Smart is Innovate UK’s open call for the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas, any type of technology. Must be business focused and address a clear market gap, in any sector. Projects can be at different levels of technological maturity, up to but not including commercialisation. This includes Feasibility Studies (to evaluate the potential of an idea in order to make an informed go/no-go decision); Industrial Research (to develop an idea); and, Experimental Development (to refine your idea in readiness for scaling and commercial roll out). As well as being highly innovative, projects must demonstrate potential for rapid market entry post-project (within 2 years). Next deadline: 13th April 2022.

Eureka Eurostars

Eurostars supports innovative SMEs and project partners by funding international collaborative market-oriented R&D innovation projects. The scheme is open to all technology areas and market fields, but projects must have a civilian (not military) purpose. Eurostars typically supports Industrial Research and Experimental Development and is therefore ideal follow-on funding for completed Smart projects or for companies looking to scale to an EU wide market. Next deadline: 24th March 2022.

Key information

Innovate UK Smart eureka Eurostars
Funding available: From £100K up to £2 million. £360K.
Funding rates: 25-70% depending on company size and technology readiness level (TRL). Dependent on national funding body rules. UK research performing SMEs are eligible for up to 60% of costs to £360K in line with Innovate UK rules.
Project duration: From 6 to 36 months. Up to 36 months.
Collaboration type: Single or collaborative. Must include an SME. Collaborative. SME led with 50% minimum SME participation.
Partner and subcontractor location: Must be UK based. Must include at least 2 participants from 2 different Eurostars member countries.* Other organisations/countries can participate on a self-funded basis.
Research organisation participation: Yes. Can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. Member country dependent according to national funding body rules. UK-based ROs must fund their own participation or use funds from other sources.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL): 3-7 5-7
Typical success rates: 5-10% >30%
Frequency: 4-5 calls per year 2 calls per year (Spring and Autumn)
2022 deadlines: 13th April 2022 24th March and, 15th September 2022
  • Eurostars Member countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

How PNO can support you

The UK team has a strong track record in securing some of the most competitive national and European grants on behalf of its clients, with a full understanding of how a project should be presented to stand the highest chance of success. Each year in the UK alone, we are responsible for the submission of more than 100 funding applications across all sectors and priority areas. Based on this extensive experience, through careful project selection and using key insight into how a project should be best positioned, we consistently achieve success rates that are more than 5 times the typical success rates for UK national schemes and EU programmes.

For further information or to discuss a project idea contact us.

Next Eurostars deadline –  – find out more here.

Next Smart deadline – 13th April 2022 – find out more here.