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Eureka and the European Commission lead funding programme

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has announced its support for Eurostars, a funding programme aimed at stimulating development in new products, processes and services by SMEs. The funding, with a project limit of €350,000 is open to emerging technology SMEs with partnerships across two Eurostars participating countries and a commitment to research and development.

European SMEs act as a source of renewal and a driving force for the development of new business initiatives and there is a clear consensus in society that they will be the key to future job and wealth creation across Europe. The Eurostars Programme aims to support SMEs working within the technology market to ensure European Industry continues to grow and meet the demands of society and economy.

"It is clear that emerging technologies are going to provide wealth opportunities for the future of the UK," says Dr Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN. "Creating the right partnership to expand businesses at a low cost is essential to SMEs, especially those in the very early stages of development and programmes like Eurostars are going to be key in the future development of these businesses. At the NanoKTN we are committed to assisting our members in making the right decisions to ensure the nanotechnology market continues to grow and bring benefits to UK industry."

The Technology Strategy Board invested nearly £4 million into the Eurostars scheme through projects in the Eurostars 2008 call, to support 18 small and medium sized British companies to benefit from investment, enabling them to carry out research and development into important areas of work. This funding will link British companies with partners across Europe and will ensure work is carried out in a number of areas including healthcare, transport, energy and electronics many of which can utilise embedded nanotechnologies to realise competitive advantage.

By launching this funding, the EUREKA Secretariat and the European Commission aims to ensure a wide ranging number of applications continue to be developed and as a result hope to secure benefits for European citizens, industry and governments.

The Eurostars Programme addresses a niche market of research and innovation-performing businesses that have at least 10% of their turnover or staff dedicated to R&D. To apply, businesses must be defined as an SME, with a partnership spanning across at least two Eurostars’ participating countries. The consortium should be well balanced; with no participant or country expected to invest more than 75% of the projects total cost. To be considered an SME focused project, at least 50% of the core activity should be carried out by SMEs and must be defined as a market-driven project with a maximum duration of three years.

Eurostars is a continuous project always open for proposal submissions, with reviews carried out once a quarter. The next closing date for applications is 25th February 2010. For further information on the Eurostars Programme, please visit www.eurostars-eureka.eu.

The NanoKTN is dedicated to helping its members understand how to write successful proposals and identify business partnerships across Europe. The NanoKTN aims to assist its members and create vital connections between research, academics and manufacturers.

For more information about how to join the NanoKTN and to become a part of bringing together leading professionals to develop European projects, please visit www.nanoktn.com or email enquiries@nanoktn.com.

Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company.

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