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Contenuto archiviato il 2023-03-27

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Cooperation between European firms and research institutes in the field of advanced technologies

Launched in 1985, EUREKA is a framework through which industry and research institutes from European countries and the European Commission develop and exploit the technologies crucial to global competitiveness and a better quality of life.

EUREKA currently has 34 full members: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the European Union. In addition, three countries (Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine) participate in EUREKA projects through a network of National Information Points (NIPs). Morocco gained the Associate Country status in 2003.

Compared to the pre-competitive projects supported under the EU Framework Programmes for research and technology development, EUREKA projects concentrate on the development of marketable products and services. Projects are generated on a 'bottom-up' basis with the participants deciding the objectives of the project, who is involved, who runs the project, the contribution of each of the partners, and how the results are used. EUREKA does not provide direct financial support for projects - this is the responsibility of the EUREKA members.

Full details about EUREKA can be obtained from the following Web site:
EUREKA supports the competitiveness of European companies through international collaboration and in creating links and networks for innovation. The objective is to bring high quality research and development efforts to the market and to use the multiplying effects of cooperation. The wider objective is to advance and improve the quality of life.
Projects are currently being carried out under the 12 technological areas covered by EUREKA:
- Biotechnology;
- Telecom;
- ICT;
- Energy;
- Environment;
- Advancedmaterials;
- Robotics;
- Transport;
- Aeronautics;
- Automotive;
- Security;
- Multimedia.
EUREKA is a decentralised cooperation structure with National Project Coordinators (NPCs) located in each of the member countries. From project conception to completion, the NPCs are the primary source of contact and assistance for project developers. NPCs can also help companies or research organisations who wish to participate in on-going EUREKA projects.

To receive the EUREKA label, a project proposal must:
- Demonstrate innovation and be aimed at developing a new product, process or service with market potential;
- Involve partners (independent organisations) from at least two EUREKA member countries;
- Aim to develop a significant technological advance in its sector and a marketable product, process or service for civilian use;
- The participants must be technically and managerially qualified to conduct the project with access to necessary financial resources.

Interested organisations can join already existing projects or submit new ones.

The steps to be followed when establishing a new EUREKA project include:

1. Drafting a project proposal and identification of partners: the National Project Coordinator assists with the completion of a 'project suggestion form' and helps to locate potential partners in other EUREKA countries;
2. Developing and proposing the project: once a project consortium is established, the scope, objectives and structure of the project have to be defined. An application for EUREKA status must then be made by filling in what is known as the '18-point sheet'. The NPCs can provide assistance with this;
3. Approval of the proposal by the NPC: completed project proposals are evaluated by the different NPCs of each of the partners participating in the consortium and a decision is taken on whether to grant the EUREKA label. This takes on average 2-3 months;
4. Circulation of the project proposal throughout NPC network: during a 45-day circulation period, the project is sent to all NPCs who may bring it to the attention of other potential participants (although the decision to expand the consortium rests with the original members). During this period, many of the involved governments will begin taking the 'EUREKA nature' of the project into account when considering the possibility of public funding.

All project proposals are officially endorsed by the EUREKA High Level Group (HLG), which consists of one representative per member country. They are also announced at the annual EUREKA ministerial conference. The Ministerial conference is responsible for presenting new initiatives and deciding on applications for membership.

EUREKA does not provide direct financial support for projects. However, the granting of a EUREKA label enhances the likelihood of a project receiving financial support from national governments or other sources. The type of support granted by member countries differs from country to country and from project to project and may take the form of grants or loans. Many financial institutions take the EUREKA status of a project into account when considering loan applications.

A small EUREKA secretariat is based in Brussels which acts as a clearing house for project information, maintains the EUREKA database, and provides support for contacts within the EUREKA network and for the EUREKA chairmanship (which rotates between the EUREKA member governments).

Close cooperation between European Union research and technology development activities and EUREKA was assured under the Fourth and Fifth Framework Programmes by specific measures implemented under the International Cooperation programme (INCO). Several of the specific programmes also contained provisions for coordination with EUREKA. The cooperation continues under the Sixth RTD Framework Programme (2002-2006)

Full details on EUREKA can be obtained from: