EU funding for innovation

Other EU innovation funding and support


Taking part in an EU-funded research or innovation project is a great way to boost your company's competitiveness.

Depending on your project and funding needs, different opportunities may be available, including:

How can Enterprise Europe Network help?

EEN is made up of hundreds of organisations across more than 50 countries. In Northern Ireland, the EEN is hosted by Invest Northern Ireland (NI).

EEN can help you increase your competitiveness and collaborate at an international level. Advice and information is available on:

  • European legislation and doing business with other European countries
  • collaboration opportunities, including technology transfer projects, commercial opportunities, licensing deals, and partners searches for EU funded research and development (R&D) projects
  • accessing European R&D funding, such as Horizon 2020

Find out more about Enterprise Europe Network Northern Ireland or call Invest NI Helpline on Tel 0800 181 4422 to see how EEN can help your business.

COSME programme

The programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) is improving access to finance for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through two financial instruments:

  • the Loan Guarantee Facility
  • the Equity Facility for Growth

If you are an SME looking for debt or equity finance, you can find financial organisations working with COSME through the EU's Access to Finance portal.

EUREKA network

EUREKA is a pan-European network for encouraging competitiveness and productivity of European businesses through technology.

It supports collaborative close-to-market R&D projects, which lead to the development of innovative products, processes or services. Projects can be in any technological area and there are no restrictions on project size, timing or length.

EUREKA doesn't offer direct funding, but serves mainly as a networking mechanism, putting you in touch with potential partners and collaboration contacts. You can search for partners or projects, or propose collaborative project ideas. Find out how to get involved with EUREKA.

Eurostars funding

Eurostars is a joint programme between the EUREKA network, the European Commission and EU member states. It provides funding for market-orientated research and development produced by small and medium-sized businesses. It also encourages international collaborative research and innovation projects by helping to ease access to support and funding.

Eurostars takes a 'bottom up' approach to project generation. A Eurostars project:

  • is collaborative, ie it must involve at least two participants from two different Eurostars member countries
  • can address any technological area
  • should be aimed at the development of a new product, process or service

Find out more about the Eurostars programme or read more about innovation, research and development grants.

Bio-innovation support for SMEs

The BioBase4SME network, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, advises SMEs from across North-West Europe on how to develop new ideas into marketable products.

The project intends to help businesses to overcome technological and non-technological barriers to bring their innovation to market. It offers professional training, innovation biocamps and innovation vouchers. Read more about the BioBase4SME programme.