EUREKA is an intergovernmental network of 41 countries that promotes cooperative innovation across borders. Established in 1985, this program funds international collaborative projects for market-oriented, technology research and development and innovation (R&D&I) between two or more member countries.
By virtue of Canada’s membership with EUREKA as an Associated Country (renewed in 2018), Canadian companies and research institutes can access technology, expertise, and markets in Europe, in addition to funding for R&D&I projects pursued in partnership with a European company or research institute.
EUREKA currently counts 41 full members, including the European Union. The network has one partner country, South Korea, and four associated countries, Argentina, Canada, Chile, and South Africa.
Between 2014 and 2018 alone, Canada’s participation in EUREKA has led to:
- Leveraging of €86.9M in public-private investment;
- Participation of 92 SMEs, six large companies, four universities, and one research institute from Canada; and
- Funding of 138 projects across Information and communication technologies, energy, environment, industrial, and life sciences sectors.
What Projects are Suited for EUREKA?
To leverage EUREKA funding, R&D&I projects should meet the following criteria:
- Be highly innovative and market-driven;
- Have an outcome with a civilian/non-military purpose;
- Include participants from at least two independent legal entities, from at least two different EUREKA member countries; and
- Have an outcome that is a product, process, or service with strong market potential.
EUREKA Success Stories for Canadian Innovation
EUREKA participation has led to numerous success stories of Canadian innovators solving global technology challenges, including:
- Integrating Blockchain Technology (Canada and Switzerland): A €0.6M collaboration between Swiss firm SBEX and Canadian company Bitaccess led to the development of intelligent software that analyzes big data on blockchain markets to ensure correct identification of customers and end-users while safeguarding transaction privacy.
- Sensing Digital Revolution in Mining (Canada and Germany): A €0.7M joint project between MineSense, a Canadian mining technology development and marketing company, and Ketek, a German engineering and detection technology firm, to develop a ground-breaking sensor technology and data analytics platform that provides mining operations with unprecedented real-time information about their ore deposits.
- Shape Search Engine Boosts Design Productivity (Canada and France): A €0.8M venture between Canadian 3DSemantix and French partner TraceParts SA yielded an innovative search engine that is capable of searching more than 100 million unique 3D models in less than seven seconds, allowing designers and manufacturers to significantly save costs and reduce time to market by searching for comparable parts.
“EUREKA has been, and continues to be, an important mechanism for Canadian innovators to continue meeting the challenge of global innovation.”
– Ian Stewart, President of NRC
Who Can Apply for EUREKA?
EUREKA funding is delivered through three distinct streams or “instruments,” each with their own eligibility criteria:
- Network Projects: Open to large companies, SMEs, and academic/research institutes
- Eurostar Projects: Targeted specifically to R&D-performing SMEs as the main partner, and other organizations as supporting partners
- Cluster Projects: Open to large companies (who are the “main” participants in terms of budget effort), SMEs (the most common participants, as partners of large companies), and academic/research institutes
In general, to be eligible to apply for EUREKA funding in Canada, applicants must be a small or medium-sized enterprise (500 or less full-time equivalent employees), incorporated and profit-oriented, with the objective to grow and generate profits through development and commercialization of innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services, or processes in Canada.
Interested Canadian entities should apply through the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), which houses and manages Canada’s National EUREKA Office and provides applicants with a first point of contact for EUREKA’s global network.
Next Steps: Learn More About EUREKA
Each participating country administers the EUREKA program differently through their national office. Canadian applicants must apply through the National Research Council of Canada and will need to satisfy the additional eligibility criteria and application procedures of the NRC, in addition to those of the EUREKA stream/instrument.
NRC uses the evaluation process of its Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to assess whether Canadian companies and their projects are a good fit for EUREKA.
Applicants who are unfamiliar with NRC’s IRAP should strongly consider leveraging this Canadian funding program first, before tapping into EUREKA. Applicants who have already completed IRAP projects should contact their IRAP Industry Technology Advisor to pitch a potential EUREKA project.
Both IRAP and EUREKA are highly competitive, merit-based programs; funding is not guaranteed, even if applicants meet the eligibility criteria. To obtain support with your application to NRC-IRAP, please contact one of our Government Funding Planners who can:
- Assess the fit of your company and project for IRAP; and
- Help you plan and position your R&D&I projects to optimize your chances of funding.
Contact Mentor Works to kickstart the funding application process for your technology research and development and innovation (R&D&I) projects!