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Evaluation of Eurostars-2, the European SME support programme


Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the EU Commission (DG RTD)



A published evaluation study, in which Prognos was involved, examines the impact of the Eurostars-2 SME funding programme, jointly funded by the European Union and participating Eurostars-2 countries during the 2014–2020 EU funding period. This programme was implemented by the Eureka Secretariat, a network of members from 47 countries worldwide, and supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the development of innovative products and services through cross-border cooperation with other innovation actors.

Our approach

The final evaluation of the Eurostars-2 SME funding programme examines the impact of funding to support cross-border cooperation with research-oriented companies within Europe and selected partner countries worldwide. The study examines and evaluates the coherence, efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, and EU-added value of the funding programme on the basis of EU criteria. Based on the findings, the study provides recommendations for how the framework programme could be improved in the short-, medium-, and long-term.

The evaluation is based on a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data, such as secondary data and interviews with stakeholders. In addition, the EUREKA Secretariat (ESE) provided annual reports of the Eurostars-2 programme.

Our insights

A total of 1,546 projects were funded within the Eurostars-2 programme and were positively evaluated by beneficiaries and national funding agencies. Findings from the evaluation show that Eurostars-2 grants help SMEs to further develop their innovative products, processes and/or services through transnational knowledge exchange. Further evidence shows that the Eurostars-2 programme was confronted with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns. As a result, cross-border activities had to be postponed or cancelled. In addition, national funding rules represent another challenge for the programme and is expected to be addressed in the 2021–2027 funding period.

Our mission

Eurostars-2 was part of the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the EU’s main instrument for implementing the European Research Area from 2014 to 2020. With a budget of almost 80 billion euros, Horizon 2020 was the 8th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2014 to 2020. The objective is to contribute, within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, to the development of a knowledge-based society and economy across the union.

As part of a consortium with Idea Consult and led by PPMI, Prognos produced various case studies in the first phase of the project, such as an ex-post evaluation of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. The final evaluation study of the Eurostars-2 programme is part of a series of evaluation studies that have been incorporated into the ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020.

Links and downloads

Published evaluation of Eurostars-2 (EU Kommission website)

More information about the project

More information on Horizon 2020 (EU Commission website)

More information on Eurostars (EU Comission website)

More about our work on this project

Project team: Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer, Dr Thomas Stehnken, Marie-Kristin Komendzinski, Jan Reichert, Victor Wichmann, Diana Nadyesva

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Thomas Stehnken

Senior Project Manager

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Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer

Partner, Head of EU Services

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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