16 February 2005 · Source: EUREKA News · Download PDF

Increasing Europe's competitiveness through co-operative research



Strategic networks of innovation

There is strong evidence that the commercial position of many SMEs is strengthened by participating in a EUREKA project, particularly in terms of access to new markets in Europe and beyond. Innovative projects, mainly involving SMEs, contribute to improved wellbeing, security, environment and employment. The estimated average increase in annual turnover is about € 1 million per participating SME, with four jobs being created within one year of the project ending.


Clusters bring together EUREKA partners to focus on developing and commercially exploiting new technologies. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that Europe maintains its lead in the world market. Clusters exploit technologies developed through existing national and European programmes. They develop generic technologies that drive European standards and the interoperability of products in several sectors, including information and communications technologies (ICT), the automotive industry, energy and biotechnology.


Within the EUREKA framework and in close collaboration with national funding authorities, industry works in Clusters that benefit from the programme's flexibility. R&D is continuously adapted in response to the accelerating pace of technology and changing market demands.


“Cluster projects play an important role within EUREKA and are leading the way forward,” Vieillefosse points out. “They are long-term, strategically significant initiatives that contribute to Europe's success every day.”


“There is a strong evidence that many SMEs are strengthened by participating in a EUREKA project in terms of access to new markets”


ICT Clusters:

The numbers tell the story

Since 1985, substantial public and private funding has been deployed to support critical research and development. According to EUREKA's Statistical Report (July 2003-2004), the numbers reveal a growing success story:

  • Within the EUREKA framework, 1,600 projects have been completed for a total value of more than €22,000 million.
  • Some € 1,800 million of additional turnover has already been reported by project participants. A further €6,000 million per annum is expected within three years of project completion. On average, the reported increase in turnover is more than € 1 million achieved per annum per participant and about € 3.5 million expected per annum per participant.
  • The value of ongoing projects is more than € 2,500 million for Cluster projects, primarily in the information technology field and € 2,000 million for innovative projects.
  • The public funding invested is returned less than two years after project completion.
  • Today, 678 EUREKA projects are running with a total budget of some € 1,900 million. There are 2,826 organisations involved: 645 large companies, 1,184 SMEs, 504 research institutes, 422 universities and 71 governments/national administrations