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June 22, 2012 — Ottawa, Ontario
Q: What is EUREKA?
A: EUREKA is a European based network for market-driven industrial R&D that brings together governments, industry, research institutes, universities, and other innovation-focused organizations to raise the productivity and competitiveness of business through the development and commercialization of technology.
Q: Which countries are represented in the network?
A: EUREKA has 41 member countries, which includes 27 European Union (EU) countries, 12 other European countries, Israel, and the European Commission (EC). South Korea and now Canada are Associated member countries.
Q: Where does EUREKA focus efforts?
A: EUREKA promotes international, market-oriented research and innovation through network support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large industry, universities and research institutes. Cross-border collaboration among project participants uses existing R&D innovation programs in member countries.
Q: What kind of programs does EUREKA have?
A: EUREKA has three main programs: individual projects that involve at least two member countries; cluster projects that are public/private in nature and involve many participants; and Eurostars projects, which involve at least two European members and are led by an R&D performing SME. In addition, EUREKA has umbrella programs which are thematic networks that facilitate the generation of EUREKA projects in their targeted areas.
Q: How do the programs work?
A: EUREKA promotes industry-driven, bottom-up, market-oriented projects across virtually every technological sector. A EUREKA project usually starts with a business idea that is transformed into a concrete project proposal, which includes market prospects, clear objectives, and involvement of partners from different EUREKA member countries.
Q: What benefits have network countries derived?
A: Through the participation of their companies in EUREKA projects, network countries have derived many benefits, including increased employment, greater productivity, better access to skills and experience, and enhanced global positioning in key sectors in which innovation is a key driver for growth.
Q: What is EUREKA’s track record?
A: EUREKA was launched in Europe in 1985. By 2010, the EUREKA network had accomplished 4,000 projects with 10 billion euro of public funding garnering 19 billion euro of private investment and 93 billion euro of additional turnover. During that time, approximately 378,000 jobs were either created or safeguarded.
Q: What kinds of tangible results have EUREKA projects had?
A: EUREKA promotes industry-led projects that have tangible results and visible benefits. Results stemming from EUREKA projects include: GSM phone technology; the MP3 format standard; navigation systems; smartcards to support mobile and electronic commerce; film special effects; novel means of generating energy; state -of-the-art medical devices; and technologies to monitor and limit environmental pollution.
Q: Who can be part of EUREKA projects?
A: SMEs and larger companies, not-for-profit organizations, universities, research institutes, incubators, and technology transfer organizations of a member or associated member country can take part in EUREKA projects.
Q: How many project participants are SMEs?
A: Approximately 45% of EUREKA’s project participants are small and medium sized enterprises. This is important for Canada as SMEs represent more than 98% of Canadian businesses.
Q: Why did Canada join EUREKA?
A: EUREKA gives new innovation advantage to Canadian companies through access to technology, expertise and markets in EUREKA member countries. EUREKA represents an opportunity for Canadian firms, especially SMEs, to acquire, develop and deploy technologies for new and improved products and services quickly and effectively, and increase sales through new international market access.
Q: Why is the EUREKA label so important?
A: Once a project receives EUREKA’s final stamp of approval, it is then monitored by Canada’s EUREKA National Office. The internationally recognized EUREKA label adds value to a project and gives participants a competitive edge in their dealings with their financial, technical and commercial partners.
Q: What does EUREKA mean for Canadians?
A: Global collaboration has become a competitive necessity. Canada’s Associate membership in the EUREKA Network will enable Canadian companies to access expertise, technology and markets, helping to raise their productivity and competitiveness, boost the national economy; and strengthen the basis for prosperity and sustainable employment.
Q: Who coordinates EUREKA’s efforts in Canada?
A: The National Research Council (NRC) provides Canadian innovators with a first point of contact for EUREKA by hosting and managing Canada’s EUREKA National Office. In addition, NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) can provide direct support for EUREKA projects to innovative SMEs interested in international partnerships for development of new products and services. NRC will help Canadian companies become better prepared to innovate and address global challenges.
Q: What is the role of Canada’s EUREKA National Office?
A: The role of Canada’s EUREKA National Office is to facilitate the set-up and operation of a EUREKA project and lead the company through its next steps of development, which includes finding adequate partners in member countries, securing financial support from each participant, as well as providing assistance with the preparation and submission of project application forms to EUREKA. In addition, the National Office works with its partners (e.g., IRAP and other funding entities, and NRC research programs) to support SMEs as they develop and participate in these EUREKA partnerships.
Q: How do companies engage the EUREKA Network?
A: Once a company develops a project idea, the next step will be for them to submit a brief description of their proposal to IRAP who will liaise with Canada’s EUREKA National Office. The description will include 1) an overview of the company’s structure, area of expertise and financial situation, 2) an outline of the proposed activities and market opportunities, 3) forecasted project costs and 4) anticipated contributions from the EUREKA partner.