EUREKA is a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D, ultimately aimed at improving quality of life.
It was established in 1985 by 17 countries and the European Union to encourage a bottom-up approach to technological development and to strengthen the competitive position of European companies on the world market.
The objective of EUREKA is to support the competitiveness of European companies through international collaboration, in creating links and networks of innovation. This involves bringing high quality research and development efforts to the market and to use the multiplying effects of co-operation.
EUREKA is tackling the challenge of a swiftly changing business environment and offers a platform for short-term as well as strategic collaboration. It offers flexible and dynamic support, quality label and expertise for market-oriented R&D projects.
It offers a frame for co-operation to small and large companies and operates through its network of national members, while remaining open to global co-operation.
The programme covers 9 themes, of which transport is one.
EUREKA's organisational structure is composed of four main bodies:
1. Ministerial Conference: a minister from each EUREKA member country and a Commissioner from the European Commission meet once a year at the Ministerial Conference, the political body of EUREKA. The Ministerial Conference announces the new projects endorsed during the year. Ministers also take decisions on the further development of EUREKA.
2. High Level Group : meets three or four times a year. Each EUREKA member appoints one representative to this group, which takes decisions on the management of EUREKA and prepares policy discussions for the Ministerial Conference. High Level Representatives are usually named by the Ministry responsible for EUREKA.
3. National Project Coordinators : The National Project Coordinators are the direct contact with EUREKA. They are responsible for contacts with project participants and potential project participants in each member country. They meet four or five times a year and are also responsible for project generation. They advise on funding and smooth the way for setting up a project.
4. The EUREKA Secretariat in Brussels is the central support unit, managing the EUREKA project database and undertaking marketing, communication and network development activities.
The policy context is to improve international collaboration, to facilitate partner searching for projects of mutual interest, and to share results.
Funding depends on national rules in each country.
To obtain EUREKA status, an application form must be signed by at least two participants from different EUREKA member countries, before the meeting of the EUREKA High Level Group in which the assignment of EUREKA status to the project will be discussed.
When a project already obtained EUREKA status, other interested organisations can officially be recognised as participants when they satisfy EUREKA criteria and after they have co-signed the application form. A formal collaboration agreement is required between participants in a EUREKA project.
Project participants must provide their national EUREKA office with updates on the project and a brief final report at the end. They must also provide information on the exploitation of project results on a periodic basis.
Participants must include in any project related PR material, the EUREKA logo, the EUREKA number and acronym of the project.