Eurostars Information Day, 4th April 2019

Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) organized the Eurostars Information Day, held on 4th April 2019 at the Zagreb Innovation Center.

The main objective was to inform entrepreneurs, especially representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engaged in research and development (R&D) activities, which intend to prepare new applications for Eurostars project within the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Programme.
Eurostars is a project that encourages small and medium-sized enterprises to cooperate with international partners in the process of initiating research and development activities and in the development of new products or services, which can be launched on the market. The basic criterion for Eurostars is participation of at least two companies from two different countries. The maximum amount of grant for each project is 200.000 EUR.

The event was opened by Vjeran Vrbanec, the Chair of the HAMAG-BICRO Management Board. He pointed out that the Eurostars project is partly funded from Swiss contribution and partly from the national budget. Furthermore, Mr.Vrbanec invited all companies which have acceptable project ideas to apply for Eurostars and secure funds for development of their products.
One of the most important requirements of R&D companies are resources that are lacking in the domestic market and also a need for internationalization of their operations. Through the Eurostars project, Croatian companies can be provided with necessary resources for development of new products or services, in cooperation with international partners. Vouchers for expert services in the phase od preparing initial project proposals are also available to entrepreneurs. In addition, organizing international meetings (b2b events) with the purpose to find project partners for Eurostars is also co-financed from the Eurostars budget.

HAMAG-BICRO actively supports newly established SMEs. Besides the Eurostars project, the EUREKA programme and also programmes Innovation vouchers and Innovations of newly-founded SMEs-Phase II are currently open to encourage innovations. HAMAG-BICRO innovation programs encourage all stages of the development of new technology or products, from the idea (Proof of concept) through measures that foster the cooperation of companies with scientific and research institutions, to the activities of preparing and launching new products on the market. Through mentioned programmes, in the last three years HAMAG-BICRO has been involved in implementation of 344 projects through several calls for proposals in the field of research, development and innovation, for which 870 million HRK has been contracted, while the total value of all projects is more than 1.6 billion HRK.

Furthermore, during the event participants got the most important information on the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Programme from Colette John-Grant, EUREKA and Eurostars National Project Coordinator from Switzerland, essential information on the Eurostars project from Gordana Kregar, EUREKA Secretariat Representative. The national rules how to apply for Eurostars were presented by Ira Alaburić, EUREKA and Eurostars National Project Coordinator for Croatia.
Afterwards was held a presentation “How to prepare quality project application for Eurostars”. This was followed by a presentation on the European Entrepreneurship Network, which enables entrepreneurs to find international partner and enables internationalization of business, as well as presentation of successful Eurostars project held by representatives of company ´Bella Software´ d.o.o.