Ricerca Internazionale
Public Funding of Eureka Projects Italy


The responsibility for public financial aids to Eureka projects belongs to Eureka’s member countries. Eureka, in fact, does not have any centralised fund. Each partner must therefore find in his own country the financial aid which best fits to his project.

In Italy, the funding of Eureka projects is not tied to any specific law or public fund. However, recently, the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (MAP) have issued co-ordinated laws which regulate the public financial aid to R&D projects. According to these laws, R&D projects with a predominant content of Industrial Research will be funded by MIUR (through its fund named FAR) while projects with a predominant content of Precompetitive Development will be funded by MAP (through the fund called FIT).

This page describes only the procedures used by MIUR.

Applicable laws

The laws which regulate the financial aids granted by MIUR are the "Decreto legislativo" n. 297 dated 27/7/1999 (D.Lg.vo 297/99) and the "Decreto Ministeriale" n. 593 dated 8/8/2000 (DM 593/00).

The following paragraphs describe only the procedures valid for Eureka projects, namely the article n. 7 of the DM 593/00. It is also worthwhile mentioning that these web pages are intended only to providing some synthetic information about the above mentioned laws and that the legally valid procedures are only those issued in the National Official Gazette.

Projects that can be funded

MIUR can finance the R&D activities which fall in the following two categories:

Industrial Research (IR)

planned research or studies which aim at gaining new know-how needed for the development of new products, processes or services or for their improvement. 
 Precompetitive Development (PD)the development of the results of the Industrial Research activities into a plan, a project or a design of a new, modified or improved market driven product, process or service. PD include also the development of a first prototype that can not be put directly into the market or in the production process. PD activities can be funded only if strictly needed to validate the results then the IR and if their cost is lower of the cost of the related IR activities.

For being funded, an Eureka project must aim at developing a product, a process or a service that, after a further industrialisation phase (not funded) can be put into the market. Besides, the commercialisation of the results of the project must guarantee to the company the return of the investment and the increase of the employment.

Every company, but the small and medium enterprises (SME), must also demonstrate the additionality of the R&D activities that they want to have funded with respect to the ordinary R&D activities they perform. They must also show that these activities can not be carried out without the public financial aid.

Technological fields

Every civilian technological field is eligible for funding.

Projects size

There are no limits to the dimension of the projects that can be funded.

However, companies that, in a calendar year, intend to present one or more projects (any kind of projects, not only Eureka projects) globally worth more than 7.5 M€, must follow a slight different procedure described in the art. 6 of the DM 593/00. This procedure is also described in the following paragraphs.

An international co-operative project globally worth more than 40 M€ and which receives in one country a public financial aid greater than 10 M€, must be notified to the European Commission.


Eureka is structured like an open call and, therefore, there are no deadlines.

However, companies that, in a calendar year, intend to present one or more projects globally worth more than 7.5 M€, (art. 6 of the DM 593/00) can present the funding applications only in January and in July.
Besides, these companies must present to the Ministry, before October 30th of the previous year a programmatic document containing a brief description of their R&D strategies and the list of the projects they wish to have funded by the Ministry.

Eligible costs

The following costs, VAT excluded, are eligible for funding:

  • personnel: researchers, technicians and other personnel directly involved in the research activities;
  • general expenses: calculated as 60% of the personnel cost;
  • equipments: only the equipments purchased during the execution of the project. If an equipment is partially  used for the execution of the project, the eligible cost must be reduced proportionally;
  • investments: in some cases also part of the investments needed to build or restructure the research centre can be eligible for funding (up to 25% of the cost of the research);
  • advices: research activities ordered outside the company;
  • services performed by third parties: implementation activities ordered outside the companies;
  • know-how: purchase of know-how, patents , etc.;
  • materials: raw materials, semimanufactured goods, components, etc.

A project can not be funded if more than 20% of the activities are ordered outside the European Union unless it is impossible to find the same expertise inside the EU.

Subjects eligible for funding

Every subject having stable organisation in Italy and belonging to one of the following categories can be funded.

  1. Industrial companies aiming at the production of goods and/or services
  2. Transport companies
  3. Artisan companies (law 8/8/1985 n. 443)
  4. Research centres promoted by one or more subjects belonging to the previous points a, b and/or c.
  5. Consortia of any kind, provided that the majority of the consortium is owned by one or more subjects belonging to the previous points a, b, c and/or d. If the consortium is located in the underdeveloped areas of the country, the above mentioned subjects must own at least 30% of the consortium.
  6. The so-called "Parchi scientifici e tecnologici" listed in the deliberation of the Ministry dated 25/3/94.

Companies, consortia and/or research centres belonging to the above mentioned points a, b, c, d and/or e, can send in a funding application jointly with Universities, public research centres, ENEA and ASI, provided that their financial participation in the project be greater than 50%. This threshold is lowered to 30% if the research activities are performed in the underdeveloped areas of the country.

There are no limits on the dimension of the eligible subjects. Naturally they must have a dimension and a structure adequate to the research they want to carry out.

Funding level

The public financial aid to Eureka projects is given exclusively as grant. According to the EU rules the level of funding is:

  • Industrial Research 50%
  • Precompetitive Development 25%

On top of these an additional financial aid can be granted in the following cases:

  • project presented by SMEs  10%
  • R&D activities performed in the underdeveloped areas of the country listed on the art. 87, par. 3 lett. a) of the Amsterdam treaty  10%
  • R&D activities performed in the underdeveloped areas of the country listed on the art. 87, par. 3 lett. c) of the Amsterdam treaty 5%
  • Projects performed in co-operation with foreign partners of the European Union or with Italian Universities or public research centres 10%

In no cases, however, the total additional aid can be greater than 25%.

Starting date

The eligible cost can be calculated starting from an official starting date which is the date that comes first between the following two:

  • the date of the funding decree issued by the Ministry
  • 90 days after the presentation of the funding application

For the subjects sending in one or more application globally worth more than 7.5 M€ (art. 6 DM 593/99), the starting date is fixed 60 days after the acceptance of the application by the Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS).

The funding application

The funding application must be written using the formats set by the Ministry and downloadable from this website. All the documents but the Eureka Project Form or the Full Proposal must be written in Italian language. The funding application is made up of the application itself and some annexes:

  • "Scheda FAR" i.e. a very brief summary of the company and of the project (1 page);
  • a declaration stating the economical position of the company;
  • a declaration stating the possession of the SME qualification (if it is the case);
  • a document describing, in detail, the applicant company;
  • a document describing, in detail, the part of the project to be performed by the applicant company;
  • a document describing the international project (the Eureka Project Form or the Full proposal for sub-cluster projects).

Appraisal procedure

  • The Italian Eureka Office which belongs to the MIUR and which is responsible of all the Eureka matter, performs a first formal evaluation of the application.
  • than, if it has been sent in by a SME, the Italian Eureka Office appoints an expert for the technical and scientific evaluation. If not, the application is forwarded to the CTS which performs a preliminary evaluation of the additionality. In case of subjects presenting projects bigger than 7.5 M€ (art. 6 DM 593/00), the CTS evaluates also the coherence between the project and the programmatic document sent in by the company the year before. If the application is accepted, the CTS appoints the expert.
  • The application is sent to the expert and to the bank chosen by the applicant for the economic evaluation.
  • Contemporarily the Italian Eureka Office starts the international appraisal procedures.
  • The expert evaluates the project within 30 days and than sends his report to the Ministry and to the bank.
  • The bank evaluates the projects within 30 days from the reception of the expert evaluation.
  • The CTS, taking into account the evaluations of the expert and the bank takes the final decision on the funding.
  • If, during the evaluation, the project has been modified so that the Industrial Research activities loose their predominance, the project will be forwarded to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Handicraft which will continue the procedure from this point on.
  • In case of positive decision, the Italian Eureka office gives the Italian support for the international approval of the project. The High Level Group can then endorse the project.
  • The Ministry, on the basis of the CTS decision and of the international endorsement, issues the funding decree.
  • The applicant and the bank can then sign the funding contract.
  • Payments are made every six months on the basis of the work actually carried out and of the expenses really made. Companies, however, can ask for an anticipation up to 30% of the funding approved.
  • Within two years after the end of the project every beneficiary of public financial aid has to send to the Ministry a report describing the economic and employment impact of the results achieved with the project.
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