Eureka (organisation)

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Eureka symbol
Motto Innovation across borders
Type intergovernmental organisation
Focus Market R&D support, innovation policy, science & technology
Area served
Greater Europe, World
41 Members, 1 Partner Country, 3 Associated Members
Key people
  • Finland Heikki UUSI-HONKO
    (Chair of the EUREKA Network)
  • Philippe Vanrie
    (Head of the EUREKA Secretariat)

EUREKA, often abbreviated as E!, or Σ! (from the ancient Greek way to write "E" and unrelated to modern "Sigma") is an intergovernmental organisation for pan-European research and development funding and coordination. EUREKA is an open platform for international cooperation in innovation.

As of March 2018, EUREKA has 41 full members, including the European Union (represented by the European Commission), 1 partner country (South Korea) and 3 associated members (Canada, Chile, South Africa) All 28 EU Member States are also members of EUREKA.

EUREKA is not an EU research program, but rather an intergovernmental organisation, of which the EU is a member. Cooperation and synergy are sought between EUREKA and the research activities of the EU proper, notably with European Union's Horizon 2020 and the European Research Area.


Founded in 1985 by major figures of the European political scene, EUREKA's steady growth over the years has helped to make it one of the longest running European organisations dedicated to the financing of joint European R&D projects. EUREKA is loosely affiliated with COST, its non-competitive research counterpart, although the two focus on different aspects of R&D with COST's efforts geared towards more socially focused areas of public interest while EUREKA's mandate is to provide funding for projects envisaged, developed, and executed by private industry.


EUREKA was established with the "Paris Declaration" of July 17, 1985, and its principles are based on the later Hannover Declaration, subscribed by Ministers on November 6, 1985. The two main founders were former head of states François Mitterrand (France) and Helmut Kohl (Germany). Other important personalities involved were Hubert Curien, French ex-Minister of Research and former Chairman of the European Space Agency and Jacques Attali, adviser to François Mitterrand.

Briefly, it [EUREKA] is about assuring the technological independence of Europe in the key domains of the future; encouraging, wherever possible, co-operation between European businesses and researchers; mobilising the necessary financial resources; accompanying the efforts of our enterprises by creating the necessary environment and supporting the unification of our internal markets.

There are numerous obstacles. Once the initial idea of EUREKA was formulated, we were able to foresee the difficulties to be faced. But we know that each time we come together — for example to address high-energy physics, research into nuclear fusion, the development of an integrated space programme or the construction of crucial scientific equipment — our successes encourage us in the idea that we can work together in R&D areas close to industrial markets, despite the problems arising from the normal and legitimate competition between firms. François Mitterrand, Paris, 17 July 1985.[1]



Before 1989, EUREKA chairmanship changed hands every six months. Since then, the chairmanship rotates every 1 July, for a period of one year.

Year Countries
1985, 2nd semester  France
1986, 1st semester  Germany
1986, 2nd semester  United Kingdom
1987, 1st semester  Sweden
1987, 2nd semester  Spain
1988, 1st semester  Denmark
1988, 2nd semester  Austria
1989–1990  Italy
1990–1991  Netherlands
1991–1992  Finland
1992–1993  France
1993–1994  Norway
1994–1995   Switzerland
1995–1996  Belgium
1996–1997  United Kingdom
1997–1998  Portugal
1998–1999  Turkey
1999–2000  Germany
2000–2001  Spain
2001–2002  Greece
2002–2003  Denmark
2003–2004  France
2004–2005  Netherlands
2005–2006  Czech Republic
2006–2007  Italy
2007–2008  Slovenia
2008–2009  Portugal
2009–2010  Germany
2010–2011  Israel
2011–2012  Hungary
2012–2013  Turkey
2013–2014  Norway
20142015   Switzerland
2015–2016  Sweden
2016–2017  Spain
2017–2018  Finland
2018–2019  United Kingdom


Member country Joined
 Austria 1985
 Belgium 1985
 Bulgaria 2010
 Croatia 2000
 Cyprus 2002
 Czech Republic 1995
 Denmark 1985
 Estonia 2001
 Finland 1985
 France 1985
 Germany 1985
 Greece 1985
 Hungary 1992
 Iceland 1986
 Ireland 1985
 Israel 2000
 Italy 1985
 Latvia 2000
 Lithuania 1999
 Luxembourg 1985
 Macedonia 2008
 Malta 2006
 Monaco 2005
 Montenegro 2012
 The Netherlands 1985
 Norway 1985
 Poland 1995
 Portugal 1985
 Romania 1997
 Russia 1993
 San Marino 2005
 Serbia 2002
 Slovakia 2001
 Slovenia 1994
 Spain 1985
 Sweden 1985
  Switzerland 1985
 Turkey 1985
 Ukraine 2006
 United Kingdom 1985
 European Union 1985
Associated Countries Joined
 Canada 2012
 South Africa 2014
 Chile 2017
Partner Countries Joined
 South Korea 2009
National Information Points Joined
 Albania 1991
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2009

Selected projects[edit]

Eureka projects are numbered, preceded by 'E! '.

  • E! 45 helped to fund the Prometheus project for safer road vehicles, such as through autonomous driving with 745 million euros.[N 1]
  • E! 95 was a 730 million euros HDTV project, which created the HD-MAC standard for high definition television.[N 2]
  • E! 147 was a 93 million euros digital audio broadcasting project whose technologies went into Musicam, and which was used as the basis for MPEG-1 Layer II (MP2) and used in DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast), and ASPEC (Adaptive Spectral Perceptual Entropy Coding), which was used in a modified form in MP3 audio.[N 3]
  • E! 127 paid 3.8bn euros into the JESSI project (Joint European Submicron Silicon Initiative) whose goal was to regain ground lost to Asia and the USA in microchips.[N 4]
  • E! 2551 cost 6.1 million euros for the integration of existing CAD/CAM programs under a common user interface, part of which was paid to Vero Software.[N 5]
  • E! 3674 is Information Technology for European Advancement (ITEA2), an industry-driven cooperative R & D programme for maintaining European leadership in software-intensive systems, with the project due to end in January 2014 having received 3.0bn euros. ITEA2 Projects notably include WellCom, OSAMI-E (Open Source AMbient Intelligence) and Easy Interactions.[N 6]
  • E! 4986 AlienVault developed a security software called OSSIM (Open Source Security Information Management) that is now not only a reference in the field but also an essential component in modern cyber-wars. E! 4986 received 1.2 million euros.
  • E! 3728 OMIM (MIMO) invented a new method of medical waste disposal. MIMO is safe for the environment and treats infectious waste by applying a combination of heat and pressure. This is an alternative to incineration methods that use fossil fuels. The project was an initiative between Spain, Portugal and Morocco. E! 3728 received 0.37 million euros.


EUREKA ‘Clusters’ are long-term, strategically significant industrial initiatives. They usually have a large number of participants, and aim to develop inclusive technologies of key importance for European competitiveness mainly in ICT, energy and more recently in the biotechnology and automation sectors. Eureka Clusters are known to have had a particular impact on the ability of the European microelectronics sector to compete with other continents.

Eureka Clusters are
  • CATRENE: for microelectronics and nanoelectronics
  • EURIPIDES: for electronic packaging and smart systems
  • ITEA 3: for software-intensive systems
  • CELTIC Plus: for telecommunications
  • EUROGIA2020: for low-carbon energy technologies
  • MF.IND: for advanced production systems
  • ACQUEAU: for water related technologies and innovation[EL 1]


Umbrellas are thematic networks within the Eureka framework which focus on a specific technology area or business sector. The main goal of an umbrella is to facilitate the generation of EUREKA projects in its own target area.

Eureka Umbrellas (past and present) are
  • Eureka Tourism (ended 30.06.2012)
  • Eureka build 2 (2010–2013)
  • EuroAgri Foodchain (2009–2013)
  • Pro-Factory (2007–2011)[EL 2]
  • E! SURF (2010–2015)
  • Eniwep (Ended 1.2.2010)
  • Eulasnet II (Ended 31.5.2010)
  • Logchain + (Ended 21.2.2011)


  1. ^ "20TH Anniversary Report – Two decades of support for European innovation" (PDF). Belgium: the EUREKA Secretariat. September 2005. pp. 68 p. 12 (PDF-p. 18). Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 7 August 2013.


External links[edit]