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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

New around here ? Start With the Basics

What can IraSME do for you?

IraSME enables consortia of SMEs and RTOs (not mandatory) from at least two participating countries to work together in transnational R&D projects. As a growing network of several national/regional funding authorities, IraSME issues calls for proposals for transnational cooperative research projects between SMEs and RTOs twice a year. The objective is to develop innovative products, processes or technical services which exceed the existing state of the art. The calls follow a bottom-up approach, i.e. research topics are not pre-defined but chosen by the applicants themselves. Funding is made available through national and regional programmes.

What is an IraSME Project?

Projects need to fulfil the rules of the corresponding national/regional funding programmes.

Generally, IraSME projects have to be research and development activities with significant technical risks to realise new or notably improve existing products, processes or technical services. The clearly describable project outcome has to show real market opportunities.

Consortia of IraSME projects are as small as possible and as large as necessary. They consist of at least two SMEs from two different participating countries/regions with complementary technical expertise needed to realise the project aim. In addition, RTOs are welcome to participate in those projects, either as subcontractors or as equal partners, depending on each country’s funding rules. Partners from non-participating countries or partners that are not eligible for funding in the national/regional programmes (e.g. large companies) may also join the project consortium, if they are able to finance their part on their own or manage to get funded in another way.

Every partner in the consortium has to have a distinct part in the development (no redundancies!) according to their technical expertise.

What is not an IraSME Project?

Here are examples of what IraSME does not fund: Projects which only serve to set up networks/consortia without a concrete technical development; the development of new standards/norms/or labels; projects without technical risks; transfer of existing technologies into new fields of application without real technological challenges/risks; projects which fail to set and describe a concrete outcome including its marketability.

Why work in an IraSME project?

Participation in an IraSME project allows SMEs and RTOs to develop a new state of the art, build new partnerships, benefit from know-how and resources that might not be available in their country or region and get an insight into foreign markets. IraSME features high success rates and a short time to contract. The IraSME funding agencies support applicants in finding partners for their project ideas. Due to the low threshold for transnational cooperation, IraSME can also be a starting point for other transnational activities.

Unbureaucratic Support

As familiar national and regional funding programmes form the basis of support, collaboration with international partners in IraSME projects is unbureaucratic. Personal contact between applicants and funding agencies facilitates advice for proposal submission and flexible solutions to problems that might arise during the application phase. For any general information on how IraSME works, please do not hesitate to contact our coordination office via e-mail or telephone at any time! Applicants from Germany seeking more detailed advice and non-binding feedback on their proposed R&D project may submit a short project outline (“Projektskizze”) to AiF Projekt GmbH (ZIM project management agency on behalt of BMWK).

Application and Evaluation

All project partners submit one jointly prepared IraSME proposal application form together. The proposal describes the whole transnational project, which is made up of two or more national sub-projects. At the same time every partner files their national/regional application according to the corresponding national/regional funding programmes. The proposals are evaluated seperately in a synchronised procedure by the funding agencies involved. If a project is approved for funding by all, each partner receives a grant from their national/regional funding agency.

Specific Questions

New around here ? Start With the Basics

What is the budget / funding for a project?

IraSME projects do not draw from a dedicated overall budget. Instead they use existing funding programmes available in the IraSME member countries/regions. Conditions, budget restrictions and funding rates vary from country to country and depend on company sizes and consortium structures amongst other criteria. For a first overview, please consult the information pages on the Countries / Regions involved and/or the responsible contact person listed there. The average funding per partner is around 160 k€ but varies strongly.

Who is eligible for funding?

Eligibility criteria vary between the IraSME member countries/regions. Some members fund SMEs according to the EU definition, some members fund only smaller companies or include larger companies as well. Research organisations (RTOs) are generally only eligible if cooperating with at least one eligible company from the same country/region. In many cases, RTOs may join IraSME consortia as subcontractors only, in other countries RTOs may act as project partners and file their own application. Please consult the programme information and contact details of the relevant funding agencies in the Countries/Regions section.

Is transfer of a technology to a new market fundable?

Normally not. IraSME only supports technical development work including significant technical risks. If you’re not sure contact your local funding agency: Countries / Regions

What do I have to submit and when?

On a transnational level you have to submit one jointly prepared IraSME application form which includes the signed letters of intent of all partners (scanned signatures!) together with a draft consortium agreement (not yet signed but accepted by all partners) to before or on the day of the respective call deadline. Simultaneously all partners submit their national funding applications according to their corresponding rules and regulations. Please be aware that on the different national/regional levels there may be specific rules regarding the date and time for submitting the national/regional applications.

Is there a template for the consortium agreement?

No. We used to provide one but made the experience that it was just used without modification for the specific project which is not what we need. The consortium agreement regulates rights and duties of all parties and is your most important document for the cooperation within the project and the usage and marketing of the results. It regulates, among others, the following aspects of your consortium’s collaboration:


Identity of the partners,

Contract period

IPR ownership, IPR use and exploitation of the results,

Subcontracts to third parties,

Contributions of each consortium member to the project,

Confidentiality notes and freedom of publications rights,

Duty for every partner to participate in a final report on the overall project,
which will be signed by all partners in the consortium.


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