Innovative Welsh SMEs could be helped to research and reach new markets thanks to two new EU funding programmes.

The Eurostars programme provides funding for SMEs to undertake transnational research to develop innovative products, processes and services which can be commercialised. The participating SMEs collaborate with other research-based organisations such as universities to develop their ideas.

Huw Watkins, project director with Enterprise Europe Network Wales, said: “Eurostars is a successful programme which can help Welsh SMEs fund R&D and work with research partners in other countries to develop new products and services.

“With the average Eurostar project receiving €1.4m, this is an opportunity for Wales to benefit from this prestigious programme. Other SMEs who have participated in this innovation programme have used it as a catalyst for growth as it has helped attract additional private sector investment.”

Welsh SMEs who want to do business with China also have an opportunity to apply for funds to cover travelling expenses and accommodation to visit the EU-China Brokerage Event and Technology Co-operation Fair in Chengdu, China in October of this year.

Mr Watkins added: “The Dragon-STAR grant scheme provides the opportunity for SMEs to investigate the Chinese market and identify suitable partners to work with on innovation and research collaboration.”

The deadline for applications for Eurostars is 13th March 2014, and the application process for the DragonSTAR project is open from 4th March to 30th April.

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