Funding Programmes

Funding programmes for research and development

The funding advice "Research and Innovation" of the federal government is the first point of contact for all questions concerning research and innovation promotion. It informs potential applicants about the federal research structure, the funding programs and their contact persons as well as current funding priorities and initiatives.

Contacts and information can be found here.


Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation. The funding program aims to build a knowledge and innovation-driven society and a competitive economy across the EU, while contributing to sustainable development. In order to have a targeted effect on society, the program sets priorities and contains a comprehensive catalog of measures.

Further information can be found on the websites of the BMBF and the National Contact Points for the EU Horizon 2020 program.

To the pages of the European Commission: Horizon 2020.


Innovative SMEs

As part of the High-Tech Strategy 2020, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research specifically promotes top-level research projects in SMEs. As part of a pre-commercial procurement, industrial research and pre-competitive development projects to strengthen innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany can be supported. The fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, information and communication technology, production technology, technologies for resources and energy efficiency, photonics / optical technologies, civil security research and medical technology are funded.
The description of the application procedure for KMU-innovativ as well as the funding guidelines of the different areas can be found here.


Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM)

For example, medium-sized companies participating in pre-commercial procurement may apply for support for the development of innovative services through the BMWi's ZIM program. The eligible costs for research and development (R & D) for individual projects are a maximum of € 350,000. The grant is a non-repayable grant in the form of a share financing. In addition, innovation-supporting services and consultancy services for the implementation of R & D projects are funded with up to 50,000 euros.

Further information about ZIM as well as the different support measures and suitability criteria for companies can be found here.