The project coordination agencies of the BMWi are the AiF, the VDI/VDE/IT.
Within the context of this programme the Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) supports industry-specific research projects (IGF), and cross-sectoral research projects with the ZUTECH programme. Funding may also be sought for cluster projects that are affiliated to DFG-financed basic research projects. European sector-wide projects are funded by the CORNET programme.
Scientific and technical research and development projects that have an inter-company orientation, that are expected to deliver new findings, especially in the development and use of modern technologies and thus may form the basis for product, process and service innovations in particular in SMEs may be funded. Within the context of IGF, SMEs are companies whose annual turnover (including affiliated companies) is not larger than €125 million.
On the one hand, the ZIM programme, which is administered by its project managers, the AiF and VDI/VDE/IT, funds research projects for the development of innovative products, methods and technical services, with no restriction to particular technologies, and run as cooperative projects between small and medium sized enterprises and universities, plus pilot projects preparing for cooperative projects, and R&D contracts. The university may apply for funding in the context of cooperations with these enterprises. The subprojects of the research institutions may be funded to up to 100 per cent if the university retains the right to publish the findings of the subproject, otherwise the funding will be equal to the amount of that of the cooperating enterprise. The maximum subsidy per research institution and subproject is €190,000.
On the other hand, funding is also available for the development of innovative cooperation networks with at least 6 enterprises and with no restriction to particular fields of technology or industrial sectors. The objectives of the funding include management and organisational services for the preparation of the network concept and the establishment of the network in phase 1, and for the subsequent organised implementation of the network concept in phase 2. The funding of a network is generally limited to 3 years. Possible applicants: Enterprises of all legal forms with business operations in Germany that satisfy the criteria of the EU definition for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises.
SMEs may, as well as for the project being funded, apply for supplementary market launch services.
OVGU Guidelines for calculating the costs for project personnel