As a service for our CLIB members, we are scanning funding portals on different levels regularly and summarise the most relevant funding opportunities for you on this page. You can find open calls on regional, federal, and European level below.
Just click on any of the open calls to find a summary in English. For national funding opportunities the full call may only be available in German.
If you miss any call on the site, please let us know and contact Katrin Kriebs (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.
Regional Funding Opportunities
Mittelstand innovativ und digital
With the programme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE) strengthens small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in digitising the innovative power of their businesses, digitally developing their products, services and production processes and thus continuing to be one of the economic engines of the state in the future.
Regio.NRW – Transformation
„Regio.NRW“ is an instrument to support regions in their transformation and the further development of their strengths. Here, projects are to be funded that make a decisive contribution to successfully shaping regional transformation processes with a view to the specific profiles of the regions.
In order to ensure regional effectiveness, the projects should relate to a region of at least three districts or independent cities or, alternatively, at least one million inhabitants in North Rhine-Westphalia. Flexible spatial settings and overlapping regions are possible for different projects.
Deadline: 31 January 2025
Zukunftsgutscheine für KMU im Rheinischen Revier
The NRW state government is launching the „Zukunftsgutscheine Rheinisches Revier“ funding programme to support SMEs in the green and digital transformation of their business model. The new funding programme provides small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 249 employees with funds from the European Union, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the federal government and the Federal Employment Agency: for the partial financing of consulting services, personnel costs, qualification and further training measures as well as necessary investments.
Deadline: 30 June 2024
Federal Funding Opportunities
Bioökonomie International 2023
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will support you in 2023 with a grant for international projects involving partners from Germany and Queensland/Australia. These projects must address bioeconomic research and development issues. Funding is provided within the framework of the National Bioeconomy Strategy.
Deadline: 20 June 2023
BIOTEXFUTURE - Call for proposals
The aim of BIOTEXFUTURE is to make the textile industry independent of fossil raw materials. Projects addressing the following research areas are sought under this call:
- Raw material/material development
- Technical product and process development
- Textile finishing
- Textile circular economy
- Societal transition to the bioeconomy (accompanying research)
Consortia should be interdisciplinary and include at least one organisation from academia and one from industry. Only German organisations are eligible for funding.
Deadline: continuous, Project outlines: latest 15 October 2023, full proposals: latest 30 October 2023
CooperationVET - Projekte der internationalen Berufsbildungszusammenarbeit
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports individual and joint projects within the framework of international vocational training cooperation (iBBZ).
Funding is provided for exemplary, innovative concepts for action in vocational training and continuing education in 2 modules. You align your project with the interests and reform concerns of the BMBF partner countries and, as far as possible, take into account the needs of the German companies operating there in terms of recruiting and securing skilled workers.
Deadline: depending on individual programme published on www.berufsbildung-international.de
Digital jetzt – Investitionsförderung für KMU
SMEs and craft enterprises can apply for grants of up to 70 % for investments within the framework of two modules:
Module 1: Investment in digital technologies, i.e. the acquisition of new hardware and software.
Module 2: The investment in the qualification of employees aims to build up the know-how necessary for the sustainable digitisation of your company directly in your company.
Deadline: continuous, latest 31 December 2023
Entwicklung regenerativer Kraftstoffe
The Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) supports you in the development of renewable fuels.
Funding is provided in particular for application-oriented projects on Development and demonstration projects, feasibility studies, Innovation clusters on topics that are central to the objectives of the funding program, innovation consulting services and innovation support services such as testing and certification for the purpose of developing more efficient products, processes or services, and obtaining, validating and defending patents.
Deadline: semi-annual cut-off date on 31 March and 30 September
EXIST-Forschungstransfer (research transfer)
EXIST Transfer of Research has two phases of funding:
In the first phase, results of research that have the potential of becoming the basis of a start-up business are developed further. The objective is to carry out further resource development to clarify fundamental problems involved in converting academic findings into technical products and processes. The business concept based on these findings should be made into a business plan and the planned business start-up should be prepared systematically.
In the second phase of funding further resource development, measures to start business operations and meeting the prerequisites for external business financing are at the centre of interest.
Deadline: semi-annual cut-off date on 31 January and 31 July
EXIST-Gründungsstipendium (start-up grant)
The exist business Start-up grant supports students, graduates, and scientists from universities and research institutes who want to turn their business idea into a business plan. The start-up projects should be innovative technology or knowledge-based projects with significant unique features and good commercial prospects of success.
The start-up teams receive an EXIST start-up grant at attractive conditions for a period of 12 months to develop a business plan and prepare for their business start-up with the support of their university or research institution.
Förderprogramm Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FPNR)
Several calls within the programme.
The „Renewable Resources“ funding programme provides the framework for funding research, development and demonstration projects on renewable resources by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It is based on the goals and guiding principles of the National Sustainability Strategy and the Bioeconomy Policy Strategy, as well as on other strategies and programmes such as the Energy Research Programme, the Forest Strategy 2020 and the Bioeconomy 2030 Research Strategy, and the German Resource Efficiency Programme.
Förderung der grenzüberschreitenden Vernetzung in Horizont Europa
Funding is provided for measures to prepare and draft proposals for calls in the thematic clusters in the second pillar of Horizon Europe. Likewise, the development of project proposals for collaborative projects within European Partnerships that can be thematically assigned to the second pillar of Horizon Europe is to be supported.
Deadline: cut-off dates on 31 May 2023 and 30 September 2023
Forschungs- und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit zwischen Deutschland und der Ukraine
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports research projects in international cooperation with Ukraine with up to 80,000 € for 2 years.
Funding is provided for individual and collaborative projects on the following priority topics:
- Digitalisation and information technologies,
- biotechnologies and health research,
- new materials and manufacturing technologies,
- Social sciences and humanities (interdisciplinary approach).
The BMBF also supports project proposals on the goals of the „European Green Deal“, especially projects in basic and applied research.
Deadline: 22 June 2023
Through its “GO-Bio initial” funding programme, the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims to identify and develop early research ideas in life sciences that have a clear potential for innovation.
Its purpose is to support project work in order to advance research outcomes to a level where they become eligible for other more established programmes.
Deadline: annual cut-off date on 15 February
The object of the funding in the programme is to provide expert advice as well as support to the beneficiary company by authorised consulting firms in the implementation of necessary measures in the modules „Digitisation Strategy“, „IT Security“, „Digitised Business Processes“, „Data Competence“ or „Digital Market Development“ in accordance with the state of the art. Economic, social and ecological sustainability must be taken into account.
Deadline: 30 June 2024
A total of three funding modules are being promoted. They are aimed at the use and construction of demonstration plants for the industrial bioeconomy and thus at the scaling of innovative bioeconomic processes and procedures (modules A and B). In addition, the integration of new scaled biobased products and processes into regional industrial value-added networks is to be promoted on the basis of example regions of the industrial bioeconomy (Building Block C).
Deadline: semi-annual deadlines on 01 March and 30 June until 2024
Innovationswettbewerb InnoVET PLUS
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) offers support for upt to 48 month for testing and implementing innovative concepts that raise the level of vocational education and training and secure and expand its integration capacity.
Funding is granted for individual and collaborative projects that develop innovative education/qualification concepts and offers and that can be sustainably anchored in the VET system after successful testing.
Deadline: 31 July 2023
Internationale Zusammenarbeit in Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the networking of research and education with partners around the world in different calls. Funding is provided for the expansion of international contacts and networks.
Depending on the project, German universities, non-university institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises are eligible to apply.
Deadline: Individual deadlines for the country-specific calls
INVEST - Subsidy for venture capital
If you are a young innovative company looking for capital and you would like to acquire business shares in young innovative companies as a private investor, you can receive an acquisition grant or an exit grant under certain conditions.
The amount of funding for the acquisition grant is 20 percent (or 10 percent in the case of convertible loans) of the issue price of the shares.
In the case of an exit grant, you receive 25 percent of the profit from the sale of an INVEST share.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports high-risk industrial research and pre-competitive development projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of biomedicine. Your project can be funded as an application-related industrial research project and also as a pre-competitive development project. Your project must be important for the future market positioning of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved.
Deadline: semi-annual cut-off date on 15 April and 15 October
The funding focuses on forward-looking, climate-neutral products from biogenic resources that minimise environmentally harmful emissions and waste or integrate processes into natural cycles or value chains.
Funding is provided for individual and collaborative projects in industrial research and experimental development.
Deadline: semi-annual cut-off date on 15 April and 15 October
KMU-innovativ: Ressourceneffizienz und Klimaschutz
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports high-risk industrial research and pre-competitive development projects of SMEs. The funding focuses on cross-technology and application-related individual and joint projects on the thematic priorities of raw material efficiency, energy efficiency and climate protection, sustainable water management and sustainable land management.
Deadline: semi-annual cut-off dates on 15 April and 15 October
Kreativer Nachwuchs forscht für die Bioökonomie
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports research, development and innovation projects of junior research groups from the natural sciences, information technology and engineering that accelerate the transition to a bioeconomy.
Funding is provided for projects on new achievements in know-how, processes, technology or software that support the transformation to a sustainable bioeconomy.
Deadline: annual cut-off date on 15 July until 2023
neue Produkte für die Bioökonomie
The object of the funding is the exploration of new product ideas for a bio-based economy as well as feasibility studies on their technical implementation. The call is open to all topics and covers all areas of the bioeconomy as defined in the „National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030“.
Projects can be funded in these 2 phases: Exploratory phase and Feasibility phase.
Deadline: annual cut-off dates on 01 February
Bundesagentur für Sprunginnovationen SPRIND
SPRIND’s goal is to create new leap innovations from Germany. That means products, services and systems that make all of our lives noticeably and sustainably better.
The support is comprehensive. SPRIND finances, helps assemble teams and connects with the right networks in science, business and politics.
Validierung des technologischen und gesellschaftlichen Innovationspotenzials wissenschaftlicher Forschung – VIP+
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports you as a research institution, university or public institution in financing projects in all research areas. Funding is provided for projects that systematically demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of research results as well as their innovation potential. The research results concerned must be in the validation phase at the time of the project, i.e. between discovery and application.
verbesserte Produktionskapazitäten sowie F&E bei Speziallipiden und anderen Hilfsstoffen für mRNA-Impfstoffe und andere mRNA-Arzneimittel
The aim of this funding guideline is to contribute to the resilience of the supply chains for mRNA medicinal products in Europe by improving and expanding the production capacities for special lipids in Germany in the short term. In addition, funding is to be provided to companies and research institutions that (further) develop production processes for special lipids in the medium term and research and develop new special lipids and other excipients for mRNA drugs in the medium to long term.
Deadline: 31 December 2023
Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)
The Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) is a nationwide funding programme that is open to all technologies and sectors. The ZIM aims to sustainably strengthen the innovative power and thus the competitiveness of SMEs. Companies can carry out research and development as individual projects or as cooperation projects with research institutions or other companies.
European Funding Opportunities
CBE JU call for project proposals 2023
The role of Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE) is to bring together various actors from bio-based industries, ranging from farmers to scientists, to solve the technological, regulatory and market challenges of the sector. Its public-private funding scheme boosts innovation and market deployment and paves the way for future investments.
CBE JU has opened its call for project proposals on 26 April. €215.5 million will be dedicated to advancing competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe across 18 topics.
Deadline: 20 September 2023
COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology
COST funds interdisciplinary research networks called COST Actions. These Actions bring together researchers, innovators and other professionals including industry specialists, who are based in Europe and beyond, to collaborate on research topics for a period of 4 years.
The funding a COST Action receives covers the expenses of networking activities rather than research and as such is used to organise and fund events, Short-term Scientific Missions, Training Schools, communication activities, and virtual networking tools.
Deadline: continuous, next collection date 25 October 2023
EIC Accelerator Pilot
The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported.
The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support. In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community.
ERC Proof of Concept Grants
The ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim at facilitating exploration of the commercial and social innovation potential of ERC funded research, by funding further work (i.e. activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from ERC funded projects. Proof of Concept Grants are therefore on offer only to Principal Investigators whose proposals draw substantially on their ERC funded research.
Deadline: 21 September 2023
eureka Network projects
The Network projects programme eases collaboration between organisations in Eureka countries offering you the freedom to design your project proposal and build your ideal consortium. With limited eligibility criteria and minimal paperwork, taking part accelerates your access to public funding.
Deadline: programme ending 31 December 2025
Horizon Europe Annual Work Programme 2023-24
The Commission has now adopted the main Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24, with a budget of ca. 13.5 billion EUR, over 40 % of which is aimed towards projects connected to climate action, biodiversity and reducing GHG. Calls will open in different clusters and programmes, including the Cluster 6, of special interest to CLIB members active in biotech and bioeconomy.
Deadline: various deadlines for the different clusters and programmes
Contact us if you want to know more or are interested in submitting a proposal.
Interreg NWE Programme 2021-2027
Since the industrial revolution, North West Europe has been at the vanguard of industrialisation and economic development in Europe. However, this century of growth came at a cost on the environment, on people, and on territorial inequalities.
The Interreg NWE Programme is looking for ways to restore this. The NWE territorial analysis highlights specific territorial needs where action is required to reverse the trends of the past and to prepare regions for the sustainable transition towards better environmental conditions and new socio-economic opportunities.
Deadline: several calls twice per year