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.
Calls that particularly promote start-up support are marked with 🚀.
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 (email@example.com) 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.
Around 15 billion euros are available until 2038 for the redevelopment of the Rhenish coalfield. Around 15 billion euros for smart and innovative projects that build on the existing expertise in the region and drive the further development of future-oriented processes. With the REVIER.GESTALTEN project call, the state government is focusing on the strengths of the coalfield, which are represented by four future fields: Energy and Industry, Resources and Agribusiness, Innovation and Education, and Space and Infrastructure.
Under the umbrella of ZukunftBIO.NRW, the state government is promoting competitions with the current focus on infectious diseases, future medicine and bio-based industry.
The funding competitions are primarily aimed at SMEs and start-ups, but are also intended to utilise the innovative potential of universities and research institutions in NRW for the implementation of forward-looking ideas. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is providing a total of 54 million euros for the funding competitions until 2025.
Federal Funding Opportunities
Bioeconomy in the North 22
The BMBF intends to strengthen the implementation of the National Bioeconomy Strategy in an international context by funding collaborative research and development projects involving foreign partners. Funding is available for research, development and innovation projects (R&D&I) that lead to new products and services from wood-based biomass resources and have a regional connection to Northern Europe/Canada.
Bundesregelung Forschungs-, Entwicklungs- und Investitionsbeihilfen
On the basis of the European aid scheme, aid granting bodies may grant aid to companies for R&D projects for research into COVID-19 and other viral diseases if this research is relevant to COVID-19. Eligible costs are all costs incurred for the research and development project during its lifetime.
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.
Energie- und Ressourceneffizienz in der Wirtschaft
The Energy and Resource Efficiency Funding Competition is an instrument of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection that promotes investment measures to improve the energy and resource efficiency of companies. In addition, measures to provide process heat from renewable energies are taken into account. This is intended to provide incentives for companies to invest in highly efficient energy-saving technologies, to reduce their energy and resource consumption as well as their CO2 emissions, and thus to strengthen their competitiveness at the same time.
Deadline: several cut-off dates, next 07.07.22
ERC Starting Grants
The target group of ERC Starting Grants are excellent young researchers at the beginning of an independent career.
Researchers of any nationality who are 2-7 years post-doctoral can submit a Starting Grant.
Depending on the field of research and the time of career, certain criteria such as publications, monographs, patents, presentations at international conferences or (inter-) national science prizes serve as the basis for the evaluation.
Deadline: annual calls for proposal, next cut-off date 25.10.22
Funding is provided for the development of a business idea into a business plan, the development of marketable products and innovative services as well as the targeted preparation of a start-up of ambitious innovative start-ups from universities and research institutions. The funding includes accompanying advice for the founding teams from a start-up support network.
Förderprogramm Industrielle Bioökonomie
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: several cut-off dates, next 30.06.22
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: several cut-off dates, next 31.05.22
🚀 Förderung von forschungsintensiven Unternehmensgründungen (EXIST-Forschungstransfer)
The EXIST research transfer programme is designed to support young, high-growth start-ups in the high-tech sector. They receive funding in two phases: In funding phase I (Pre-Seed), research teams are supported in their company start-up. In funding phase II (Seed), further development work, measures for the start-up of business activities in the newly founded technology company and the creation of the prerequisites for external company financing are funded.
Deadline: 31.07.22 for phase I
🚀 GO-Bio initial
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 15.02.
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.
🚀 KMU-innovativ: Bioökonomie
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 15.04. and 15.10.
🚀 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 15.04. and 15.10.
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 15.07. 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 01.02.
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.
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.
Deadline: continuous, temporary suspension of application acceptance
European Funding Opportunities
🚀 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.
Deadline: several cut-off dates, next 15.06.22
EU Prize for Women Innovators
The EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more women innovators, and create role models for women and girls everywhere.
The prize is awarded to the most talented women entrepreneurs from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market.