Research Funding Programmes of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AIF)
The German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AIF) coordinates a segment of the research funding provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
Two of the AIF’s major funding areas are the “Collective Industrial Research” and “Central Innovation Programme SME” programmes.
Central Innovation Programme SME
The Central Innovation Programme SME (ZIM) is one of the most important funding instruments for boosting the innovative capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Universities participate through R&D cooperation projects in which at least one SME and one research institution must be involved. The maximum funding amount for the research institution is 220,000 EUR.
ZIM applications consist of an application form and a project description. In addition, a sample template for the planned cooperation agreement must also be included when the application is submitted. The cooperation agreement must be signed no later than 40 days after receipt of the grant award notice.
With ZIM projects, it is generally possible to start the project before the grant award notice is received. If you intend to start the project beforehand, the external funding department will require an indemnity bond as security in the event that the project is not approved as expected.
Collective Industrial Research
The collective industrial research programme funds academic, scientific and technical research projects conducted by a consortium of several companies or research institutions. The implementation of these projects is jointly organised by representatives of companies in a certain industry, sector or field of technology.
Funding is provided without any restriction to specific fields of technology, industries or sectors. A legally binding signature is not required until the project has been approved.
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