MedicalMountains informs companies of current funding solutions 

The aim is to support the planning, development and implementation of new products, production processes or services and a substantial qualitative improvement of existing products, production processes and services. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and these cooperating research institutions will be able to finance part-financing of research and development projects.

What is promoted?

Innovation vouchers are primarily intended to support the planning, development and implementation of new products, production processes or services or a substantial qualitative improvement of existing products, production processes and services. The services of public and private institutes and societies of basic research and applied research are eligible. Both national and international suppliers can be used.

Who is funded?

Small and medium-sized enterprises with a maximum enterprise size of up to 100 employees and with a previous year’s turnover or a year-on-year balance total of EUR 20 million (including all partner and affiliated companies) are eligible to apply.

How is the funding implemented?

Innovation voucher A is available for 2,500 euros for scientific activities in the run-up to the development of an innovative product, a service or a process innovation, for example technology and market research, feasibility studies, material studies, design studies, or studies of the manufacturing technology.

Innovation voucher B is available for 5000 Euro for implementation-oriented Research and development activities aimed at designing innovative products, production processes and services to the point of market or production maturity, for example design services, service engineering, prototype construction, design, product tests for quality assurance, environmental compatibility.

The funding covers the innovation voucher A to a maximum 80% and the innovation voucher B up to a maximum of 50% of the costs invoiced to the company by the commissioned research and development facility. Both innovation vouchers can be combined.

In May 2017 the innovation voucher Hightech Digital was introduced, which supports established companies in the development and realization of sophisticated digital products and services.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports risky projects of industrial research and experimental development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of medical technology.

The aim is to make research funding within the framework of the health research program easier, faster and thus more attractive, especially for first-time SMEs.

Eligible applicants
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who fulfill the EU definition for SMEs are eligible for this funding, as well as universities, non-university research institutes and non-SMEs in the framework of joint projects.

Research facilities, who are jointly funded by the German government and the federal states, can only be granted for project funding under certain conditions for their additional expenses.

Industrial research and experimental development must be characterized by a high scientific and technical risk. In all projects, users from the health care sector must be actively involved, depending on their proximity to the clinical application. In this respect, particular support is needed

  • Collaborative projects undertaken by several SMEs and / or SMEs aiming at the Community exploitation of a medical system,
  • Collaborative projects, which lay the foundations for a future product development,
  • Collaborative projects that represent the inter-company value chain as completely as possible,
  • challenging individual projects of SMEs with development and production competence in the field of medical technology.
  • The exploitation of the results must primarily benefit the SMEs involved and / or the medium-sized enterprises involved for the purposes of this Directive.

The partners of a joint project have to control their cooperation in a written cooperation agreement.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the EU Research Framework Program in the context of the nationally planned project and examine whether the intended project has specific European components and thus an exclusive or complementary EU funding is possible.

Type and amount of funding

The grant is in the form of a grant for a period of up to three years. The amount of funding is

  • for enterprises of the commercial economy i.d.R. up to 50% of the eligible costs,
  • for universities and non-university research institutions, up to 100% of the eligible expenditure. In the case of research projects at universities, a flat-rate flat-rate of 20% is granted in addition to the eligible expenditure.

The assessment of the respective subsidy rate must take into account the General Block Exemption Regulation (AGVO). The AGVO allows for differentiated bonuses for small and medium-sized enterprises according to the SME definition of the EU, which may lead to a higher funding rate.

Application process

Interested companies, in particular first-time applicants, are advised to get in touch with the Federal Government’s “Research and Innovation” funding consultation for a detailed initial consultation.

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH:
Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Zimmerstraße 26–27
10969 Berlin
Tel. (08 00) 26 23 009 (free of charge)
Fax (0 30) 2 01 99-4 70

The funding process is divided into two stages. In the first stage, project sketches are to be submitted to the project sponsor appointed by the BMBF.

The BMBF has now commissioned the following project promoters (PP) to carry out the funding:

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH
Stichwort “KMU-innovativ: Medizintechnik”
Dr. Arne Hothan
Philipp Gläser
Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 3
10117 Berlin

Telefon: 0 30/2 75 95 06-41
Telefax: 0 30/2 75 95 06-59

Project sketches can be submitted online at any time via the PP-outline portal.

Assessment reports for project sketches are 15 April and 15 October each year.

Frequently asked questions KMUi-MedTech FAQ and notice under the links.

The ZIM is a nationwide, technology- and industry-oriented support program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). ZIM is targeted for medium-sized enterprises and for the cooperating, bindustry-oriented research institutes.

The purpose of the ZIM is to provide a sustainable support to the innovative power and competitiveness of companies and thus to contribute to their growth, together with the creation and safeguarding of jobs.

The “Promotion of Innovation Potential”, “Strengthening Internationalization”, and “Simplification of the Program Structure” are being optimized by means of the “Guidelines for Funding”.

Funding options

ZIM offers several funding solutions for the custom-fit funding:

a) Individual projects
Funding of research and development (R&D) projects proceeded by one SME.

Individual R&D projects for the development of innovative products, processes or technical services are encouraged without restriction to certain technologies and sectors. In addition to the R&D projects undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises, services for launching the market can be funded.

b) Cooperation projects
Funding of cooperative R&D projects between SMEs or SMEs and RTOs.

R&D cooperation projects are promoted for the development of innovative products, processes or technical services with several companies or research facilities, without restriction to certain technologies and sectors. They are to be implemented in a balanced partnership, in which all partners provide innovative services. In addition to the R&D projects undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises, services for launching the market can be promoted.

Cooperation with international partners is supported by ZIM.

c) Cooperation networks
Funding of management of innovative company networks and R&D projects generated by them (minimum requirement: six German SME partners).

Funding is provided by network management services as well as the R&D projects (individual and cooperation projects) resulting from the network with at least six companies.

More Information about ZIM can be found here or you can always contact MedicalMountains for further information.

What is funded?

The objective of the funding is individual projects by small and medium-sized enterprises with focus on Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things. Testing of new digital products, the adaptation to digitized processes and the development of networked business models are funded.

Funding can be applied for pilot applications promoting the use of industry 4.0 by SMEs. This includes development, testing or adaptation of new digital products, innovative system approaches and related networked business models. The funding is intended in particular to support the rapid and targeted development of innovative cyber-physical systems (CPS). Networking and interoperability in heterogeneous CPS environments should be promoted.

The addressed fields of application / sectors correspond to the support program ICT 2020: Automotive and Mobility, Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Health and Medical Technology, Logistics and Services, Energy and Environment as well as the ICT Economy. Due to the need for innovation, a focus is placed on component, machine and plant manufacturers.

Prerequisites for funding

Pilot applications are being supported to enable the use of existing I4.0 test environments. The use must serve the practice-oriented testing of own industry 4.0 solutions of the requesting SME.

Only individual projects by SMEs are supported, whose results are primarily used in the Federal Republic of Germany and thus strengthen and further expand the educational, scientific, research and economic location of Germany. Additional use of the project results in the EEA or Switzerland is not restricted. The funding is generally for a period of three to a maximum of twelve months.


2-phased process. Interested companies should contact the German Contact and Coordination Center

“I4.0 Testenvironment for SMEs”
Institut für Industrielle Fertigung und Fabrikbetrieb (IFF) Universität Stuttgart
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart
Telephone: +49 711 685-61866

The National Contact and Coordination Center “I4.0 Test Environment for SMEs” accompanies all interested companies through the entire application and implementation process. This is intended to encourage, in particular, first-time applicants to apply for funding of a practical test of their new ideas.

In the first stage of the procedure, project sketches can be submitted at any time to the funding agency of BMBF in German language. The sketches can be uploaded in the digital form via the online sketch tool for the funding measure “I4.0 Test Environments – Mobilization of SMEs for Industry 4.0” on the Internet portal -kmu.php, which contains the information necessary for participation in the advertisement. The following evaluation dates apply:

  • 15th of October 2017
  • 15th of January 2018

Detailed information on the procedure and the project sketches can be found (in German) under:

The Digitalization Award will support projects to introduce new digital solutions to improve IT security in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The digitization of the economy creates great opportunities in Baden-Württemberg as well. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) supports these new methods and services in order to implement innovative business models.

Important NOTE:

After the first model trial in 2017, the digitization premium will be reintroduced as a repayment subsidy in a further pilot project. The digitization premium will be combined with a promotional loan from L-Bank. An application is possible from 9 July 2018 at your house bank.

Who is being promoted?

The aim of the digitization premium is to support SMEs in all sectors with up to 100 employees in the digital transformation. It does not support companies in which another company with more than 100 employees or a public body holds 25% or more. A company can receive the digitization premium only once within two years. Companies that have already received a digitization premium in 2017 can not apply again until 2019 after the expiry of the two years (calculated from the date of the grant decision).

What is being funded?

Support will be given to concrete projects for the implementation of new digital solutions in production and processes (including the implementation of additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing), products and services (including setting up digital platforms), and strategy and organization (including the introduction of a comprehensive digitization strategy). The introduction of digital systems to improve IT security is also eligible.In addition, employee training can be promoted with the digitization bonus. The condition for this is that the training courses are related to the acquisition of ICT hardware and software, which leads to a significant digitization progress of the company. One of the prerequisites for funding is that the submitted project has not yet started.

How is promotion?

Projects with a cost range between 10,000 and 100,000 euros are supported. The L-Bank grants loans from € 10,000 to € 100,000. For loans of € 10,000 up to and including € 50,000, companies receive a repayment allowance of € 5,000. For higher loans, the repayment subsidy is 10 percent of the loan amount. An amortization subsidy reduces the residual debt, which means that the company does not have to repay the loan in full. The digitization premium is a measure of the “Initiative Wirtschaft 4.0” of the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg, which is part of the nationwide digitization strategy “digital @ bw”. Detailed information on the funding conditions, the procedure and the application can be found via the links to the L-Bank.

Further information at: