The National Bioeconomy Strategy from 2020 was the starting point. New bioeconomy research findings are to be applied faster in practice. The focus is on biomass as a renewable raw material (e.g., plant-derived, microorganisms, algae, or fungi) and on biobased residual and waste materials. Biobased production systems can also provide us with new raw materials or products with the help of customised ingredients such as optimised microorganisms or enzymes.

To help implement this key transformation, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection have launched large budget packages for start-ups, SMEs, large companies, and research institutions.

Below, we outline the three largest funding programmes:

KMU - innovativ: Bioeconomy 


The "KMU-innovativ" funding programme by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research addresses technologically demanding and high-risk development projects in the bioeconomy in the following sectors:

  • New biorefinery concepts for biofuels and highly refined fine chemicals
  • Bio-based methods for environmental protection and biological recycling processes
  • Sustainable production and food processing
  • Production and distribution of raw biogenic materials
  • Expanding the technology base in bioprocess engineering
  • Development of platform technologies for metabolic engineering
  • Development of biological methods/techniques for CO2 conversion
  • Development of new methods and devices in bioanalytics and biosynthesis

Funding is available for labour, material, pro rata investment costs, external services, and travel costs. You can receive an overhead allowance of up to 100% on your personnel costs.

This funding programme provides SMEs with a funding quota of up to 60%. For start-ups, the funding rates can be even higher. Research institutions also receive up to 100% support - however, it is mandatory for them to work in cooperation with an SME.

Do you have an interesting new idea? Feel free to contact us. The next submission deadline for proposals is the 15th of April 2023.

Climate-Neutral Products Through Biotechnology: CO2 and C1 Compounds as Sustainable Raw Materials for the Industrial Bioeconomy (CO2BioTech)


This funding programme, recently launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, focuses on the use of CO2 in industrial processes; carbon dioxide and C1 derived from it are to replace raw fossil fuel in the chemical industry.

The main topics of planned development projects are:

  • Processes for CO2 fixation and conversion by enzymes, metabolic pathways, and microorganisms
  • Biohybrid processes and electrosynthesis for CO2 reduction and conversion
  • C1 fermentations

The funding programme offers the opportunity to combine interdisciplinary research areas and diverse industrial applications in the fields of biotechnology and process integration of biotechnological methods.

Funding is available for both network and individual projects. The transfer of research outcomes into practice is at the centre of the project from the start, as it is essential that industrial partners are involved, preferably as project partners. At the end of the programme, the projects should aim to scale up the developed bioprocess to an industrial scale (e.g., in the form of a demonstration plant).

Are you interested in the programme, searching for project partners, or planning to submit a proposal? We will be happy to support you. The deadline for submitting proposals is the 11th of January 2023.

From Lab to Market: Industrial Bioeconomy


Companies will receive funding for the critical transfer from the labs to the market and for the scalability of new products. Therefore, the use and construction of demonstration plants for the industrial bioeconomy will be supported.

The Industrial Bioeconomy programme by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection covers funding for multi-purpose demonstration plants, lighthouse projects or studies on the feasibility of single-use plants. At least three of the following four sustainability criteria must be met:

  • Replacement of fossil fuels with biobased fuels.
  • Increased resource efficiency through waste avoidance, recycling, and contribution to a sustainable circular economy,
  • Predicted quantitative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the current technology,
  • Presentation of new value chain generation, based on bio-based products or processes.

Who receives funding? Micro-enterprises, SMEs, companies with up to 1,000 employees and large companies with exceptions receive up to 80% funding support depending on the module. Research institutions receive up to 90%, depending on the module.

Does the funding programme interest you? Please note that the application procedure has two stages: submission of proposals is only possible on the 1st of March and the 30th of June each year.


Contact us if you need more information on the diverse areas of bioeconomy and relevant funding programmes, or if you are searching for networking opportunities with the industry of R&D partners from R&D.


Author: Karoline Wissmann

Karoline Wissmann

Your contact person
Karoline Wissmann

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Schedule a meeting with an expert.

I hold a degree in chemistry and have been working at EurA since mid-2020. I am guiding clients through national and international funding programs. I also manage innovation networks and R&D projects in the fields of biotechnology, bioeconomy and food technology. Due to my many years in the industry I have developed a broad expert knowledge and built up an extensive partner network. I will be happy to answer all your questions from the innovation idea to commercialisation.

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