KMU-innovative is the most important SME funding program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Twice a year, companies or research associations have the opportunity to submit interesting outlines for various funding priorities.

With KMU-innovative you can carry out your research project individually, but also in cooperation with research institutions and other companies. Since this is a funding program for SMEs, the majority of the funding should go to SMEs.

Funding is available for projects in the following fields of technology:
Application Procedure

KMU-innovative is a competitive process. Twice a year (15.04. and 15.10.) you have the opportunity to submit a project outline. The project management organization selects the best outlines/ideas from the submitted outlines and invites them to submit an application. You will usually find out after about 2 to 3 months whether you can submit an application.

After handing in the application, it will then take another 2 to 3 months until you receive the grant notification. Once you have received the grant notification, you can start your project.

Framework data

Funding is available for personnel costs, material costs, pro rata investment costs, external services and travel costs. You will receive a lump sum of 20% of the total costs. 

SMEs receive a funding rate of up to 80% in this funding program. Research institutions also receive funding of up to 100% - but it is mandatory for them to cooperate with an SME.

Do you have an interesting idea? Feel free to contact us.


Text: Aya Omeirat

Tobias Kübler

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Tobias Kübler

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