Before a company invests in the development and realisation of an idea, it is important to carefully examine its feasibility and prospects of success. This is where the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (Zentrale Innovationsprogramm MittelstandZIM) comes into play, providing a valuable resource for companies with its funding for feasibility studies.

Feasibility studies offer companies the opportunity to check the feasibility of their ideas before they fully commit to realising them. This step is particularly crucial in the run-up to a research and development project, as it helps to identify and minimise potential risks and to estimate the required resources more accurately. However, it is often difficult to obtain financial support for feasibility studies as part of funding programmes. Here, the ZIM funding programme stands out as an exception in the German funding landscape by offering companies the opportunity to support this important phase of their innovation process.

graphic-zim-modulesThe ZIM funding programme covers the process steps from the feasibility study through the R&D project to the market launch.


Feasibility study: an opportunity for small and young companies

An important aspect of the ZIM programme is its accessibility to small and young companies and first-time ZIM grant recipients. These companies often have limited resources and may not be able to afford in-depth feasibility studies without financial support. With a funding volume of up to 100,000 euros (or 200,000 euros in a consortium) and a funding rate of up to 70%, the ZIM feasibility study offers companies valuable financial support to validate their ideas and maximise their innovation potential.


Early assessment and risk minimisation

The aim of a feasibility study is to provide a basis for deciding on the feasibility of a proposed project. Such a study evaluates the potential of an R&D project by answering two fundamental questions:

  1. Market success: is it worth pursuing the project idea so that it is successful against the competition on the market?
  2. Ressources: Are the necessary funds and resources available to successfully complete the project?

The short duration of the ZIM feasibility study of 8 months forces companies to act quickly and test their ideas efficiently. This enables them to obtain well-founded assessments of the potential of their ideas at an early stage and minimise potential risks. In this way, bad investments can be avoided.


Eligible activities within the scope of a ZIM feasibility study


Study facilitates the ZIM application for the R&D project

In addition, a successfully completed feasibility study makes the application process for a ZIM-funded research and development project considerably easier. In the case of R&D applications, the outlined solution is often not yet fully developed. By gaining important insights as early as the feasibility phase, companies can define the solution path for their projects more clearly and increase their chances of success. In other words, a ZIM application for an R&D project is easier to write if a feasibility study has already been carried out.

The feasibility study is therefore a valuable module of the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) for working towards an R&D project. It ultimately increases the likelihood of success with the R&D project itself.


Conclusion: Feasibility study at ZIM

ZIM funding for feasibility studies is more than just financial support for companies - it is an important step on the way to successful innovation projects. By evaluating ideas at an early stage and minimising risks, it offers companies the opportunity to make informed decisions and fully exploit their innovation potential.

Are you ready to take the first step? We are at your side if you would like to start a feasibility study with ZIM. Contact us about the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) and find out how we can help you turn your innovative ideas into reality.


Text: Birgit Miriam Hering

André Felber

Your contact person
André Felber

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As a project and network manager, I support my clients every day with the design, application, coordination and implementation of national and international funding projects. Even during my studies in mechanical engineering at the KIT, I was particularly interested in the development process from initial idea to the first prototype. By participating in several co-operative innovation projects with well-known companies during my studies and working at EurA for many years, I was able to acquire in-depth knowledge in the field of innovation and project management. As main contact person for ZIM, I am always close to the current challenges of our customers. Outside of EurA, I volunteer on the board of our local sports club and ski club. I am happy to answer your questions and support you in turning your innovative project idea into a commercially viable product.

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