Funding opportunities Jan 18, 2024

Our ABCs of Funding: Find the most important information about funding!

Finding the right funding is not so easy, as the multitude of funding options out there is about as diverse as the respective requirements and sources of information. With our ABCs of Funding we provide more clarity and answer some of the basic questions. This way, you can navigate your way through all funding programmes.

Not only does Bavaria enjoy an excellent reputation for its innovative strength, its infrastructure and its skilled labour. The many opportunities to receive funding also make the Free State attractive for companies, start-ups and scale-ups from all around the world. Whether you are planning to relocate, found a new company, expand your business activities or develop and introduce new technologies – the Free State of Bavaria offers extensive funding programmes for various target groups.

And here is where things start to get complicated: As plentiful as the funding options are, they are just as diverse, which requires some basic guidance to navigate them all. Questions quickly arise: Which programme is right for my project? What information does the funding organisation require? Or: Who exactly do I need to contact? We have summarised the basics in our ABCs of Funding to help you get started. Here you will quickly find some initial answers. At the end of this text you will learn what happens next and how we at Invest in Bavaria can help you personally.

A – Application

Submitting an application for funding, including the necessary attachments, is no easy task – there is much to consider. Ultimately, the funding application is crucial to any subsequent funding. The first step is to clarify whether the project is eligible for funding at all. This requires the selection of a suitable funding programme. The best way to find out more is to speak to us in person. We pre-qualify programmes and use this as a basis for finding the suitable contacts.

B – Bavaria

What makes Bavaria a particularly good location for funding? That it has more to offer than just outstanding funding programmes. In Bavaria, you can get the most out of the funding: thanks to highly qualified specialists, numerous business-oriented science and research institutions, a high density of potential partner companies and an efficient infrastructure. In addition, the Free State of Bavaria has institutions to support you along the way.

C – Contact mediation

Invest in Bavaria is available to connect you with funding and financing organisations. We are also happy to support you in your search for suitable commercial properties and provide you with information on all aspects of the market and business environment in Bavaria.

E – Evaluation

The evaluation of the projects is conducted according to defined criteria and is carried out by the respective project sponsor. You can contact us to find out who is responsible for the individual projects – or visit the websites of the respective funding programmes.

E – EU funding programmes

Unlike with national research funding, the awarding of research funds from the EU budget takes place within a defined time frame. EU funding programmes aim to develop a knowledge- and innovation-based society and a competitive economy while contributing to sustainable development.

F – Federal funding programmes in Germany

Just as you, as a company based in Bavaria, can apply for funding through Bavarian programmes, the same holds true for German federal funding initiatives. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection’s funding database provides an overview of federal funding opportunities.

F – Funding databases

It is recommended that you obtain a good overview of the broad range of funding programmes in advance. We recommend using the most common databases to do so: first, the federal, state and EU funding programmes and grants, which can be viewed at The Bayerische Forschungsallianz GmbH (BayFOR) offers a structured overview of EU programmes.

F – Funding purposes

In Bavaria, you can apply for funding for a variety of projects. The most important include:
-    Founding a company,
-    Entering the German market or international markets,
-    Expanding or establishing a location,
-    Innovations.
There are various special funding options available to you, depending on which category your project falls into.

G – Guidance

As the central hub for technology-oriented projects in Bavaria, the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency can provide you with information on research and innovation funding, knowledge and technology transfer, patents and licences as well as business start-ups. There are four organisations working together under its umbrella, each of which has a different focus and supports SMEs in acquiring funding from the Free State of Bavaria, the federal government and the EU. You can find them at their locations in Munich and Nuremberg as well as online.

For investment projects, it is best to contact the government of the Bavarian administrative district in which you wish to implement your project.

N – Network

Especially if you arrive in Bavaria from abroad, an introduction to local networks is worth its weight in gold. Invest in Bavaria is there to make this introduction: We provide precisely the contacts you need to realise your project - whether it's with authorities, institutions, associations or any other organisations.
When it comes to new technologies, a strong network with industry and science is essential. Bayern Innovativ manages several industry-specific networks to support companies.

P – Project description

A project description should describe the project in detail and be of high quality, compact and precise. It is a key component for the quality of a funding application. In the case of technology funding, the project description should also contain information on the degree of innovation, the current state of the art and commercialisation.

Q – Qualification

To help you quickly navigate the labyrinth of funding programmes, Invest in Bavaria will present you with suitable options. This means you won’t have to delve into the entire spectrum of funding programmes, but can concentrate on the most promising ones straight away.

Q – Quotes

How high are the funding quotas? That’s a good question, albeit a difficult one, as it has to be answered individually for each case. Depending on the degree of innovation and the type of innovation, the funding rate for research and development projects, for example, ranges from 25 % to 50 %. We recommend looking this information up in advance specifically for the programmes that might be suitable for you.
The amount of funding for investments depends on the location and size of your company

R – Requirements

It is impossible to give a generalised answer to the question of eligibility requirements. Each of the funding programmes have defined their own requirements. One example: If you are applying to participate in a programme that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy, you will surely need to demonstrate that your project involves a significant reduction in energy consumption. Other programmes, on the other hand, have completely different, specific requirements. We are here to help you find the right programme.

S – Sources

To get started, we recommend reading through Invest in Bavaria’s Funding Brochure and Guide to Funding Opportunities. Both can be found under the following link on our website.

T – Timing

Timing is everything. This also applies to funding applications. Make sure you submit your funding application before you start your project. Grants are only approved for projects that have not yet begun at the time the application is received by the responsible project sponsor (e.g. no orders may have been placed with suppliers).

T – Types of funding

Funding options range from non-repayable grants and subsidised loans to the assumption of guarantees. However, it is important to bear in mind that public funding is always “help for self-help,” which means that only part of the funding can come from subsidies.

I want to get started - but how?

You now have a good initial understanding of the various challenges, opportunities and solutions. The next step is to get started. But how? Invest in Bavaria is the best place to start. As the Business Promotion Agency of the Free State of Bavaria, we are the ideal partner for taking your first steps – your compass through the jungle of funding programmes.

Not only do we have a thorough understanding of the current programmes available, we also provide you with a dedicated contact person. We help you to qualify programmes free of charge, confidentially and individually as well as to establish initial contact with project sponsors.

We make it easier for you to get started.
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