Research & development Aug 04, 2015

The "Haus der Forschung": Advice on funding for start-ups, businesspeople and universities

With its 45 experts, the "Haus der Forschung" assists businesspeople and scientists in Bavaria in their application for funding. Small and medium-sized companies, as well as universities and other higher education institutions, are faced with Europe-wide competition when it comes to applying for research funds.

The "Haus der Forschung" wants to make Bavaria Germany's number 1 in EU fund-raising. And the success shows that the concept works. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, Bavarian universities for example achieved an increase of about 37 percent in EU funds, from EUR 80 to 110 million. The declared aim of funding: to further increase the share of spending on research and development in the gross domestic product. As of 2014, a total of EUR 20 million has been invested in the "Haus der Forschung", and an annual budget of EUR five million is planned from 2015 onwards. This will allow the founding of even more companies in future-oriented technologies, and further strengthen newly-founded businesses. With its consulting activities, the "Haus der Forschung" provides targeted support to innovative ideas and business concepts, because it makes the funding landscape for scientists and businesspeople more transparent. The programmes that provide financial support include BayMED (support of research and development projects in medical technology), BayEMA (support of research and development in the field of vehicles, innovative drives and the necessary subsystems and components) or BayTOU.

Funding programme BayTOU for innovative businesspeople and businesspeople

The funding programme supports projects for the experimental development of new products, processes and technical services in connection with the foundation of technology-oriented enterprises. The creation of a technological concept for founding an enterprise is also eligible for funding. Applicants can be persons who wish to found a technology-oriented commercial enterprise and possess the technical expertise necessary to carry out their plans. However, technology-oriented commercial enterprises that fulfil the EU definition for SMEs are eligible for funding as well. A prerequisite is that such enterprises have existed for less than six years and employ a maximum of ten people. Applicants have to contribute their own capital on which funding is granted as a subsidy. With development projects, this subsidy can account for a maximum of 45 per cent of the costs eligible for funding - in software companies this can total up to EUR 150,000. Concept projects receive a subsidy of up to 35 percent of the costs eligible for funding, but not more than EUR 26,000, in exceptional cases up to EUR 52,000. Those interested can contact the Bavarian Innovation and Technology Centre.

The "Haus der Forschung" was opened in 2011 by Martin Zeil, the former Minister of Economic Affairs, and Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch, the former Minister of Science. The Munich facility was set up following the positive response to the "Haus der Forschung" project started in Nuremberg in 2010. Since that time, four institutions – Bayern Innovativ, the Bavarian Research Alliance, the Bavarian Research Foundation and the Bavarian Innovation and Technology Centre – combine their know-how at two sites, offering central points of contact to scientists and businesspeople for all issues regarding research funding and technology transfer.
Since the foundation of the "Haus der Forschung", the services offered for the promotion of technology have become more efficient, technology transfer is smoother, and the way to EU funds has been paved, says Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner. Soon the Bayerische Patentallianz (Bavarian patent alliance) will be the fifth partner organisation to join the cooperation of the institutions already active in the "Haus der Forschung". It will further strengthen Bavaria's leading position in the European research environment. Ilse Aigner, the Minister of Economic Affairs, says: "Through the optimisation of organisational processes, increased use of synergies and the integration of additional partners, we will create the climate for an even closer and better cooperation."

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