‘VIP+’ Funding Measures
The aim of the German government’s new high-tech strategy ‘Innovationen für Deutschland’ (Innovation for Germany) is for research to be translated more rapidly into new products, services and innovations for society as a whole. To do this, it is necessary to further strengthen the links between academic research and its applications for commerce and/or wider society. This is where the ‘VIP+’ funding measure for validating innovative potential comes in. It helps researchers to systematically validate their research findings and to identify and tap into areas of application.
‘KMU-NetC’ Funding Measures
One of the major challenges that SMEs face as they seek to exploit new market potential is the need to update their processes, products, services and business models. The innovative SMEs with the most success tend to be those who work together – in networks and clusters, for example. Within networks and clusters that have a high proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the ‘KMU-NetC’ funding measure provides funding for sophisticated alliances in the areas of research, development and innovation. The alliances align with the needs of the SMEs and with the innovation strategies or technology roadmaps of the networks and clusters. ‘KMU-NetC’ is part of a Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) concept for prioritising SMEs, which consists of a ten-point programme for increased innovation in SMEs . With this concept, which sits within the German government’s new high-tech strategy (‘Innovationen für Deutschland’), the BMBF is seeking to promote new ideas, new possible applications and new business models. It is also promoting the widespread distribution of and use of research findings and model solutions among SMEs.
The BMBF has commissioned VDI/VDE-IT with managing the ‘Open Innovation Culture’ project and with tasks related to SME collaboration . As such, VDI/VDE-IT is implementing the ‘VIP+’ and ‘KMU-NetC’ funding measures. This project is being managed together with the project management agency ‘Projektträger Jülich’. The tasks associated with managing this project include providing advice to interested organisations, processing funding applications and supporting the funded projects.