Funding or Finance Opportunity


2nd Call for Proposals for Joint Research and Development Projects between Germany and the United Kingdom


Innovate UK and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) intend to support joint UK-German research and development projects in order to develop innovative products, processes or technical services in all technological and application fields. Funding will be available for R&D projects in which new products, technical services, or processes will in subsequent steps generate sustainable solutions with high market potential.

In Germany, funding is provided through the Central Innovation Programme for SME (ZIM). in the UK, funding is provides through Innovate UK grants.

Participation Conditions

Project results will have to contribute to the development of commercial products, processes and / or technology-based services. The project proposals have to comply with the following guidelines:

  • Naming of all project partners
  • The short project title given in both the UK application and German Common Proposal Application Form should be the same
  • The partners must include at least one company from UK and one German medium-sized Enterprise (SME), independent from each other.
  • Participation of research institutes and other companies are welcome as additional participants or subcontractors according to each country’s funding regulations
  • The project should focus on the development of new products, services or processes of industrial application, which are based on the international state of the art, leading to commercialisation in the domestic and/or global markets.
  • The project should have an obvious advantage and differentiated value proposition resulting from the cooperation between the participants from the two countries (e.g. increased innovation capability, commercial leads, access to R&D infrastructure, new fields of application, etc.).
  • Project duration should not exceed three years and start on July 1st
  • The project should demonstrate a balanced technological contribution by the participants from both countries and must be equally significant to all participants. In a project with two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 70% of total person months to the project. In a project with more than two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 50% of total person months. All research organisations involved in the consortium may altogether not contribute more than 50% of the total person months.

Any partner whose cooperative R&D project is consistent with the aforesaid criteria may apply to the present announcement in accordance with the national laws, rules, regulations and procedures in effect.

Your collaborative R&D proposal must demonstrate:  

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion

Please refer to the Innovate UK Innovation Funding Service website for further information on this opportunity.

Funding rates

UK business applicants can apply for a total grant of up to 70% of project costs at a maximum of £750,000 for each project.

Each German project partner submits an individual ZIM application to the ZIM Project

Management Agency AiF Projekt GmbH. Every SME with an establishment or branch in Germany, in accordance with the relevant EU regulations, as well as medium-sized companies with less than 500 employees (full-time equivalents), which carry out R&D for the development of innovative products, processes or technical services, are eligible to apply. Other medium-sized companies with less than 1,000 employees are eligible to apply for funding if they cooperate with at least one SME

(in accordance with EU regulations) whose project is funded.  Research and technology organisations (RTOs) are eligible to apply as cooperation partners of eligible companies.

An instruction on how to receive the ZIM application form and detailed criteria for submitting applications can be found on the ZIM website (; you may also contact AiF Project GmbH directly as described below. The application must be written in German and comply with the regulations of the ZIM guideline.


The submission follows a single stage regime. Deadline for proposal submission is 6th Dec. 2023. Funding decisions are expected to be communicated at beginning of April 2024. Selected projects are expected to start on 1st July 2024.

General Information

Call Type
Transnational Partnership
Eligible Country/ies
Germany, United Kingdom
Target Groups
Small- and Medium Enterprises, Industry
Submission Deadlines
Single fixed deadline
(Next) Submission Deadline
6 December 2023
Type of Funding Instrument
Collaborative Projects / Consortia
Call Documents

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