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Your path to funding

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Together to the right programme
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Have you got an idea for research, education or innovation and need help implementing it? If your project meets a goal that governments, foundations or the European Union are also pursuing, we are the right people to approach.

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How can my idea be turned into new services, products or scientific knowledge? And how can it be financed? Not only universities and research associations are faced with these questions, but so are companies – and you might be, too. Funding programmes of the Federal and State governments, foundations or associations could provide the means to realise your research and development projects.

Both national and EU institutions support projects in research, education and innovation. They often provide large sums of money for collaborative projects between research institutions and companies. But there are also funding guidelines and programmes that provide grants to individual companies, institutes or researchers.

DLR Projektträger (DLR-PT) is at home in this complex "funding landscape" and performs important tasks on behalf of the Federal and State governments and the EU. While we administer funding from our clients and ensure that it flows to the grant recipients according to fixed rules, we are also the point of contact for those interested in funding and for the recipients themselves - in all phases from the classification of an idea to the drafting of the application and submission to the implementation of the project. Contact us whenever questions arise about the application, the process or the review.

In addition to strategic advice, we organise all project funding for our clients and manage the corresponding funding. In 2020, our staff managed more than 12,000 funding projects with a total volume of 2.3 billion euros. The topics we deal with include climate change, equal opportunities, clinical research and artificial intelligence (AI).

Our offer to those interested in funding

Research and educational institutions as well as companies that have found what they are looking for in the DLR-PT funding database will then receive comprehensive advice from us. What might seem complicated to you as a person interested in funding is exactly what we are familiar with: the regulations and forms for funding applications. We don't leave anyone alone with this!

Before and during the application process, we answer questions such as:

  • What is the most suitable funding programme for your project idea?
  • Does your project proposal have a chance of being funded?
  • How are applications submitted and projects selected?
  • Who can you contact at DLR-PT?

One question, perhaps the most crucial of all in the application process, is what your project outline looks like. If you are successful, your chances of receiving funding increase.

Among other things, the project outline should:

  • dmake reference to the funding programme
  • explain the idea and name the partners involved
  • describe your own level of knowledge and the know-how of third parties involved
  • show what research exists on the same project topic
  • include an estimate of the project duration, required resources and associated costs.

Further specific information and contacts can be found in the links for those interested in funding, on the right-hand side of this page.

The role of DLR-PT in national and European funding

Whether in the environment, technology, medicine or education: With numerous funding programmes, Federal and State ministries, foundations and associations want to master current challenges and strengthen Germany as a location for business and innovation for the future. In doing so, they rely on the expertise of DLR-PT.

In addition to strategic consulting, we organise the entire project funding for our clients and manage the corresponding funding. In 2020, our employees managed more than 12,000 funding projects with a total volume of 2.3 billion euros.

Ongoing project funding also includes many international projects: in 2021, the EU launched Horizon Europe, the current framework programme for research and innovation. It aims to build a competitive economy and a knowledge- and innovation-based society. Funding is provided, for example, for research and innovation projects that address ambitious goals to tackle current societal challenges in Europe in an interdisciplinary manner. In this way, Horizon Europe contributes to the implementation of political guidelines of the European Commission, especially in connection with digital and ecological transformation.

To facilitate access to EU funding for German companies and researchers, the Federal Government has established special contact points at DLR-PT: the EU Office of the BMBF and the National Contact Points (NCPs).

The 14 National Contact Points (NCP) provide information on behalf of the Federal Government on all aspects of research and innovation funding from the European Commission. The aim is to increase the chances of success for German applicants for European research funding. In addition to companies, universities, research institutions, transfer agencies and government or advisory offices can also contact the NCP.

You don't know exactly which EU funding programme your project could fall under? The EU Office of the BMBF can help. As the office of the German NCP network, we quickly forward your enquiry to the appropriate advisory office. Our staff want to familiarise interested parties with the funding measures, project forms and participation rules of the Horizon Europe framework programme. In addition, we pass on the necessary knowledge about application and review procedures as well as contract modalities and, if necessary, put you in touch with contact persons from the specialist areas of Horizon Europe.

Funding worldwide

Our work does not end at the borders of Europe – the International Bureau focuses on worldwide cooperation in education, research and innovation.

We experience the great importance of international cooperation every day. Challenges such as climate change, food security, sustainable mobility, energy supply or digitisation do not stop at borders and cannot be tackled by any country alone. Even for Germany as a high-tech location, it is essential to be integrated into global knowledge flows – and by far the largest share of the world's know-how is generated abroad. Successful international networking is a prerequisite for Germany's competitiveness as a science and business location and thus also for the prosperity of its citizens.

Through the International Office established by the BMBF at DLR Project Management Agency, we are the point of contact for German universities, non-university institutions and companies. We support them in international research cooperation and offer financial assistance in establishing contacts or cooperations. On the "Cooperation International" platform, we also provide information on global funding opportunities as well as research and innovation policy trends in topics such as energy, digital transformation, green hydrogen or Covid-19.

For many years, we have been advising and supporting the German Federal Government, as well as state ministries and other clients in research, education and innovation. In various contracts such as the International Bureau or the International Service Facility of the European Commission, we develop international strategies and programmes and implement them.

What DLR-PT offers to those interested in funding, applicants and grant recipients is our close networking with partners worldwide, our long-standing, close and sustainable cooperation with more than 100 European and international institutions open doors for your project.

Whether at regional, national or international level – we wish you and your projects every success!