Diverse Funding Programmes

As a key technology, biopharmacy plays a special role in the fund policies of Germany’s federal government, state governments and EU governments.

Numerous regional and national funding programmes offer companies in the BioPharma Cluster South Germany tailor-made support projects, resulting in the region being a driver for innovation and development opportunities.

The BioPharma Cluster South Germany is at your disposal for questions on the topic of funding and supports you with regard to finding suitable project partners in industry and science.

Regional Funding Programmes


CyberOne Baden-Württemberg High-Tech Award

This business-plan contest is aimed at start-ups from the fields of industrial technologies, life science, healthcare and information and communication technology (ICT). It’s also open to media and creative industries that set new standards in the technology sectors by utilising innovative concepts and strategies. Each year, young technology start-ups with innovative business concepts can apply for the CyberOne Baden-Württemberg High-Tech Award. Around 500 jobs have been created directly since the start of the award.

For more information, please visit: www.cyberone.de/englisch.

BW Innovation Vouchers

In 2008, Baden-Württemberg was Germany’s first federal state to introduce innovation vouchers for small and medium-sized enterprises. The programme supports SMEs in their planning, development and implementation phases as well as the further development of their innovative products, services or production processes. Applications for these innovation vouchers may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on an ongoing basis.

Further information can be found on the website of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing.

High-Tech Start-Up Innovation Voucher

The High-Tech Start-Up Innovation Voucher serves as the early-stage support for high-tech start-ups with highly innovative research and development projects from future growth sectors. The funding is aimed at innovative companies in areas such as health economics and life sciences, sustainable mobility, environmental technology and information and communication technology (ICT).

More information can be found here.

L-Bank Security Bank

The custom-fit security programmes of L-Bank, the Baden-Württemberg state bank, help give financial support to medium-sized companies in Baden-Württemberg. As risk partner, the bank’s security programmes allow for investment in growth, modernisation, start-ups or takeovers and provide investment-related resources.

For more information, please visit: https://www.l-bank.de/produkte.

MBG Baden-Württemberg GmbH

MBG Baden-Württemberg GmbH is an investment firm that provides equity capital for medium-sized companies in the form of silent participations. It covers the entire range of possible financing reasons. Companies can apply for the start-up and the innovation programme, among other things. MBG shareholders are banks, chambers and business associations.

For more information, please visit: https://www.mbg.de.


Bavaria Innovation Voucher

Germany’s free state of Bavaria supports partnerships between small companies and craft businesses with external research and development institutions by awarding innovation vouchers. The aim is to introduce small companies and craft businesses to research institutions and innovation partners for collaboration, reinforcing their innovative strength. The Innovation Voucher “Special” is aimed at more financially intensive and economically riskier innovation projects for the respective company.

Further information can be found at: https://www.bayern-innovativ.de/bavarian-innovation-voucher.

Bavarian Research Foundation

The foundation’s funding programme enables universities and non-university research institutions – as well as commercial enterprises – to carry out basic research and development of promising key technologies. The focus is on projects that can only be mastered successfully in close collaboration with one or more business or science partners.

Further information can be found on the website of the Bavarian Research Foundation

"BayBIO" Research Programme

With the Bavarian research programme "Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering" (BayBIO), the Bavarian federal state government supports research and development projects in the field of modern biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Further information can be found on the pages of Bayern Innovativ.

LfA Business Development Bank Bavaria

The LfA Bank supports innovative medium-sized companies and freelancers in financing their investments or their resource requirements in terms of digitization, research, development and innovation. Companies are supported with needs-based loans for the entire range of innovations and throughout their innovation process.

For more information, please visit: https://lfa.de/en.

BayBG Bavarian Private Equity Company mbH

As one of the largest German equity-capital providers for small and medium-sized enterprises, BayBG is involved with 500 Bavarian companies for a total of approximately 320 million euros. With its investments and venture capital commitments, BayBG enables medium-sized companies to implement growth and innovation projects, among other things.

For more information, please visit: http://www.baybg.de/en.

Funding Programmes at Federal Level

Germany’s federal government offers different types of funding for research and innovation. You will find tips and news on R&D funding from the federal government as well as initial information on subsidies at federal state and EU level on the website of the Federal Funding Agency.

German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW)

KfW specialises in financing innovation projects at established medium-sized companies. The goal is to finance near-market research and the development of new products, production processes or services. It is also to promote their further development by applying a long-term, low-interest approach.

For more information, please visit KfW.

Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy – EXIST

EXIST is a funding programme from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). EXIST is part of the German federal government's "High-Tech Strategy for Germany".

The EXIST grant for business-founders supports innovative, technology-oriented start-up projects in their early stages. The projects may come from either universities or non-university research institutions.

EXIST’s research transfer indorses necessary development efforts to prove the technical feasibility of research-based start-up ideas. As well as that, it supports essential preparations for starting a company. The programme is aimed primarily at start-up projects that are particularly demanding and associated with complex and risky development work.

For more information, please visit: BMWi

High-Tech Start-up Funds III

The High-Tech Start-up Funds III programme is aimed at young, innovative high-tech start-ups in all sectors. It provides capital-seeking high-tech companies with initial financing of up to €500,000 as risk capital. The aim is to support young companies with the entrepreneurial implementation of their innovative research projects.

For more information, please visit: https://www.htgf.de/en/.

Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM)

ZIM is the basic programme of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is the largest funding programme for market-oriented support of technology for medium-sized businesses in Germany, offering various options for tailor-made funding:
•    ZIM individual projects (ZIM-SOLO)
•    ZIM partner projects (ZIM-KOOP)
•    ZIM network projects (ZIM-NEMO)

For more information, please visit ZIM

Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy – Innovation Vouchers

With the "BMWi Innovation Vouchers (go-Inno)" programme, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology funds external consulting services for companies to increase innovation and competitiveness.

The BMWi Innovation Vouchers cover 50 percent of the costs for external consulting services provided by a BMWi-authorized consulting firm.

For more information, please visit: go-Inno

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) intends to safeguard and further strengthen Germany's leading international position in finding alternative methods to animal testing. In the meantime, the ministry has financed approximately 560 projects with a total funding of more than 180 million euros.

The funded projects are based on the ‘3R’ concept, with the primary objective being to replace animal testing with alternative methods (‘Replacement’). If this is not possible, the number of animals needed are to be kept to a minimum (‘Reduction’) and as much information as possible is to be obtained from the individual experiment (‘Refinement’).

For more information, please visit: https://www.bmbf.de/de/alternativen-zum-tierversuch-412.html

Innovative SMEs: Biotechnology – BioChance

With ‘Innovative SMEs: Biotechnology – BioChance’, biotechnology is targeted as one of nine fields of technology. The programme focuses on application-oriented, high-risk, high-tech research projects from innovative SMEs. In addition to biotechnology companies, companies that want to use modern, scientific methods for the first time are also approached.

For more information, please visit: Innovative SMEs.

Innovative SMEs: Medical Technology

Since 2013, medical technology companies have been actively supported thanks to the "Innovative SMEs: Medical Technology" programme. It’s specially geared towards risky projects in the fields of industrial research and experimental development. The projects are mainly cross-technology and application-related. The BMBF funding programme aims to strengthen the SMEs’ positions during the accelerated technology transfer, from their pre-competitive stage into practical implementation within the health sector.

For more information, please visit: BMBF

International Funding Programmes

Horizon 2020

The European Horizon 2020 programme funds projects that cover the entire value chain, from basic research to the preparation of marketable products and services. Universities, research institutes, companies (especially small and medium-sized enterprises) and other players involved in the development of innovations are part of the programme’s target groups. The funding initiative is specialised in supporting state-of-the-art biotechnologies as a future innovation driver.

For more information, please visit: https://www.horizont2020.de/


EUREKA, the European Initiative for Market-Related Research and Development, supports and consults companies and scientific institutions. The initiative helps them implement cross-border and market-oriented research collaborations on innovative topics. As an important counterpart to the European Union’s research programmes, EUREKA connects financial and professional resources available in Europe, facilitating the access to funding for the implementation of European research and development projects.

For more information, please visit: EUREKA.

European Innovation Council *planned

As of 2021, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is to provide targeted support for innovations at EU level. It condenses the most important EU funding instruments under one roof. In doing so, the European Commission intends to bring innovations to market faster, creating more growth and employment.

For more information, please visit the Federal Ministry of Economics of the European Innovation Council online.

Additional Funding Programmes

Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI 2)

The Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI 2) is a pan-European public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). IMI 2 funds biomedical research and invites bids that are independent of the Horizon 2020 project.

With a total budget of approximately 3.3 billion euros, the primary goal of IMI 2 is to faster develop safe and effective medicines.

For more information, please visit the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs for its Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 online.

DFG: Clinical Studies

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funds clinical studies as part of its regular support programme.

Funding will be provided for interventional clinical trials, including clinical feasibility studies (phase II) and clinical intervention trials (phase III). The aim of this funding programme is to provide proof of efficacy of a therapeutic, diagnostic or prognostic procedure. All studies require high scientific quality, originality and clinical relevance.

For more information, please visit the German Research Foundation online.

Boehringer Ingelheim: Exploration Grants

With its ‘Exploration Grants’, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation supports junior research-group leaders from the field of basic medical, chemical or biological research.

For more information, please visit: Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation.

Boehringer Ingelheim: Plus 3 Perspectives Programme

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation wants to use its Plus 3 Perspectives Programme to give outstanding junior research group leaders in the field of basic medical, biological and chemical research the opportunity to further develop their own research profile and gain access to career development.

For more information, please visit: Plus 3 Perspectives Programme 3.