Berlin's research grant to foster cooperation between researchers and SMEs

Having introduced a research premium for universities and public research institutions cooperating with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) earlier this year, the German Federal Ministry of
Education and Research is now offering a similar scheme for other, non-profit research facilities. The so-called ForschungsprämieZwei – Research Premium Two – is intended to make
researchers’ cooperation with SMEs worth their while.

‘This is another important step towards improving the link between the economy and research and providing for rapid transfer of technology in Germany,’ says Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary
Secretary of State at the Ministry. ‘Non-profit research institutions are a strong force in German innovation, especially in the New Länder.’

‘Thanks to ForschungsprämieZwei, non-profit research organisations are going to develop additional expertise in the area of knowledge and technology transfer and further expand their
ability to cooperate with the economy,’ believes Mr Rachel.

Organisations can now apply for the premium for any research and development project for SMEs (enterprises with no more than 1,000 employees) they have started since the beginning of 2007.
Applications will be accepted until the end of 2009.

As part of its ‘high-tech strategy’, which is an attempt to speed up the process of turning research into marketable products, the German Government has set aside ?125 million for both research
premium schemes together. The premium per project amounts to 25% of contract volume with a minimum of ?2,500 and a maximum of ?100,000. The money can be used flexibly for research and
development as such, but also for evaluation of R&D results, developing strategies for technology transfer, advanced training or communication projects.

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