The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds projects on research and development (R&D) in the fields of photonics and quantum technologies that are carried out by:
- small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as defined by the European Commission in its currently valid definition, or
- medium-sized companies, provided they do not exceed a size of 1,000 employees or a turnover of EUR 100 million and are not predominantly owned by large companies (participation of up to 50 percent) or
- SMEs or medium-sized companies that carry out projects jointly with partners from science or industry.
As an SME or medium-sized company, you can receive funding for the eligible project-related costs for projects in the field of photonics and quantum technology, either alone or together with partners from the scientific community or industry, if these can be classified as industrial pre-competitive R&D and are characterized by a high scientific and technical risk. The following topics or issues are exemplarily funded:
- photonics in production
- optical metrology and sensor technology
- optical components and systems
- lighting and display technology
- organic electronics
- photonics in medical technology and life sciences
- photonics for communication
- key components for quantum technologies
- quantum technologies for sensing and imaging
- Quantum technologies for simulation and computing
- Quantum technologies for communication
As an SME, you can generally receive funding of up to 60 percent of eligible project-related costs.
If you do not meet all the criteria to be considered an SME, you may be eligible for funding of up to 50 percent of project-related costs under certain conditions.
Universities, research and scientific institutions or comparable institutions in the non-economic sector can receive individual funding of up to 100 percent of the project-related costs or expenses as a partner of an SME or a medium-sized company.
Universities and university hospitals can receive a project lump sum of 20 percent for non-economic research projects in addition to the eligible expenses financed by the BMBF.
At least half of the total funding requested must benefit the SMEs involved.
The results of the funded project may only be used in the Federal Republic of Germany or in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
There is no entitlement to the grant. Rather, the granting authority decides on the basis of its dutiful discretion within the framework of the available budget funds.