Electronics and autonomous driving; application for funding for projects by small and medium-sized enterprises.

If you run a small or medium-sized business that conducts research in electronics, autonomous driving, or high-performance computing, you may be eligible for funding under certain circumstances.



Eligible applicants are:

  • SMEs as defined by the European Commission
  • medium-sized enterprises (national requirement), if they, including affiliated or partner companies, do not exceed a size of 1,000 employees and an annual turnover of EUR 100 million at the time of application
  • Universities and research institutions in the context of collaborative projects with SMEs and/or medium-sized enterprises within the meaning of this directive
  • Local authorities and associations of local authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The research and development projects must focus on the field of electronics. This includes, among others, the following areas

  • Mechanical and plant engineering,
  • automation technology,
  • electrical industry, ICT industry,
  • medical technology,
  • energy technology,
  • automotive electronics including autonomous and connected driving as well as
  • high-performance and supercomputing.

At the time of payment: The permanent establishment or branch (company) or other institution serving the non-economic activity of the grantee (university, research institutions) is in Germany.

Furthermore, the following special grant requirements must be met:

  • The research tasks and objectives must clearly exceed the state of the art and be characterized by a high scientific-technical and economic risk.

The projects must be high-risk, industry-led research and pre-competitive development projects in the fields of electronics, autonomous and connected driving and "high-performance computing" with a visible application focus.


The application procedure for funding projects in the field of electronics, autonomous and connected driving, and "high performance computing" has 2 stages:

Stage 1: Project outline

  • Submit the project outline in German to the project management organization VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH online via the submission assistant on the Internet portal for the funding guideline "KMU-innovativ: electronics and autonomous driving; supercomputing". The information required for participation in the announcement is available there.
  • For collaborative projects, you must submit project outlines in coordination with the intended collaborative coordination and explain the need for collaboration in the collaborative project.
  • The project outline should not exceed 10 pages (Arial font, font size at least 10, line spacing at least 1.15 margin at least 2 centimeters). The cover page and any directories do not count towards this.
  • If your project idea is selected, you will receive a positive written request to submit the application (stage 2).

Stage 2: Application

You submit your application for funding for a project in research, development, and use of artificial intelligence methods as follows:

  • Submit the application electronically via the "easy-Online" portal.
  • Call up the "easy-Online" Internet portal. The portal will guide you through the application step by step.
  • Fill in the required fields, add a qualified electronic signature and submit the application online.
  • If you do not have a qualified electronic signature, you must print out the application in addition to submitting it electronically, sign it and send it to the project management organization in the next step together with the other application documents.
  • You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.
  • The responsible person at the project management organization will contact you if there are any queries.
  • Applications will be evaluated and reviewed according to the following criteria:
    • Proof of SME status through SME declaration as well as significant share of research performance by the participating SME(s).
    • Implementation of any conditions imposed in the first stage and compliance with the financial framework recommended for funding there
    • Quality of the detailed description of the solution concept, the work plan as well as the organization of the collaboration in the network
    • The informative value of the detailed description of the exploitation plan, also with regard to the funding policy objectives of this funding measure.
    • Eligibility of the requested funds
    • Necessity and appropriateness of the requested funds
    • Comprehensibility of the explanations of the financing plan, including, in the case of companies, a description of how the company's own contribution will be raised.
  • You will receive a decision
  • In the event of a positive decision, you will receive a notification of funding by mail.


Stage 1: Deadline for electronic submission of project outlines is 15.10.

Stage 2: Submission of formal applications for funding and decision-making procedure after request by the project management organization.

Processing time

The duration refers to the review of the project outline. (4 months)

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    Stufe 1: Projektskizze mit folgenden Angaben:

    • Deckblatt mit Projektbezeichnung, Postanschrift, Telefon und EMail der Einsenderin oder des Einsenders sowie den Angaben zu Gesamtkosten, Zuwendungsbedarf und Laufzeit
    • Motivation, Ausgangsfrage, Ziele und gesellschaftlicher Bedarf des geplanten Vorhabens
    • Stand der Forschung und Technik, Neuheit des Lösungsansatzes, eigene Vorarbeiten, Datengrundlage, Abgrenzung zu früheren und laufenden nationalen und internationalen Forschungsarbeiten
    • Darstellung der Kooperationspartner, bei Unternehmen inklusive des aufzubringenden Eigenanteils
    • Beschreibung des eigenen Lösungsweges mit Untersetzung der anzuwendenden Methoden
    • Zeit und Arbeitsgrobplanung mit Personenmonaten pro Partner
    • Arbeitsplan mit Darstellung der Beiträge aller beteiligten Partner
    • tabellarische Finanzierungsübersicht
    • Verwertungsplan mit Erläuterungen zu Marktpotenzial, Konkurrenzsituation, wirtschaftliche und wissenschaftlichtechnische Erfolgsaussichten, Anschlussfähigkeit, Mehrwert für den Standort Deutschland
      • Nachweis des Status aller beteiligten KMU durch KMU-Erklärung

Online procedures


  • Levy: none


  • Action before the Administrative Court


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

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