Innovative companies and inventors, universities and research institutions, authorities and municipalities – they all contribute to Bavaria’s leading role as a centre for science and technology in Germany, Europe and across the world. The Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency’s goal is to support Bavaria-based stakeholders in sustaining and strengthening this position.
As a central point of contact in Bavaria, we allocate funding and advise especially SMEs and universities in their efforts to apply for funding from the Free State of Bavaria, the German government and the EU, while also offering support with issues surrounding the transfer of technology, patent protection, and the exploitation of scientific findings – in short: from the initial idea to the finished product.
To do this, the five partner organisations (each with their own focus area) that make up the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency work together at their offices in Nuremberg and Munich:
The Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH (BayFOR) is a private company to support Bavaria as a centre for science and innovation within the European Research Area. It was set up at the end of 2006 on the initiative of the Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences to strengthen their networking at regional, national and international level and help them prepare to meet the requirements for European research funding. To achieve this, BayFOR supports and advises Bavarian scientists and private sector stakeholders in the competition for regional, national and European research, development and innovation funding.
BayFOR’s Information and Support Center for EU-funded R&D Projects connects Bavarian stakeholders from science, academia and the private sector at European level and assists them with acquiring EU funding. The focus is directed at the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”. Scientific experts provide subject-specific information and offer strategic advice and active support for initiating projects, setting up international research consortia and submitting proposal applications. Upon successful evaluation, BayFOR is able to provide support during grant preparation with the European Commission and, when requested, BayFOR provides support with project management throughout the project duration. The key thematic areas include environment, energy and bioeconomy, health research, biotechnology and food, information and communication technologies, nano-sciences, new materials and production, transport and aviation, social sciences, economic sciences, humanities, security, and education. Furthermore, BayFOR’s EU Liaison Office in Brussels represents the interests of Bavarian universities at European level. It increases their visibility and acts as their intermediary establishing contacts with European institutions. This considerably enhances the prospects of Bavarian applicants succeeding within the European Research Area. Another aim is to increase the participation of Bavarian enterprises – particularly SMEs – in funding programmes. As a partner in the support network for SMEs “Enterprise Europe Network” (EEN), BayFOR acts as an interface between academic research and the industry.
BayFOR also coordinates the joint activities of the Bavarian Research Associations and supports their networking efforts at European level.
Finally, the Scientific Coordination Office Bavaria-Québec/Alberta/International within BayFOR provides support for bilateral and multilateral research projects from these regions.
The Bayerische Forschungsstiftung (Bavarian Research Foundation) was founded in 1990 by the Bavarian state government, in order to boost Bavaria as a site for quality high-tech through efficient and flexible promotion of application-based research. The Research Foundation concentrates on forward-looking projects, the realization of which challenges science and commerce conjointly while assuring close and successful collaboration. The Foundation is able to fund 35-45 projects annually.
Two types of projects are funded: individual ventures and combined research; in addition, scholarships are provided for scientist exchange programs. The duration of the funding is limited, and the projects must be jointly carried out by science and industry. The goal is to create economic value from the research results of main focus areas such as life sciences, information and communication, microsystems engineering, materials science, energy and the environment, mechatronics, nanotechnology, and process and production engineering.
Independent industrial companies, members of the professions, universities, non-university research institutes and universities of applied sciences, and members and establishments of institutes of higher education who are authorised to carry out research and development programmes are entitled to submit applications. They must have a registered office, plant or branch in Bavaria. Professional advice is given to all applicants. External experts and a scientific advisory board ensure that the Foundation’s committees select only the very best projects. In more than 86 percent of the projects the results are subsequently utilized by the industry and in more than 50 percent additional unexpected results occur.
Up to now, about 785 projects have been funded and about 462 scholarships have been granted. The obligatory co-financing by the business sector has more than doubled the issued foundation funds of approximately 529 million euros. As a result, industry and science have together funded future-directed research topics with a total contribution of approximately 1.176 billion euros towards the advancement of innovation (as of 12/2015).
The Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH is the link between science and business. As the central patent and marketing agency of 28 Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences, they evaluate and market the inventions of more than 23,000 scientists in Bavaria. Furthermore, the company offers support and consulting services to small and medium businesses regarding proprietary protection and marketing of inventions as official WIPANO partner for Bavaria.
Bayern Innovativ GmbH is Bavaria’s organisation for innovation, technology and knowledge transfer. It supports players from industry and science in all stages of the value chain by providing customised services to boost innovation dynamics. Bayern Innovativ operates at the interfaces of various industries and technologies. The goal is to build an ecosystem of dynamic networks to accelerate the innovation process. In addition to the organisation’s own clusters Energy Technology, Automotive and New Materials, activities focus on “cross-clustering” with other Bavarian clusters and networking with key players in the Bavarian innovation landscape.
As the successor to the Bavarian Innovation and Technology Centre (known as the ITZB in German), Projekttraeger Bayern is commissioned by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology to run several technology funding programmes. It acts as a central point of contact for technology funding queries at the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency.
Projekttraeger Bayern provides comprehensive information on the technology funding programmes available in the Free State of Bavaria and Germany.
Companies with innovative projects receive support from the application stage through to successful completion. If necessary, Projekttraeger Bayern also puts organisations in touch with other partners at the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency, e.g. with BayFOR for questions relating to EU funding.