/ Funding measure /

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is enabling SMEs to position themselves as innovation and technology drivers of digital transformation in global competition with the funding measure “Industry 4.0 Test Environments – Mobilisation of SMEs for Industry 4.0”. Within the framework of this funding measure, short-term and targeted cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industry 4.0 test environments in the field of industry 4.0 will be promoted.

On the one hand, the funding should cover part of the costs incurred by the SME to achieve the project objectives, on the other hand, the assignment for an I 4.0 test environment should be financed from this. For this cooperation, a nationwide network of I 4.0 test environments will be made available to SMEs in order to test newly developed digitised processes and products, innovative system approaches and related networked business models under realistic conditions.

/ Prerequisite for the funding measure /

Individual projects in the fields of Industry 4.0, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) or Internet of Things, which are concerned with the development, testing or further development of products, processes or digital services, will be funded.

The funded projects are based on the cooperation of eligible companies with an I 4.0 test environment. The funding will enable SMEs to develop or test their own solutions in test environments suitable for them. A nationwide network of I 4.0 test environments will be made available to SMEs for this purpose.

/ Eligible applicants /

SMEs as defined by the EU Commission are eligible to apply. In addition, medium-sized companies are eligible to apply for funding if they do not exceed 1,000 employees and an annual turnover of 100 million euros.

/ Type & amount of funding /

Funding will be provided for a period of at least three months and no more than twelve months. The maximum funding amount is 100,000€ per project and is granted as a pro rata grant.

/ Application procedure /

The funding procedure consists of two stages. In the first stage, you can submit project outlines to the DLR lead partner on the following evaluation deadlines: 15 August 2018, 15 November 2018, 15 March 2019, 15 July 2019 und 15 November 2019.

The sketches must be submitted in digital form via the online sketch tool pt-outline. You will find the link on the DLR Project Management Organisation’s Internet portal. We recommend using our sketch templates as a basis for creating the sketches.

In the second stage, you will be invited to submit a formal funding application if your project outlines have been evaluated positively. The easy-Online electronic application system must be used to prepare the formal funding applications.

/ Procedure for prospective sponsors /

Do you have a product idea in the context of industry 4.0?

Does your company meet the requirements of the SME definition?

Is there already a project-specific cooperation with a research-oriented test environment? If this is not the case, we can arrange suitable test environments for you. 

Is the project idea viable? We will be happy to help you classify your I 4.0 project idea and support you with a sketch template and the formal check.

The sketch must be submitted in digital form via the online sketch tool »pt-outline« on the valuation date. As a rule, you will be notified in writing of the valuation result two months after the cut-off date.

If the sketch has been evaluated positively, you can submit an application for funding. This must be uploaded via the electronic application system