ZIM is the basic programme by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) for market-oriented technology funding of innovative SMEs in Germany. The programme offers SMEs a transparent funding opportunity with coordinated uniform funding conditions until the end of 2013. In this context, funding is provided for financing cooperation and network projects and, in addition to this, since 2009 individual projects have been funded.
Funding through ZIM aims at
ZIM is a nationwide funding programme not bound to a certain sector or research direction, which is intended for SMEs and industry-near research institutions working with them.
Until 31 December 2010, also companies of all legal forms with business operations in Germany and up to 1,000 employees are eligible to apply.
Funding is provided for cooperation projects between SMEs or SMEs and public or private non-profit research institutions, including projects from SMEs that have not been innovative so far and R&D contracts for the preparation of future cooperations and networks.
R&D projects are to deal with the development of innovative products, procedures or technological services and are not restricted to specific technologies or sectors.
DL innovation-supporting services and advisory services in order to use the results of the funded R&D projects fast and economically
External management and organisation services are funded in order to develop market-oriented networks of innovative SMEs.
Funding is provided for network management services in order to prepare a network conception and establish a network (phase 1) and to subsequently implement the network conception (phase 2).
The following are eligible for funding: research institutions involved in the network or external network-management institutions appointed for network management by the companies.
The companies involved in the network participate with an increasing contribution of their own. The beneficiary companies receive "de minimis" aids according to EU regulations.
Applications can be submitted at any time. They must, however, be submitted prior to the beginning of the project and prior to the completion of legally binding contracts. BMWi decides on funding