"Entrepreneurial Regions" - The BMBF Innovation Initiative for East German Federal States

Under the umbrella brand "Entrepreneurial Regions", BMBF is funding outstanding regional alliances in East German federal states. The aim of the funded initiative is to strategically convert regional competences with potential for innovation to regional clusters on a high technological level and according to entrepreneurial criteria.

To this end, BMBF has annually provided around € 90 million since 1999. For the period until 2007, over € 500 million were planned.

Up-to-date information and dates


 In 1999, BMBF advertised "InnoRegio" as a broad-based competition that is not bound to a certain sector or research direction. The aim was to develop self-sustaining innovation networks and to create locations that are competitive in the long term.

From a total of 444 applicants, the jury selected 23 networks, company alliances, educational and research institutions from diverse sectors covering a wide variety of priority topics. Since 2001, these selected initiatives have put their innovative concepts into practice.

All initiatives and previous results

Innovative regional core growth areas with "core growth area potential" module

With the programme "Innovative Regional Core Growth Areas", BMBF is specifically funding the existing strengths of East German regions. Regional cooperation networks which have a technology platform or the potential for this and have significant unique selling points in their field of competence will be supported in developing their own sustainable technological profile.

The partners of the alliance need to focus on regional core competences with potential for growth. They need to tailor their strategy to the market, implement this strategy consistently and submit detailed business plans. The implementation of the business strategy must be oriented to medium-term and long-term market potentials. In addition to strengthening the individual companies, funding is to sustainably expand the joint core competence of the partners.

 Previous core growth areas and results

"Core growth area" core module

This part of the funding programme has been on the agenda since 2001. Initiatives that apply for this module must already have outstanding technologies or methods with certain unique selling points ("technology platform" or "problem-solving platform"). 

"Core growth area potential" module (new)

The new programme module is to accelerate the transfer of research results with high potential for innovation to regional companies and is to enable the creation of a regional technology platform. With the new module, BMBF makes access to the core growth area programme easier for many applicants.

Information on the application procedure and dates

The application procedure consists of several stages. In the first step, an outline of the proposal (maximum of 10 pages) can be submitted at any time. Promising initiatives will be invited to an interview and subsequently asked to prepare a detailed innovation concept. Within the framework of the selection process, initiatives will receive detailed advice.

Innovation forums

The initiative "Interregional Alliances for the Markets of Tomorrow" aims at regional innovation networks which are at the beginning of their development. These networks are provided with the opportunity of sharpening their profile in terms of content by implementing an innovation forum and by extending cooperations (between the partners involved). The implementation of an innovation forum is intended to spark off the stabilisation of an innovative regional network.
 Previous innovation forums

Information on the application procedure and dates

Project outlines can be submitted at any time to the DLR project management. It is recommended to contact the project management organisation before preparing the outline. The project management organisation provides detailed advisory services.
 Programme, funding guidelines

Centres for Innovation Competence

The programme "Centres for Innovation Competence" transfers outstanding research approaches at universities and research institutions in East German federal states to leading international centres. Excellent and internationally competitive research is decisive for these centres, but also "innovation competence", i.e. the capability of transferring research results to industry. Since March 2004, BMBF has supported six centres, which were evaluated as positive in implementing their concepts by an independent panel of experts. Here, the focus is on funding two groups consisting of international young scientists until 2009.


With "InnoProfile" funding is provided for industrially oriented groups of young scientists at publicly financed research institutions, with a special orientation to companies on the spot, which shape the economic competence profile in their region and which are or will be a significant element of the added value in the region. Up-to-date information and dates.

Organisations eligible to apply for funding are universities and institutions of the Max Planck and Fraunhofer Society, the Hermann von Helmholtz and Leibniz Association located in former East Germany and in Berlin (East).



Calls for proposals


  • Anja Ruhland

    • Telefonnummer: +49 30 20199 - 518
    • E-Mail-Adresse: a.ruhland@fz-juelich.de
  • Guidance Service for Companies

    • Telefonnummer: +49 30 20199-559

Contact Persons

  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

    • Referat 114 "Regionale Innovationsinitiativen; Neue Länder"
    • Hannoversche Straße 28-30
    • 10115 Berlin
    • Telefonnummer: +49 3018 57 5273
    • Faxnummer: +49 3018 57 85273
    • E-Mail-Adresse: Sandy.Eigendorf@bmbf.bund.de
    • Homepage: http://www.unternehmen-region.de/
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, PtJ

    • Fördermanagement Unternehmen Region
    • Zimmerstraße 26-27
    • 10969 Berlin
    • Telefonnummer: 030 20199-452
    • Faxnummer: 030 20199-412
    • E-Mail-Adresse: ptj-tri@fz-juelich.de
    • Homepage: http://www.fz-juelich.de/ptj/unternehmen-region/
  • Projektträger im DLR

    • Projektbüro "Interregionale Allianzen"
    • Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 2
    • 10178 Berlin
    • Telefonnummer: 030/67055-481
    • Faxnummer: 030/67055-499
    • E-Mail-Adresse: Reg-In@dlr.de


  • Unternehmen Region ID = 761

    cover of this publication

    Initiativen von Welt

    2006, 15 pages

    Download [PDF - 1,70 MB] (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pub/unternehmen_region_1_06.pdf)