The Environmental Innovation Programme (UIP) is a funding programme introduced by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety whose current annual funding volume amounts to 25 million euros. UIP promotes initial and large-scale innovations that have a positive impact on the environment. In general, support from the environmental innovation programme is available for everyone, but is particularly interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as these are given preferential support.
What investments in the environment are supported under the UIP?
The Environmental Innovation Programme is a technology promotion programme. It promotes various technical investments in the environment, which relieve the burden on the environment and also fulfil the requirements of large-scale technology and initially as well as the criterion of demonstration. Therefore, the following environmental investments are therefore particularly eligible for UIP support:
- Manufacturing processes with environmentally friendly effects
- Installations that protect the environment
- Installations used for supply, treatment or disposal
- Installations in which environmentally friendly products or substitutes are manufactured or used
Projects that do not fall under the above criteria can be funded in technology-open programmes such as ZIM – Zentrales Mittelstand.
What is the procedure for UIP funding?
In the application phase of the UIP funding procedure, a project outline and a project application are submitted first. The project outline and project application are each subject to an administrative review by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The funding decision is made by the BMU. If the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety approves the UIP project, this means a legally binding funding commitment.
This is followed by the concrete project phase, which, however, does not begin until the grant decision has been received, which is why the project can only be started after the grant has been approved. The funds are disbursed by KfW. Interim reports on the progress of the project must be drawn up during the course of the project. Likewise, a final report is drawn up at the end of the project which, after acceptance by the BMU, leads to a successful UIP project conclusion.
Which documents must be submitted for a successful UIP application?
In general, the relevant application form including attachments must be submitted for funding by the Environmental Innovation Programme. In addition, explanatory documents on the technical aspects of the project, its economics and costing are required.
The following documents are also required for a UIP application:
- Extract from the commercial register
- Current economic evaluation and annual financial statements from the previous two years
- Proof of fiscal harmlessness
- Offers for services and deliveries by third parties
- Specimen signature sheet
Further terms and conditions of the BMU Environmental Innovation Programme and why SMEs can benefit in particular
In general, projects within the framework of the BMU Environmental Innovation Programme must be of an initial character, i.e. they must not have been implemented at a national level. In addition, the project installation must actually be put into commercial operation and must not serve merely demonstrational purposes. On the other hand, it is necessary to demonstrate the technological innovation of the plant and its environmental benefits.
The UIP promotes innovation projects with grants, whereby in particular small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit. This is because SMEs receive an investment grant of up to 30% of the project costs. Large companies, on the other hand, are subsidised with only 20% of the costs. Alternatively, an interest subsidy for a KfW loan can also be granted. This covers up to 70% of the eligible costs. A maximum subsidy amount is not set in each case.
Further information on the Environmental Innovation Programme can be found on the homepage of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Are you planning a technological innovation programme in the environmental field? We are happy to offer you support for your UIP project. Get in touch with us – we look forward to hearing from you!