With the Modernity Fund (mFUND), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding research projects aimed at an innovative application of BMVI-relevant data through the large-scale utilization and networking of these data. The Federal Ministry will provide approximately 150 million euros in funding for this purpose by 2020. mFUND is open to companies, university and non-university research institutions as well as associations, municipalities and individuals.
Who can be supported by mFUND?
Companies, universities and non-university research institutions, municipalities, associations and individuals, among others, can submit an application for mFUND. Federal and state institutions that pursue development and research tasks are also eligible to apply. Individual projects as well as collaborative projects are possible. Support through mFUND is particularly interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as SMEs can receive an additional bonus within the framework of the support programme. On the other hand, applicants who are in insolvency proceedings and companies in difficulties under current EU law are not eligible for mFUND funding.
Previous mFUND projects have dealt, among other things, with the digital collection of environmental data, the early detection of danger spots in road traffic or the development of a portal for the use of open data.
What are the objectives of the funding programme?
With the Modernity Fund (mFUND), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) wants to expand the areas of data-based applications, data governance and data access. Accordingly, the mFUND funding programme pursues the following objectives:
- Conception of new solutions and further development of existing applications based on BMVI data
- Determination of implications and conditions for data access and data-based applications
- Utilization of existing and future data
Conditions for mFUND funding
Within the framework of the mFUND funding programme, applicants must be willing to cooperate in event and networking formats and to participate in evaluating procedures. The communication and information work of the mFUND funding programme should also be supported, in the context of which the project results will be presented to the public.
In the case of a collaborative project, a coordinator must also be appointed to act as the contact person for the project-executing agency and the granting authority. A written cooperation agreement must also be drawn up in this case.
Procedure of the conveying procedure
The mFUND funding procedure consists of two stages. In the first stage, project outlines must be submitted. First, the sketches are technically checked for their content. Those applicants who were positively evaluated in this first step will then be invited to submit a formal grant application. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) decides on a permit.
mFUND conditions of support
The amount and other conditions of mFUND funding depend on various factors. It is important, for example, whether the project deals with funding line 1, which deals with the preparation of project proposals and preliminary studies, or with funding line 2, which deals with applied research and experimental development. In general, the following mFUND funding conditions apply:
- Projects of funding line 1 receive up to 100,000 euros, with a duration of up to one year.
- Projects under funding line 2 will receive up to 2 million euros and run for up to three years.
- In the case of commercial enterprises, up to 50% of the eligible costs are generally eligible.
- In the case of universities and non-university research institutions, up to 100% of the eligible costs are even eligible for funding.
- For research projects at universities, a project lump sum can also be granted, which amounts to up to 20% of the grant.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that meet the EU SME criteria can also receive a bonus.
In general, the mFUND funding amounts are comparable to the amounts that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can receive within the Horizont 2020 SME Instrument funding programme. In phase 2 of the Horizon 2020 SME sub-instrument, the funding amounts to between 500,000 euros and 2.5 million euros.
Further information and notes on the mFUND funding programme can be found in the funding database of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.