ZIM – Central Innovation Programme for SMEs

The ZIM funding programme, Central Innovation Programme for SMEs, was relaunched by the Federal Government on 15th May 2015. It is administered by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, BMWi. ZIM is an industry-open funding programme for innovation promotion, which is offered nationwide for medium-sized companies. Projects may be carried out alone or in collaboration with other companies or research organisations. The ZIM subsidy is not de minimis relevant. An annual maximum of two ZIM projects can be carried out. Funding is awarded as a non-repayable grant in form of co-financing. A medium-sized company can thus receive several hundred thousand euros in subsidies annually with various projects.

In relation to the gross personnel costs, a considerable portion of the research and development costs can be saved with the help of ZIM.

Who is entitled to apply at ZIM?

Companies with up to 500 employees with a branch in Germany can submit applications to ZIM. The balance sheet total may not exceed EUR 43 million or the turnover may not exceed EUR 50 million. Companies with fewer than 50 employees are particularly encouraged to apply for ZIM.

Funding amount of the ZIM project

The maximum funding amount for companies is EUR 209,000 for research and development activities and a further EUR 25,000 for marketing the innovation. The actual funding amount depends on the scope of the project, your company (size, location) and whether you are applying for a project alone or in cooperation.

There are different ZIM project forms.

ZIM individual projects

In ZIM-EP, the BMWi supports research and development projects of medium-sized companies that are carried out individually without research partners. The medium-sized company does not need any partners for this form of ZIM application. However, the funding rate is somewhat lower.

ZIM cooperation projects

In ZIM-KOOP, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology supports various constellations with several project partners. Cooperation can only take place between companies or in cooperation with research institutes or universities. Research institutes and universities alone may not apply.

ZIM Cooperation Networks

ZIM networks have the aim to work on a certain topic in the consortium. Individual cooperation projects then emerge from the network. The advantage of the network is that an external institution takes over the coordination and application for the partners. Network management is promoted by the BMWi. At least six small and medium-sized enterprises must participate in the network. Other larger companies and research institutions may participate.

Important information about ZIM

International R&D projects: It may be advantageous for the applicant to cooperate with foreign partners. The Federal Ministry of Economics offers special conditions for this case.

Marketing of the innovation: Beside the ZIM research and development project, the marketing process of the product is promoted as well. The so-called DL promotion should not be missed out on.

Duration: ZIM projects usually do not last longer than 3 years and are not shorter than 6 months.

ZIM programme duration: Applications can be submitted until 31st December 2019. The projects can, however, run longer. This is very likely, as ZIM is an inherent part of the coalition agreement.

Company size: Companies with up to 500 employees can apply for ZIM.

Miscellaneous: As an applicant company, you should already have regular sales or solid financing.

Interested? – Application with guarantee of success – ZIM consulting.

We, the ZIM consultants DORUCON – DR. RUPP CONSULTING GmbH, help you to submit your ZIM application successfully. We offer a full service. This means that we relieve you as much as possible of the burden of filing and processing your application. Due to our outstanding success rate, we work primarily on a success-based basis. This gives you the guarantee that you do not have high fixed consulting costs.

For more information about the ZIM programme, please contact us via our contact form.

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