13.09.2007 31.12.2023
Application Phase
Selection phase
Funding phase

SME Innovative: Energy-Efficiency and Climate Protection

Small and medium-sized enterprises as innovation drivers for improving energy efficiency and for climate protection.

Studies show that companies investing in energy-efficient, low-emission technologies have excellent growth prospects. The drivers and users of efficient technologies are often small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are a key innovation driver and an important interface for transferring research findings from academia to business.

With the "SME Innovative" funding initiative which was started in 2007, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims to improve the long-term innovation potential of small and medium-sized enterprises with high R&D intensity, and in so doing increase their economic power. In order to make the research funding more appealing to those SMEs submitting first-time applications in particular, the application and approval processes have been simplified and speeded up, and advisory services for SMEs have been upgraded.

As one of the seven technology areas currently within the SME Innovative initiative, funding is being given to technologies for resource and energy efficiency/climate protection. Within this area of focus, the funding measure is designed to be open to different subjects and is available to any innovative SME in any sector. Within the technology area referred to, the DLR's project management agency is responsible for the energy efficiency/climate protection focal topic. Here, SMEs draw up - either alone or in tandem with other companies or research institutions - specific assistance towards improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions and climate protection in industry and towards developing relevant innovative products and services. These include, e.g., heating systems for industrial purposes that are optimised in terms of effectiveness and emissions, a gas-fired hot air blower to replace electrically heated systems, and designing energy-efficient automats, for example a ticket machine.

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