1 June 2015 | 1 July 2008

Management of ZIM cooperation projects within the “Central Innovation Programme for SMEs” (Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand – ZIM), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

The Central SME Innovation Programme (ZIM) is a nation-wide funding programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-profit research organisations cooperating with them on R&D related projects. It is open to all technologies and sectors.

ZIM is designed to sustainably support the innovative and competitive capacity of SMEs including craft businesses and independent professions. Thus the programme contributes to their growth and helps create and secure jobs. Funding is provided for R&D individual projects, as well as cooperation projects and cooperation networks.

AiF Projekt GmbH is the authorised project management agency for ZIM cooperation projects.

R&D cooperation projects, in which SMEs collaborate with each other or with research institutes, make up the largest part of ZIM applications. Up until 31 December 2014, AiF Projekt GmbH supported more than 20,500 ZIM cooperation projects with a total of 2.8 billion Euros in granted funds.

On 1 June 2015, after the redefined and improved ZIM guideline had come into effect, AiF Projekt GmbH was again appointed to act as project management agency for R&D cooperation projects.

In accordance with Section 44 (3) of the German Federal Budgetary Regulations, AiF Projekt GmbH is authorised to perform administrative tasks related to monetary contributions on its own behalf. Those tasks include making funding decisions under its own responsibility.

» ZIM-Website



1 August 2004

Project Management for PRO INNO II, a funding programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) designed to increase the innovative capacity of SMEs

With an amount of nearly 750 million Euros, more than 4,700 enterprises and 700 research institutes were supported in their efforts to undertake cooperation projects between enterprises or between enterprises and research institutes, as well as so-called initiation projects, and personnel exchange (deadline for proposals was 30 June 2008).

Since 2008, SMEs can claim additional funding for consulting services on innovation, and other services which support the market launch of project results.



27 February 2002

Project Management for the NEMO funding contest

Until 2008, the AiF Berlin branch office organised ten calls for proposals for the contest which aimed at supporting the development of innovative networks. As a result, funding of management and organisational services for 200 network projects was granted.



27 May 1999

Project Management for PRO INNO, a funding programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) designed to increase the innovative capacity of SMEs

This programme allowed the funding of cooperation projects between companies (KU), cooperation projects between companies and research institutions (KF), cooperation projects with research institutions acting as subcontractors (KA), so-called initiation projects €, and personnel exchange (P).

In total, 10,000 applications were evaluated. Funds were granted to more than 4,000 R&D projects including approx. 7,000 sub-projects, which were undertaken by nearly 5,000 companies and around 500 R&D institutions (application deadline 31st October 2003).



1 September 1993

Project Management for „Research Cooperation within the small business sector (Foko)“, a programme by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

This federal subsidy programme comprised the following funding options: R&D projects (FKV), R&D contracts (FKA), research personnel exchange (FKP), and collective R&D projects in East Germany (FUEGO).

The AiF Berlin office oversaw approx. 6,700 funded projects undertaken by more than 4,700 companies. Almost 26,000 R&D employees participated in those projects (application deadline 30th September 1998).



15 February 1992

Project Management for “R&D Personnel Funding in East Germany (PFO)”, a programme by the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology

The PFO programme supported the activities of more than 34,000 R&D employees in almost 4,800 small and medium-sized East German enterprises (application deadline 30th September 2003).



16 May 1991

Project Management for “Contract Research and Development West-East (AWO)”, a funding programme by the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology

Aided by this funding scheme, approx. 950 East German research institutes and enterprises were able to acquire almost 2,600 R&D assignments with favourable conditions for their respective ordering parties. Thus they were given the opportunity to establish themselves in the R&D market (application deadline 31st December 1996).



11 January 1991

Project Management for two funding schemes by the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology (BMFT): Contract Research and Development in Eastern Germany (AFO), and R&D Personnel Increase (ZFO)

Through the AFO programme (proposal submission until 31st December 1994), nearly 1,700 East German companies received financial support for concluding R&D contracts with research institutions or enterprises.

The ZFO funding scheme (proposal submission until 31st December 1995) allowed small and medium-sized enterprises in the new federal states of Germany to access grants in order to set up and expand their own R&D capacities by recruiting scientists and engineers. More than 1,800 companies were able to profit from this funding scheme, creating more than 4,600 new R&D positions.




Erfolgsbeispiele geförderter FuE-Projekte aus dem Zentralen Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)
» zim.de


AiF Projekt GmbH
Tschaikowskistraße 49
13156 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 48163-3
Fax: +49 30 48163-402