The EU is aiming to invest 3 % of GDP in research and development by 2020. With this in mind, the Federal Government is encouraging businesses to invest in research and innovation and is keen to improve the climate for research and innovation.
The Federal Government has brought all the research, technology and innovation activities together in the high-tech strategy for Germany.
The new high-tech strategy focuses the research and technology support programs on the major challenges of the future, such as: new requirements in terms of mobility, a climate-friendly energy supply, increased requirements for individuals in terms of health and safety, and new electronic forms of communication. To this end, future projects are defined, with which selected missions will be at the core of future research and innovation policy. They make clear to people the objectives that are to be achieved with research and development in the coming 10 to 15 years. At the same time, they set out innovation strategies and plans showing how we can achieve these objectives in manageable gradual steps. The objectives include 1 million electric vehicles by 2020.
As far as businesses are concerned, constant improvement of the general conditions is also important. This particularly concerns effective protection of intellectual property and cost-effective organisation of the patent system. The Federal Government has been campaigning for several years for a low-cost EU patent that is valid in all the countries of the European Union. Other topics include tax measures, e.g. to support venture capital, the modernisation of the state through increased procurement of innovative products and services or the promotion of standardisation processes.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
The Federal Government’s support database offers detailed and current information on around 1,600 support programs from federal government, federal states and EU. It offers a specific search for suitable means of support and creates an overview over the diversity of the public support offers at the same time. Additionally connections between individual programs are listed, which are important for an efficient use of governmental support.
The ERP start-up funds provide support funding in areas such as setting up and consolidating a business, research and innovation (all fields) and economic activities.
The fund is open to small commercial technology firms whose main offices are in Germany. Firms must meet the EU’s defined criteria for small businesses (fewer than 50 employees and an annual balance sheet or turnover of no more than EUR 10 million).
In addition to the technology-specific specialist programs, there are technology-neutral support programs for SMEs in particular: