National funding opportunities for service innovations

Research and development projects designed to develop a service are supported by almost all FFG programmes. During 2014 the FFG committed around EUR 95 million in funding to such projects. However, the majority of these services have a technological background.

Services can be developed within all the key topics covered by the FFG, and consequently all relevant national funding opportunities apply also to the Service Initiative.

For projects less reliant on research, the Innovation Voucher encourages companies to embark on the innovation process by offering the support required to develop innovative services. The BRIDGE programme provides support for basic research, including research with a social or human science component.

Programmes which focus on helping society deal with the major challenges of an ageing population and mobility, such as Mobility, Energy and Environment, also have a large share of projects aimed at the development of services. The potential to develop innovative services is particularly evident in the production environment as a consequence of increased networking and digitisation. The Intelligent Production programme considers these aspects, as well as examining the impact on working life and searching for solutions.

Educational activities are supported by the FFG through the R&D Competences for Industry programme, including in the context of service innovations. The goal of the programme is to establish, deepen and broaden the skills of research and innovation staff.

The Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) has established its Service Initiative to provide targeted funding for developing innovative services. The Service Initiative places a focus on two programmes: the COIN Cooperation and Innovation for highly cooperative projects, and "Service Innovations" within the framework of single firm project funding in the General Programme.The programmes are now also open to non-technological methods and are thus able to address a wider range of subjects and initiatives than the otherwise strongly technology-focused programmes. The Service Initiative is open to all topics, however, a special focus is placed on Industry 4.0 as a means of raising awareness of this topic.

International programmes for innovative services

Service innovations can be funded as "Services" within the framework of the EU's Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon 2020.