Impact Innovation – Funding, Guidelines
You have come across a problem for which no satisfactory solution has been found yet? Well why not do something about it! The FFG's Impact Innovation funding scheme encourages you to find or test your ideas using innovation methods, and will pay half of the costs. Up to 75,000 euros are available, no matter which topic you choose or which sector you operate in. The key point is that the process involves all stakeholders concerned with the aim of developing new ideas into effective solutions. You don't need to be an innovation professional to do that! Impact Innovation will also provide funding if you wish to seek support from experts. The funding application for Impact Innovation can be submitted at an early stage of the process, even before you have selected a solution approach. Applications can be submitted on an ongoing basis – there is no deadline.
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What is the programme about?
Impact Innovation promotes the use of innovation methods for solving a problem. The key point is that the process involves all relevant stakeholders with the aim of finding new ideas and developing effective solutions. The result may take the form of services, products or processes offering added value for the target group. The important thing is that you are still at an early stage of your project, meaning that you can define the problem but have not yet developed a solution for it.
Impact Innovation provides funding for:
- an intensive analysis of the problem
- the finding of ideas
- involving relevant stakeholders
- support from innovation experts
- developing suitable solutions
If you are actively using innovation methods your team will profit as well: building innovation expertise will also help you in other projects.
What does the innovation process look like?
The use of innovation methods is a main focus of Impact Innovation. The key steps of an innovation process are shown in the graphic below. But keep in mind: innovation is a flexible process! You are allowed or even encouraged to take one step back, throw away ideas or approaches and come up with new ones. This is the only way to create optimal solutions for your target group.
graphic: Problem identification, Problem analysis, Idea finding, Idea selection, Development, Product/Service, Marketing, Application possible, Funding possible
Who can submit applications?
The programme is open to small and medium enterprises (SME defintion - German only) from all sector, including:
- Profit and non-profit oriented companies and partnerships
- Natural persons/sole traders
- Non-profit organisations
Associations and non-profit organisations should observe the following:
Your organisation must pursue a commercial activity, or your project must be in preparation for such a commercial activity. This means that your services or products must be offered on a specific market, whether in return for payment or free of charge.
What is the funding rate?
- Total cost of project: max. EUR 150,000
- Funding rate: 50 % of costs, max. EUR 75,000
- Project duration: max. 12 months
What projects or sectors are eligible for funding?
All topics and all sectors are eligible for funding under the Impact Innovation programme, there are no restrictions. Experience in research or innovation is not a requirement!
How do I submit an application?
The submission process is simple. Applications can be submitted online via eCall on an ongoing basis, there are no deadlines. All details can be found in the Impact Innovation Guideline (German only).
What should I bear in mind when submitting an application?
Even though the projects eligible for funding under Impact Innovation may vary, there are some things they have in common:
- Your project should aim to solve a defined problem. Your project description should therefore be based on a detailed problem definition. Special focus should be placed on the following points: What is the particular problem to be solved by the project? Whom does it concern? What impact does it have?
- The project should apply (innovation) methods suitable for solving the problem. So please describe the planned implementation of the methods in your project. If you do not yet have sufficient knowledge of these methods you may also develop the relevant expertise during the project, including with the help of experts, if desired. In this case, please describe who (internally and/or externally) has the required methodological expertise and how it should be developed.
- Relevant 'actors' – i.e. persons affected, stakeholders and experts – should be involved as early and as intensively as possible. So, when planning your project, please ensure that you obtain feedback from key actors at an early stage and on a regular basis. Describe how you will involve the relevant actors and take this into account in your plans.
Description of the target group:
Startups, profit and non-profit oriented companies or partnerships (e.g. limited liability company (GmbH), general partnership (OG) etc.), natural persons/sole traders, associations, non-profit organisations