Transfer BONUS: Funding Research & Development

With the Transfer BONUS, the Berlin Senate Department for Economy, Energy and Businesses has created a funding scheme that brings together companies and scientific institutions, creating synergy effects for both sides.

You can find the State of Berlin's Terms and Conditions for Transfer BONUS funding in the Funding Guidelines (pdf - only available in German).

What does the Transfer BONUS cover?

The Transfer BONUS provides non-repayable grants to support technology and knowledge transfer projects run by SMEs and science and research institutions.

The aim of the programme is to make access to science and research easier for companies in order to aid their innovative ideas and support economic exploitation.

With the Transfer BONUS, SMEs can receive financial support for:

  • Developing new products and services;
  • Optimising/further developing technological processes;
  • Establishing novel business models;
  • Increasing innovativeness and competitiveness;
  • Stabilising and increasing their activity level;
  • Overcoming the challenges of the digital revolution.

Funding is provided as either the Entry-Level Model or the Standard Model/Digitisation Standard Model.

Forscherinnen experimentieren im Labor

Project funding with the Entry-Level Model

This funding is intended to break down the barriers involved in launching cooperations between companies and science and research institutions. It helps recipients carry out an initial project together on a small scale.

One-off subsidies are provided to cover expenditure required to clarify scientific issues that may occur in the run-up to product, process or service developments. Examples include feasibility studies or process analyses.

Expenditure of up to €7,500 is 100 % subsidised. Higher expenditure must be borne by the company submitting the application.

Forscherinnen stehen vor einem Mikroskop

Project funding with the Standard Model

This funding instrument is aimed at the concrete implementation of technology and knowledge transfer projects. Costs are subsidised for external research and development activities on planning, development and implementation. These activities must be aimed at making new or improved products, services and processes ready-for-market or ready-for-production.

Funding is provided as co-financing, with up to 70 % of eligible expenditure covered – up to a maximum of €15,000.


[Translate to English:] Frau mit VR-Brille

Advanced funding for digitisation projects

If the core of your project is focused on digitisation, then you can get more comprehensive funding within the Standard Model. This type of special funding is granted to developers of digital products.

Up to 70% of eligible expenditure – up to a maximum of €45,000 – is subsidised as co-financing.

Companies can apply for funding within the Standard Model within a period of three years for a maximum of three clearly separate projects. The projects to be funded can be based on one another in terms of content. Advanced funding for digitisation projects within the Standard Model can only be applied for once.

Digitisation funding includes, in particular, projects in the following areas of technology:

  • Communication technology;
  • Sensors;
  • Embedded systems;
  • Actuator technology;
  • Human-machine interfaces (behavioural models, assistance systems);
  • Software/system technology (including safety and security technologies);
  • Standards/norms in the above areas.

Please note that projects must not have already started at time of application. Funding is approved after an individual assessment by IBB Business Team GmbH. Only services from the scientific institution which are highlighted during the application in the form of a corresponding offer are eligible for funding.

Who can receive funding for research projects?

Persons or organisations which:

  • Are legally independent small and medium-sized enterprises focused on technology which (want to) develop their own products, processes or services and bring these to the market;
  • Non-technology, legally independent SMEs are eligible to apply in justified exceptional cases, provided the project exhibits a clear focus on technology;
  • Companies in the social economy;
  • Companies in the production-related service sector, including software companies, may also apply for funding for digitisation projects. Companies developing technologies and companies which wish to implement corresponding solutions in their business processes are eligible to apply.

If several SMEs join forces to conduct a larger project together, funding can be accumulated. To do this, each company must submit its own funding application.

Companies cooperating on larger projects

If several companies join together to conduct a larger project, they can receive funding independently of one another. In this case, it is possible to accumulate subsidies. Each participating company must submit a separate funding application.


How much funding is available?

Up to €45,000 in funding for technology and knowledge transfer projects in Berlin.

  1. In the Entry-Level Model, grants of up to €7,500 are awarded as full financing. 
  2. In the Standard Model, expenditure for concrete research and development work is subsidised up to a maximum of €15,000.
  3. If the project in question falls within the area of digitisation, the maximum subsidy amount is €45,000.



Please submit your application for Transfer BONUS funding using the electronic application and management system. You can enter all the relevant information there. The system also provides a convenient document management tool. Please observe the mandatory eligibility criteria and necessary documents!

Please note that applications can only be submitted in German. Please familiarise yourself with the eligibility criteria and necessary documents before applying!

Information on applying and necessary documents (only available in German)


Combine the Transfer BONUS with other funding schemes

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[Translate to English:] Team aus Gründern berät sich


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