With the aim of further strengthening the innovative ability of the East German economy, „InnoProfile“ promotes cooperation between junior research groups and businesses in their specific regions.
The economic development in the New German Länder is highly dependant on the extent to which small and medium sized enterprises are able to exploit their innovative potential. In order to speed up this innovation process and to foster regional strengths, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) focuses on bringing scientific institutions and businesses more closely together.
“InnoProfile” thus especially supports cooperations between junior research groups and those businesses which represent regional core competences and hold the potential to contribute to their region’s economic development in a significant way. At the same time, the funding helps to win those excellently qualified professionals from science and industry who will in future contribute to shape the region’s economic and technological processes.
Having started in June 2005, “InnoProfile” selects research projects by market-oriented groups of young scientists in three programme rounds. In the first round in November 2005, 18 projects qualified for a five year funding period. An external jury of experts chose the successful initiatives from over 100 applications.
For this programme, universities and public research institutes which have their seat in the New German Länder are eligible to apply. The best projects are selected in a two-step process. First, the initiatives have to send in a project draft with their concept for the setting up of a market-oriented group of young scientists. These drafts are evaluated by external experts. If the assessment is positive, the initiatives are asked to formulate an official application, and a final decision is taken on this basis.
In the second round in August 2006, 14 projects were selected and presented to the public. For the third round, the expert jury chose ten further projects in May 2007. All together, the BMBF supports 42 “InnoProfile” initiatives.
As all other programmes within “Entrepreneurial Regions” (German: Unternehmen Region), “InnoProfile” is not restricted to certain technologies or branches. The decisive factor is the project’s economic and technological potential for the region.
Until the year 2013, the BMBF will allocate EUR 157 million to this programme.
With "InnoProfile-Transfer" a stronger focus of existing InnoProfile research groups on technology transfer is to be supported and SMEs are to be motivated to more closely cooperate with the sciences. So far, the BMBF supports 40 "InnoProfile-Transfer" initiatives. The ministry has allocated a budget of EUR 91 million for these initiatives until 2017.