With this programme, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims at making results of public research better and faster usable for the economy.
At universities as well as research institutes plenty of unused innovation potential can be found. Potential that - if it was identified early and developed systematically - could sustainably boost the economy in the New German Länder.
With its programme ForMaT within the framework of "Entrepreneurial Regions" (German: Unternehmen Region), the Innovation Initiative for the New German Länder, the BMBF specifically connects two new approaches to the transfer of knowledge and technology.
For one, the intention is to motivate scientists to already analyse the economic usability of their studies in an early stage of their research. For another, the programme supports interdisciplinary cooperation: science and technology departments form a team with economics or business faculties. This team then develops exploitation concepts and puts them jointly into practice.
The goal of the programme is that public research projects aim at the transfer of knowledge and technology into the economy as early as possible. Therewith, the BMBF gives an impulse to overcome the separation between market-driven industrial research on the one hand and insight-driven public research on the other hand.
The ForMaT support is divided into two phases:
Phase 1 - Screening phase
During the screening phase, lasting for a period of six months, concept teams developed an innovation portfolio containing exploitable research approaches for a specific subject area or technology field. This portfolio was then evaluated by a jury of experts. Given it was assessed positively, a second phase of support follows.
Phase 2 - Realisation phase
In the second phase, the selected research approaches are developed further with a clear focus on specific market and customer demands within the framework of a virtual innovation laboratory (InnoLab). In this InnoLab, research teams and a project support person jointly generate tangible exploitation concepts that are realised afterwards. The realisation phase lasts for up to two years.
[PDF - 757.8 kB]