German-African Innovation Incentive Award

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has published regulations governing the granting of a German-African Innovation Incentive Award. The announcement was made within the framework of the German Government's Strategy for the Internationalisation of Science and Research.

The call text is available in htree languages. The following links will take you directly to the respective PDF document in: 

You can also visit the call website in German and in English. The website includes links to necessary forms and regulations.


There has been a marked growth in interest among German institutions in collaborating with African partners in research and innovation in recent years. Several African countries are experiencing comparatively high and steady economic growth. There is increasing awareness in African countries that technological and social innovation are essential drivers for the development of modern knowledge societies.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has defined cooperation with developing and emerging countries as a strategic area of action in its "International Cooperation Action Plan". The BMBF’s Africa Strategy provides a coherent framework for cooperation with partner countries in Africa. Within this framework a large number of initiatives are implemented to strengthen science and innovation systems in African partner countries. The annual German-African Innovation Prize is one of these activities.


The Prize will be awarded to a researcher or authorized representative of a research unit at an African institution. The funds go initially to their German partner at an institution which is eligible for funding, and must be used in accordance with certain regulations described below.

Eligible for funding are German universities, non-university research institutions and other institutions contributing to research as well as commercial companies headquartered in Germany – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which fulfil the funding purpose and requirements. Research institutions which receive joint basic funding from the Federal Government and/or the Länder can only be granted project funding supplementary to their basic funding to cover additional project-related expenditure or costs under certain preconditions.

There are two ways for candidates to be considered in the selection procedure:

a) Nomination
A representative of a German university/research institution or a company proposes a researcher at an African institution for the Prize. In making the nomination, the German institution must declare its readiness to collaborate with the African partners in a joint project. A project plan is submitted which has been developed and signed by both sides.

b) Application
African candidates submit their own applications for the Prize with the inclusion of a German cooperation partner which is eligible for funding in the subsequent joint project. A project plan is submitted which has been developed and signed by both sides.

Type of funding

Funding will be awarded as non-repayable project grants usually amounting to a maximum 150,000 euros for a maximum period of 24 months.

Grants for universities, research and science institutions and similar institutions are calculated on the basis of the eligible project-related expenditure (in the case of Helmholtz centres and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG) on the basis of the eligible project-related costs), which can be funded individually up to a maximum of 100%.

The calculation of the respective rate of funding must take account of the provisions governing de minimis aid and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The GBER allows various additional payments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which could in some circumstances lead to a higher rate of funding.


The application procedure takes place in two phases:

  1. Submission and selection of project outlines (including accompanying documents)
  2. Submission of formal applications for funding and decision-making procedure

The 'PT-Outline' electronic tool must be used for making nominations or submitting applications and for drafting project outlines. The 'easy-online' electronic application system is used for drafting formal proposals.

In the first phase, the following must be submitted to the project management agency by
10 January 2017 at the latest:

  1. An informal cover letter with the nomination or application for the Prize
  2. A short research report on previous research with relevance to the Prize
  3. A project outline for the planned follow-up project.

For more details please check the full call text!


The BMBF has currently entrusted the following project management organisation with implementing the funding measure:

DLR Project Management Agency
European and International Cooperation
Heinrich-Konen-Strasse 1
53227 Bonn, Germany

Contact persons:

Dr Ralf Hermann
Phone: +49 228/38 21-1459
Fax: +49 228/38 21-1490

Ms Grazyna Sniegocka
Phone: +49 228/38 21-1811
Fax: +49 228/38 21-1490

Any modifications will be announced in the Bundesanzeiger (Federal Gazette) or in another suitable form.