Our ERP innovation programme is aimed at small and medium-sized companies and self-employed people working in the professional-services sector. The focus is on cooperation with research institutes. The idea here is to promote innovation and to quickly bring new practical applications to market. How exactly does it work? The ERP innovation programme supports companies' innovation projects by providing long-term loans via the KfW, which are then paid out by the company's high-street bank.

There are two parts of the programme, which companies can apply for separately.

  • Part I is about providing funding for close-to-market research and for the development of new products, processes, and services in Germany.
  • Part II is about providing support for the launch of new products, processes and services in Germany.

As part of the German energy reforms, special support is given to projects for the development of technologies that render the generation, storage, and transmission of energy more efficient.

These loans are provided from the ERP Special Fund and can thus be offered at lower interest rates. They consist of a subordinated tranche, which is not collateralised, and a debt tranche, which requires collateral as a normal bank loan would.

Applications can be submitted by established companies in trade and industry, and by self-employed individuals who have been on the market for a minimum of two years and who are either implementing their own innovative project in Germany or making an innovative contribution to a project. Applicants must provide proof of their creditworthiness. In most cases, applicants' group turnover must not exceed €125 million. This threshold can be raised to €500 million if the project is considered particularly worthy of funding, i.e. if it is the first of its kind in Germany. Financing is available to cover the costs incurred during the development phase, up until the point where the product or service is ready for commercial use. Loans can cover up to 100% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of €5 million per project.

Projects that are linked to the energy reforms are eligible for loans of up to €25 million euros per project. The cap for individual companies is €50 million per calendar-year.

Applications under the small-businesses section of the programme are restricted to small businesses as defined by the EU in its definition of SMEs.

All applications must be submitted via a bank or savings bank (Sparkasse) using the dedicated forms to the

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