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I recently graduated from PhD and right now I am working in a consulting company. My manager asked me to write a proposal to get public funding to do research. The topic is computer science and semiconductor industry. Since the company is located in Germany, I can apply for funding institutes in Germany and Europe. However, I have difficulty in finding funding institutes to support research in the industrial section. So, I am looking forward for your suggestions and help.

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In Germany it is typical to apply for public funding through the federal ministries such as BMWI or BMBF. You can look up funding programs at the BMWI Förderdatenbank.

You will find some information about the programs of the BMBF here (in german).

Usually the ministries have certain topics open which you can apply for with a consortium of different industrial and academic partners. At least that's how we get public funding.

See here for a currently open call for application.

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In the US through our National Science Foundation, you'd need to partner with a university who would, at least in name, lead the project. All NSF programs have eligibility requirements, and those don't usually include private non-educational entities as leads. Also, you'd need to openly publish your results. In the end, due to the Bayh-Dole Act, the university probably has the right to patent and license for sale the results, but your company would probably not be able to do so itself.

I assume that the EU and Germany have similar constraints on government grant funding, but I'm not 100% sure. It would be worth looking at some prior EU and German grants and see if they do.

You could also look at trying to satisfy government contracts in the defense industry. There are whole multi-billion dollar defense contractors in the US (Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, etc.) that do research on behalf of the military here to deliver much more than guns and planes and such. The government frequently wants algorithms (e.g., weather prediction, signal processing), etc. to satisfy our defense needs. I suspect that yours do, too.

  • Partnering with non-profit institutions is key. Also it is very important that you design your project in keeping with the call, rather than the other way. Also remember that, given funding will be public, there will be key rules and limitations in terms of industrial protection and exploitation of the research results. – Joe_74 Jul 20 '16 at 9:32
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The European research funding is managed trough the cordis platform. One of the current open programs is Horizon 2020.

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the best way is to look at the financial and funding structure of the institution that you would like to ask for cooperation. This information or data are available through commissioner for information of public importance. You need to be aware, that there is law in Germany that if institution is funded 100% from Government, they are not allowed to make profit outside of institutional funding, I suggest you to find institution in countries of EU and Europe that give legal right to institution to cooperate and accept grants and cooperation from a private sector. Usually, Czech republic or Poland, or maybe Serbia that is outside of EU but still in Europe have these laws, that basically gives full autonomy with who they will cooperate and how.

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