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Research support

Our research projects receive public funding from the Federal government and the EU, with the largest portion being provided by the IGF programme for the funding of joint industrial research together with the ZIM programme designed to promote innovation in medium-sized enterprises. Both of these programmes are supported by the BMWK, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and are administered by the AIF, the body that coordinates the work of research associationsuntil. From 2024 onwards, the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) will assume responsibility for the IGF-programme.

AiF – Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen

Unlike large companies, whose research in Germany is generally supported financially by the Ministry of Education and Research, it is the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action that is responsible for the small and medium-sized enterprises in the printing and media industry. As a result, Fogra receives just under 30 % of its annual budget through funding for approved research projects. These funds are distributed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in response to applications made by Fogra and other research associations, which are then evaluated against each other. The AiF, the body that oversees this process, maintains an extensive network of experts drawn from industry and academia, to carry out such evaluations.

The AiF was founded in 1954 and is an industry-backed innovation network tasked with supporting research and development amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. It brings together the interests of business, science and politics. As a not-for-profit association, the promotes joint industrial research alongside the ZIM.

The sponsorship of projects implemented within the framework of Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung (IGF) ends in 2023 and will be taken over by the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in 2024. There will be no immediate changes for the application process.


IGF – Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung

The IGF bridges the gap between basic research and commercial application. New technologies that will benefit entire industries and, increasingly nowadays, multiple industries are readied for the market through the work of AiF research associations (until the end of 2023, followed by the German Aerospace Center in 2024) whose goal is to maintain and strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action supports the IGF with public funds.

By acting upstream of the stage when companies start to compete with each other, the IGF provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular access to the results of the latest research.

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ZIM– Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand

The ZIM is a national, cross technology and industry support programme for medium-sized companies and research institutions that provides funding for demanding research and development projects designed to result in new products, technical services or improved production processes.

Technological innovation and market potential are the key criteria when approving funding applications for R&D projects. The ZIM focuses on the situation Germany’s medium-sized companies and is tailored to the needs and SMEs.

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Other sources of finance

However, on their own, these sources of research funding would be neither sufficient to finance a research institute such as Fogra and nor would that be a good idea. Ultimately, one of the institute’s core tasks is to transfer the results of its work to industry, which it does by providing testing and certification services, together with various training initiatives. These contribute a similar proportion of Fogra’s turnover and ensure its viability. Alongside research funding and revenues from the various knowledge transfer activities referred to above, the subscriptions paid by Fogra’s 900 or so members make up the third main source of funds.