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06/16/2010 - 08/31/2013

Announcement

of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of regulations for the funding of research and development projects in the area of "International Partnerships for Sustainable Technologies and Services for Climate Protection and the Environment" (CLIENT) under the "Research for Sustainable Development" framework programme
The fundamental aim of sustainability is to leave future generations a world that is worth living in and to achieve and maintain prosperity for everyone. Escalating environmental problems such as climate change and the consequences of the increasing use of resources are the great challenges facing sustainable development from the global perspective. New technologies, services and organizational models are an important key to mastering these challenges. Sustainable innovations are the only way of balancing economic growth and environmental and climate protection. They also provide economic opportunities. All the major forecasts predict the expansive development of environmental technologies on the world markets, which will lead to the creation of new jobs.

Industrialized countries such as Germany, emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and developing countries such as Vietnam will have a special role to play in the development and application of environmental technologies and services. Their growing economic performance, their high level of involvement in the international science and research community, and their common objective of sustainable development provide them with special opportunities. Strategic partnerships can smooth the path towards new or improved sustainable environmental and climate protection technologies and services.  In order to achieve this aim, model international research and development initiatives are to be set up which will make decisive contributions towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering air, water and soil pollution and enabling a more efficient use of energy, raw materials and open spaces.

1. Funding purpose and legal basis

1.1 Funding purpose

The aim of the funding measure is to introduce model projects to help establish and expand international partnerships in the research, development and application of environmental and climate protection technologies and services and to trigger the development of lead markets in this area. In addition to technological aspects, this also includes socio-economic issues, questions of good governance, and stakeholder involvement at an early stage.
The funding measure puts the Federal Government's High-Tech Strategy, the Environmental Technologies Master Plan, and the Internationalization Strategy into more concrete terms by promoting research and development projects which are conducted in cooperation with the relevant institutions in the respective partner country.  Particular importance is given to adapting technologies to local needs, linking up appropriate forms of organization and services, and the specific application of the methods that have been developed.

As a leading exporter of environmental technologies, Germany is doing its part towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. With this funding measure, we are contributing to the establishment of a global partnership for development and to environmental sustainability. The funding measure is also part of efforts to implement the Heiligendamm-L'Aquila Process, which aims to promote targeted partnership and cooperation with key emerging economies.

The BMBF and the partner countries have agreed on the subjects that are eligible for funding as part of the research policy dialogue for sustainability. This dialogue ("Dialogue for Sustainability", or D4S for short) is carried out with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It has the aim of developing and expanding international cooperation in important areas of research, including climate protection, land use, industrial water treatment, resource efficiency, environmental technology and services, and environmental economics. The international dialogue for sustainability research complements the High-Tech Strategy and the BMBF's Internationalization Initiative.
The proposed research and development projects should aim to reduce environmental impact in the partner countries and make a contribution to global climate protection. For example, this can be achieved through the intelligent and efficient use of natural resources; improved energy efficiency; the reduction of harmful emissions in air, water and soil; or innovative services. The topics investigated in the project should be far-reaching and important enough to have a significant local impact and international relevance. At the same time, the project should boost and develop the economic competitiveness of Germany and the participating partner countries and contribute to the creation of new jobs.

Technologies, goods and services in all economic sectors are eligible for funding, as long as they contribute to the avoidance, reduction or elimination of environmental damage or to the recovery of already damaged environmental functions and thus to the sustainable use of natural resources. Inter- and transdisciplinary work plays an important role in the generation of sustainable developments and will be given special consideration in this call.

1.2. Legal basis

Project grants will be awarded in accordance with the present funding regulations, the BMBF's standard terms and conditions for grants on an expenditure or cost basis and the administrative regulations under sections 23 and 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO). There is no legal entitlement to funding. The funding provider will take a decision after due assessment of the circumstances and within the framework of the budget funds available.

2. Object of funding

The central aim of the funding measure is to carry out needs-driven, collaborative model projects for the development and implementation of environmentally friendly technologies that are specifically adapted to the partner countries, including the development of prototypes or pilot applications. Research and development activities for the integration of new technical equipment in existing facilities can also receive funding, but this does not apply to large-scale investments connected to these efforts, or to the construction of new production sites. The focus is on the development or adaptation of integrated environmental technologies. The study of so-called "end-of-pipe" technologies is not ruled out, as long as they are effective solutions. A further focus is on innovative services, including preliminary and accompanying services for technologies.

The collaborative projects should be jointly funded by science and industry. The aim is to carry out economically significant, high-risk and innovative research and development projects in selected fields. Integrated approaches that study technology and service developments in the context of the economic, social and environmental conditions in the partner countries - and perhaps also in the context of opportunities for political measures - have a high priority.
When introducing innovative environmental solutions, knowledge-based services in particular are necessary for the long-term and sustainable application of the new technologies. Services are also considered to be drivers of technological innovation and are closely linked to growth in emerging markets. Services at the beginning of the value-added chain are particularly important. Examples include planning and project management for pilot environmental technology applications, the development of innovative, location-specific service concepts for financing, business management and maintenance in the environmental sector, and the development of operating models. Concepts for the integration of qualification programmes can also receive funding. Accompanying services for technologies are another focus of this call, which offers funding for independent projects to develop innovative services in the priority areas listed below. Projects that focus on providing qualified guidance for service exports to the partner countries (e.g. through the development of special country- and sector-specific information systems for services) are also eligible for funding. Adaptation measures and advisory activities can only be funded if they form part of a collaborative project.

This call focuses on collaborations with partners in Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Vietnam. However, measures designed to extend the projects to neighbouring countries can also be supported.
Collaborative projects with additional countries can only be funded if relevant stakeholders are involved and if there is a basic agreement at intergovernmental level.

As a preparatory measure for R&D projects that are to be submitted by the second or third deadline (see 7.2.1), there is the possibility of applying for funding for a definition project (see 7.2.3). Definition projects can be user-oriented needs and market analyses, research into general conditions, or the involvement of suitable partners, to name but a few.

Funding is generally directed towards German companies and institutions. The foreign project participants must either receive funding from the partner countries or cover their own expenses. Political acceptance of the proposed projects in the participating countries and the involvement of local users are vital for the success of the projects.

The priority subjects of this call are:

Technological or service innovations for sustainable development in the following areas:

  1. Climate protection: Reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in all industry areas; capturing CO2 and using it as a chemical raw material; increasing energy efficiency in production in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; environmental protection in products and production / cleaner production; business management; adaptation to climate change
  2. Resource efficiency: Obtaining and managing resources, environmental protection in production / cleaner production, resource efficiency (resources, materials), resource substitution, closing material cycles, recycling
  3. Land management: Innovative land use methods (e.g. precision farming), land recycling technologies, adapted technological infrastructure systems, applied remote sensing and geoinformation services for integrated regional planning
  4. Water management: Regional / urban water resource management, improved water infrastructures in terms of energy and consumption (e.g. production of drinking water, wastewater treatment, extraction of substances in water and irrigation technologies), water remediation technologies, planning instruments for the water sector (e.g. GIS, remote sensing and DSS) In addition, both country-specific and general networking and accompanying measures are to be carried out.

The funding measure will be implemented as a "learning programme". Information about the country-specific priorities should be obtained from the contacts named in Section 7.

3. Recipients of funding

Research proposals may be submitted by German-based commercial companies, institutions of higher education, and non-university research establishments. The participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is expressly welcome. For the European Commission's definition of SMEs, please see:  http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/enterprise_policy/sme_definition/index_en.htm Research establishments which receive joint basic funding from the Federal Government and the Länder can only be granted project funding supplementary to their basic funding for additional expenditure under certain preconditions.

4. Prerequisites for funding

The prerequisites for funding are:

  • Cooperation between independent partners from industry and research, each of whom provides an independent contribution towards solving the joint research and development tasks
  • Significant industry participation (particularly of SMEs): at least one relevant stakeholder from the value-added chain (preliminary stage, producer or user, depending on the orientation of the project)
  • Participation of at least one - preferably more - key institutions (preferably companies or research institutions) in the partner country, with their own contributions to research or development
  • Due to the interdisciplinary approach, the active participation of further stakeholders from the partner countries who cannot provide an independent research contribution (e.g. public authorities) is also important
  • The interests of the various partners in exploiting the results must be clearly recognizable and the transfer opportunities must be clearly described.

The collaborative projects should initially have a duration of three years; the preliminary definition projects (see 7.2.3) should last no longer than six months.

In their own interest, applicants should familiarize themselves with the EU's Research Framework Programme in the context of the envisaged project. They should check whether the intended project includes specific European components which make it eligible for EU funding.  Furthermore they should examine whether an additional application for funding can be submitted to the EU in the context of the proposed bilateral project. The result of these investigations should be described briefly in the national project application.

The project participants are obliged to take part in coordination processes that take place in connection with scientific and technological cooperation (STC) activities, the dialogue for sustainability, the integration transfer project, and, if applicable, other accompanying projects.

The German partners should formalize their cooperation in a cooperation agreement. Before a funding decision can be taken, the cooperation partners must prove that they have reached a basic agreement on certain criteria stipulated by the BMBF. For further details please refer to BMBF form 0110 (http://www.kp.dlr.de/profi/easy/formular.html). An additional cooperation agreement with the international partners is recommended.

5. Type and scope of funding

Funds will be awarded as non-repayable project grants. The grants can be spent to cover the cost of staff, materials, and equipment. No funding can be provided for building investments.

Grants for commercial companies are calculated on the basis of the project-related costs eligible for funding, up to 50% of which can as a rule be covered by grants, depending on the project's nearness to application. In the case of collaborative research projects, the European Union's Community Framework allows differentiated rules on extra percentage points for SMEs, which may result in a higher rate of funding.

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 the Helmholtz centres and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG) the eligible project-related costs), which can be funded up to a maximum of 100% in individual cases.

6. Other terms and conditions for awarding funding

The Nebenbestimmungen für Zuwendungen auf Kostenbasis des BMBF an Unternehmen der gewerblichen Wirtschaft für Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben (Auxiliary Terms and Conditions for Funds Provided by the BMBF to Commercial Companies for Research and Development Projects on a Cost Basis - NKBF 98) will be part of the notification of award for grants on a cost basis.

The Allgemeine Nebenbestimmungen für Zuwendungen zur Projektförderung (General Auxiliary Conditions for Grants Provided for Projects on an Expenditure Basis - ANBest-P) and the Besondere Nebenbestimmungen für Zuwendungen des BMBF zur Projektförderung auf Ausgabenbasis (Special Auxiliary Terms and Conditions for Funds Provided by the BMBF for the Promotion of Projects on an Expenditure Basis - BNBest-BMBF 98) will form part of the notification of award of grants on an expenditure basis.

7. Procedure

7.1 Involvement of a project management organization and request for documents

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has entrusted the following project management organization with implementing the funding measure:
Projektträger - Umwelt, Kultur, Nachhaltigkeit
im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (PT-DLR)
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
53227 Bonn, Germany

Depending on the research field in question, further BMBF project management organizations (Project Management Jülich, Project Management Agency Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe) can also be involved. Applicants can contact the desk officer responsible for further information or advice:

Mr Roland Keil
Phone:  +49 (0)228/3821-578
Fax:  +49 (0)228/3821-540
E-mail:  roland.keil@dlr.de
Internet:  http://www.pt-dlr.de/

Applicants should use the electronic system pt-outline to submit outlines of collaborative R&D projects and applications for definition projects (see 7.2.1 and 7.2.3).

Applicants are strongly advised to use the electronic system "easy" to submit formal proposals for collaborative R&D projects. Forms for formal applications, guidelines, further information, and auxiliary terms and conditions are available at http://www.kp.dlr.de/profi/easy/formular.html.

7.2 Selection and decision-making procedure

The application process consists of two steps for collaborative R&D projects (see 7.2.1 and 7.2.2) and a single step for definition projects (see 7.2.3).
The deadlines for submission are not cut-off deadlines. However, it may not be possible to consider applications which are received belatedly or which are incomplete.

7.2.1 Submission and selection of project outlines for collaborative R&D projects

In the first step, detailed project outlines should be sent to the project management agency by the following deadlines:

31 August 2010
31 August 2011
31 August 2012 (Caution: New Date: 31.08.2013)

If further submission dates are added, these will be published on the website of the funding measure (www.fona.de/client).

In consultation with the proposed partners, the project coordinator should submit the project outline in German and in English to the project management agency via the Internet portal pt-outline: www.fona.de/client
The completed pt-outline forms should be accompanied by a clear project description which can be evaluated without further research and which is structured as follows (length in German / English: up to twelve pages each, Arial 11, 1.5 spacing):

  • Cover page:
    Subject of the proposed collaborative project; partner country; classification under one of the four subject areas listed in section 2 including key words; total costs and duration of the project; number and type of partners; address, phone number and e-mail address of the submitter of the outline
  • Background:
    Including: ecological and economic relevance in the partner country, needs of companies
  • Targets:
    Description of the project goals, based on the current state of the art of technology and know-how
  • Proposed solution:
    Description of the necessary research and development work as well as own previous work on which the applicant can build
  • National and international cooperation partners:
    Distribution of work, description of the participating partners from research institutions and companies (core competences, performance, infrastructure, number of employees, group affiliation if applicable, etc.), cooperation with third parties
  • Sustainability potential:
    Ecological and socio-economic effects (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Estimated costs:
    Details of anticipated costs and contribution of own funds, rough work plan and schedule, personnel costs
  • Commercialization of results:
    Chances of success, application potential and implementation concepts for the commercialization of the project's results after the end of the funding period (utilization plan)
  • Measures for the protection of intellectual property/IPR:
    See: http://www.bmbf.de/pub/know_how_internationale_kooperation.pdf (not obligatory in the case of service innovations)

Additional information about the partner country:

  • Needs in the partner country
  • Expected results in the partner country
  • Existing contacts and previous collaborations with the partner country
  • Information about the participation of relevant stakeholders
  • Market analysis and competitive analysis of the proposed research topic in the partner country
  • Review and evaluation of programmes of other stakeholders that are relevant to the project and partner country (framework and funding programmes, projects, strategic approaches, etc). These can include programmes of other ministries and funding organizations in Germany, programmes in the partner country, or programmes of multilateral organizations such as the EU Commission. With a view to the future implementation of R&D results in the partner country, programmes offered by development banks - e.g. the KfW Development Bank, the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG) or the World Bank - should also be reviewed at the time of application and taken into account in the project planning phase.
  • Applications should include a declaration of intent signed by representatives of the participating scientific and industry partners regarding their participation in the project.

The evaluation of the project outlines received will involve external experts and will be based on the following criteria:

  • Contribution to sustainable development:
    Environmental protection (qualitative and quantitative, e.g. energy and resource efficiency, avoidance of harmful substances) and socio-economic effects (cost reduction for companies, job creation and preservation, socially responsible development)
  • Innovativeness:
    Quality of the technology or service in question, novelty of the issues and proposed solutions for the partner country, level of risk
  • Cooperation between science and industry:
    Interdisciplinarity, adopting new results from other fields of knowledge, concept for coordinating the collaborative project, SME participation
  • Feasibility and success prospects:
    Convincing concept for the utilization of the results, opportunity/risk assessment for long-term implementation, applicability and transfer of results
  • Partner country analysis:
    Analysis of the relevant market in the partner country, analysis of the legal conditions in the partner country, etc.

Suitable project ideas will then be selected for funding on the basis of the evaluation. Applicants will be informed in writing of the result of the selection procedure. The project outlines are to be evaluated within four months of the submission deadline.

The BMBF (or the project management agency) will consult the responsible authorities in the partner country about bilateral priorities and co-financing. For this reason, it can be helpful for the project partners in the partner country to inform or seek advice from these authorities in advance.

7.2.2 Submission of formal applications for collaborative R&D projects

In a second step, applicants whose project outlines have been evaluated positively will be invited to submit a formal, detailed application for funding on which a decision will be taken after final evaluation. The evaluation will be carried out on the basis of the criteria listed in 7.2.1., with a special emphasis on the work plan and milestones. Funding will only be provided if the government of the participating partner country is willing to provide its consent, participation and support. The BMBF will carry out consultations about this on a political level.

There is no legal entitlement to funding. The funding provider will make a decision after due assessment of the circumstances and within the framework of the budget funds available. Questions relating to the approval and payment of and accounting for funds as well as proof and examination of proper use and, if necessary, revocation of the award and reclaiming of the funds awarded are governed by the administrative regulations pertaining to section 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO) and sections 48 to 49a of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG) unless deviation is permitted under the present funding regulations.

Applicants are strongly advised to use the "easy" electronic application system for drafting formal applications (www.kp.dlr.de/profi/easy/index.html). Applications for country-specific supporting measures
This funding measure should be supplemented by suitable coordination and accompanying measures. These can include an on-site presence to gather and process information about relevant legal and institutional conditions or other support measures, particularly with a view to the future implementation of the project results. This includes coordination across different subjects, networking between projects, and the presentation of the projects in the partner country.

Funding for these measures can be applied for as part of an R&D proposal or in the form of a separate project application. Applications for separate projects of this kind should be submitted to the project management agency by 31 August 2010 at the latest (see 7.1).

The funding measure will be implemented as a "learning programme". The BMBF reserves the right to introduce further measures to develop the funding activity as well as to encourage international cooperation. 7.2.3 Submission of funding applications for definition projects

Applications for definition projects (exploratory measures and feasibility studies) consist of a single step. Definition projects can last up to six months and receive up to €60,000 in funding. Funding can be provided to cover travel expenses, personnel costs and other project expenses. In deviation from Section 5, the maximum funding rate for all commercial companies - including SMEs - is 50% of eligible project-related costs.

The International Bureau of the BMBF is responsible for this area of funding.
Internationales Büro des BMBF
im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
53227 Bonn

Applicants are advised to contact the desk officer responsible for this call to obtain further information and expert guidance:

Mr Patrick Ziegler
Phone:  +49 (0)228/3821-429
Fax:  +49 (0)228/3821-444
E-mail:  patrick.ziegler@dlr.de
Internet:  http://www.internationales-buero.de/ Applications must be submitted to the project management agency in German or English (a German summary is obligatory) via the Internet portal pt-outline: www.fona.de/client

Applications must be submitted by the following dates:

31 August 2010
31 August 2011

If further submission dates are added, these will be published on the website of the funding measure (www.fona.de/client).

The completed pt-outline forms should be accompanied by a clear project description that can be evaluated without further research and is structured as follows (length: up to twelve pages, Arial 11, 1.5 spacing):

  • Cover page:

    Subject of the proposed definition project; partner country; classification under one of the four subject areas listed in section 2; total costs and duration of the project; number and type of partners; address, phone number and e-mail address of the applicant
  • Targets:

    Description of the project goals based on the current state of the art of technology and know-how; clear separation and description of the aims of the definition phase and the aims of the measure that is to follow the definition project
  • Proposed solution:

    Description of the necessary work to be carried out in the definition phase as well as own previous work on which the applicant can build
  • National and international cooperation partners:

    Distribution of work, description of the participating partners from research institutions and companies (core competences, performance, infrastructure, number of employees, group affiliation if applicable, etc.), cooperation with third parties
  • Sustainability potential:

    Description of the environmental fields, thematic priorities and the expected sustainability potential (ecological and socio-economic effects)
  • Calculation of costs:

    Details of anticipated costs of the definition project, involvement of own funds, rough work plan and schedule, personnel costs and travel expenses

Additional information about the partner country:

  • Expected impact in the countries in question
  • Existing contacts and previous collaborations with the partner country, proposed way of establishing contacts during the exploratory phase
  • Review and evaluation of programmes of other stakeholders that are relevant to this project and partner country (framework and funding programmes, projects, strategic approaches, etc). These can include programmes of other ministries and funding organizations in Germany, programmes in the partner country, or programmes of multilateral organizations such as the EU Commission, the World Bank, the KfW Development Bank, the DEG, etc.

The project applications received will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Thematic relevance:
    Relevance of the research area to the present funding regulations
  • Quality and relevance:
    Quality and relevance of the proposed research approach (e.g. contribution to sustainable development, intelligent links to services, cooperation between industry and science)
  • Qualifications of the project partners
    Quality of the planned collaboration and recognizable value added for the German partner(s)
  • Feasibility and success prospects:
    Approaches for the utilization of the results, opportunity/risk assessment, prospects of success and sustainability of the project initiation measures, applicability and transfer of results
  • Economic efficiency of the definition project

The project applications are to be evaluated within two months of the submission deadline. Successful applicants should then submit a formal funding application immediately.
At the end of a definition project, the project coordinator should either submit a complete project proposal under the call for proposals that is open at the time or present a detailed final report explaining why an application for project funding is not considered advisable. The conditions described in section 7.2.2 apply.

8. Entry into force

These funding regulations will enter into force on the date of publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).
Bonn/Berlin, 17 May 2010
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Zickler

Additional information

Deutsche Version dieser Seite
(URL: http://www.bmbf.de/foerderungen/14892.php)

 

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