Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung


The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung - BMBF):

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research aims to strengthen Germany as a site for research, promote talent, create jobs through new technologies and improve the quality of life in this country. Around 1,000 employees of the Ministry in Bonn and Berlin contribute their great commitment and outstanding competence to their work.  With its high-tech strategy for Germany, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is laying the necessary foundation for developing promising technologies for the future – in the areas of health, safety and energy, for example – making it possible to reduce the time needed to transform research results into finished products. The Federal Government invests an additional €6 billion in research and development – funds which also benefit Germany’s institutions of higher education.

The BMBF performs a number of different tasks within the scope of its constitutional responsibilities:

  • Funding of basic research and the respective organizations (in conjunction with the German Länder)
  • Funding of R&D projects in key technologies (e.g. biotechnology and ICT) and in fields of special public interest (e.g. climate, sustainability and health)
  • Regulation of non-school vocational education and training
  • Talent promotion, legislation governing training assistance and its financing (together with the Länder)
  • Promotion of the international exchange of trainees, students, participants in continuing education programmes, instructors, academics and scientists


Supporting research - opening future markets

The Federal Government is investing more money in research and development than ever before. An additional six billion Euro have been earmarked for R&D until 2009. The BMBF is coordinating this initiative and will invest its share of 4 billion Euro in excellent research and emerging cutting-edge technologies.
Supporting Life Sciences

The life sciences will be a decisive factor in the 21st century. The fundamental new findings in this area of science, the progress made with related technologies and their broad application in health, environmental and nutrition research will have a far-reaching impact on health care, the control of environmental hazards and on life as a whole. At the same time, the life sciences offer much potential for the creation and preservation of new, challenging jobs.

This opens up major fields of work for the BMBF, and these will become even more important in the future. Research funding in the life sciences is provided under the framework programme "Biotechnology - Using and Shaping its Opportunities", the programme "Health Research - Research for People" as well as by means of the institutional funding of non-university research institutions.

Genome research is an important basis for progress and new findings in the life sciences. The BMBF therefore provides funding for projects which aim to sequence and analyse the plant genome and the genome of microorganisms. In the area of human genome research, support is given to the German Human Genome Project (GHGP) and to the National Genome Research Network, which was established in 2001.

The new approaches in the life sciences are being discussed by the general public and people are aware of the benefits and risks involved. In order to be able to base decision-making on convincing facts and arguments, the BMBF supports scientific research projects on the ethical, legal and economic aspects of health research and bioscientific research.

Supporting Biotechnology

Supporting biotechnology is a central priority of the Federal Government's research policy. Its Biotechnology Framework Programme aims to ensure the high international standing of the biosciences and to develop new innovation potentials.

Funding in industrial biotechnology

The most prominent current funding program in the field of IB is called “BioIndustrie 2021”: Runtime: 2006 – 2011, public funding volume: 60 Mio. Euro. The BMBF-initiative "BioIndustrie 2021" contributes to bringing ideas and research results in the field of „white biotechnology“ faster from universities and research institutes to the market. As part of the federal governments high-tech strategy up to 60 million Euro of funding will go into this field of biotechnology. Additional funding from industrial partners will supplement the total funding volume for research and development projects to more than 150 million Euro.

Websites (only in German language available): and

Current and future national calls that include Industrial Biotechnology

Deadline for application within the "BioIndustrie 2021” program has been in April 2007; there is no open call at the moment within this program. Applicants from SMEs in the field of IB can apply for funding within the program > KMU-innovativ: Biotechnologie (starting autumn 2007, two deadlines each year). This program is dedicated to SMEs and accepts proposals from any sub-field of biotechnology.

Beyond that, funding for R&D projects related to renewable resources can be obtained from > Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe – a funding agency of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.