Funding for innovative product validations

The University of Bonn awards prototyping grants to promote science-based and innovative start-up ideas. This supports start-up projects in the preparation, validation and development of marketable products or services.

Funding Conditions

The call for application is open to all research associates or assistants at the University, including the Faculty of Medicine. It is particularly aimed at postdoctoral researchers, doctoral candidates or advanced students of all disciplines who already have ideas for founding a start-up or spin-off based on their research.

You can find the funding conditions at the following link:

Apply now!

  • Please use the template for your application. You can write your proposal either in German or in English.
  • The current call is closed.

Aim of the Protoyping Grants

The aim of the funding is to promote innovative start-ups, develop them further towards marketability and ensure that a technology readiness level (TRL) of at least 4 is achieved. This ensures the ability to connect to other start-up programs such as Exist start-up grants.

Transfer Center enaCom accompanies all successful applicants with a mandatory counseling and coaching program (total time at least 25 hours).

The prototyping grants are offered by the Transfer Center enaCom and financed from the ESC individual project "U-Bo-Grow" of the University of Bonn. They are funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy (MWIKE) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


All University of Bonn academic staff as well as (graduate) student assistants and research assistants, including of the Faculty of Medicine, are eligible to apply for the aforementioned grant funding.

We also invite proposals for prototyping projects that have been rejected by other third-party funds, e.g. VIP+ or EXIST fundings.

Teams that have already been funded through other start-up programs cannot be funded.

Funding can be applied for up to a maximum amount of €50,000 per project for a maximum period of one year.

  1. The funds are made available annually from the MWIKE funding, the ESC individual project "U-Bo-Grow" of the university.
  2. The funds are tied to the funding of science-based and innovative start-up ideas or projects from the University of Bonn (excluded are companies that have already been founded and start-up teams funded in other ways (e.g. EXIST start-up grant holders).
  3. Research projects are not funded.
  4. The aim of the funding is to promote innovative start-ups, develop them further towards marketability and ensure that a technology readiness level (TRL) of at least 4 is achieved in order to be able to connect to other start-up programs such as the Exist start-up grant or the Exist research transfer.
  5. The funding is provided on a year-to-year basis, so that the term of each granted grant always ends on December 31st of the current year.
  6. Unspent funding cannot be saved or carried over to the following financial year.
  7. The funds can be used for:
    1. Material resources
      Subcontracts in compliance with the procurement guidelines of the University of Bonn resp. UKB
    2. No funding of personnel costs
    3. No funding of work equipment (e.g., Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet)
    4. No possibility of planning and disbursing other third-party funds for the duration of the requested prototyping project (exclusion of unauthorized double funding); the exclusion must be confirmed in writing
    5. Changes to the financing plan before or during the project period require the prior written consent of the Transfer Center enaCom.
  8. Participation in mandatory start-up events (e.g. workshops, info sessions, start-up round table) is required for the duration of the project. This covers a total time of 25 hours, whereby at least one person from the applying team must participate. This includes, in particular, participation in events offered by the Transfer Center enaCom and must be proven by the end of the grant. In justified cases, events and workshops outside of enaCom can also be credited, this is only possible after prior consultation and approval by enaCom.
  9. The letter of approval with the notification of grant is legally binding.

After proposal submission, a selection committee chaired by Prof. Dr. Günter Mayer decides on the approval.

An assessment of the technology readiness level (TRL) of research results may be obtained before proposal filing in cooperation with the enaCom team. Please get in contact with us!

Grants are awarded on the basis of the following objectives:

  1. Development of an innovative prototype (minimum viable product, TRL 4)
  2.  Evaluation of the applicants' intention to start a business, including their vision for bringing the product or service to market and their motivation and commitment to the start-up project
  3.  Previous steps to advance the start-up project (e.g. initial market analysis, business planning, team composition)
  4. Description of the strategies to be developed during the project period, including the development of the business model, building the founding team, building founding-related skills, IP protection

Before and during proposal writing, please get in contact with our advisor: Dr. Alexander Kuesshauer (Phone: 0228 / 73-62026,

Please submit your proposal through the digital application platform on the website of enaCom Transfer Center, University of Bonn.

  1. Within the first 6 weeks after approval, there is an obligation to consult with the start-up advisory team at the enaCom Transfer Center.
  2. Mandatory participation in start-up events of 25 hours per funded team.
  3. The funded teams must submit a final report six weeks after the end of the term, which includes the originally submitted work plan, an evaluation of the goals achieved and an outlook on the further steps after prototyping.
  4. There is an obligation to hand in a final report  to the Transfer Center enaCom regarding the use of funds (use and presentation of how the prototyping grant has advanced the way to founding, including the next steps there).
  5. The teams furthermore agree to provide role-model testimonials for the enaCom website and be available for certain events.

Funded Projects

Grantees 2022
© © Lukas Overkott / Maximilian Kapsecker / Volker Lannert, Uni Bonn / Innocensia M. Mangoato

3D Printing, Digitization and Diagnostics

3D printing of blood vessels, fine diagnostic procedures for asthma, improved measurement of blood flow or the digital future of sports medicine - these four validation projects are receiving funding from call #1. 

Grantees 2023-1
© © Sweeternative | Rolf Müller (UKB) | Trackognize

Healthy sugar, digital health solutions, and improved cancer screening

Is there a healthy alternative to sugar? How can I measure changes to my mental acuity? And how can cancer prevention be made more reliable? These questions are at the heart of three validation projects that are receiving funding from call #2.


Avatar Küsshauer

Dr. Alexander Küsshauer

Start-Up Coach & Business Developer

+49 228 73-62026

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