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Knowledge transfer - Funding options at the DFG

Knowledge transfer describes an exchange between research and business or the public sector. The objective is to make findings from research projects exploitable and advance them during a pre-competition phase with a partner from business or the public sector in the context of jointly funded projects. Science continuously develops new knowledge that can be of use for business or the public sector. Focused DFG funding for knowledge transfer has so far occurred primarily, however, in the engineering sciences – in the shape of conventional technology transfer. This leaves a major potential for innovations untapped.

Consequently, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft seeks to strengthen exchange between science and application sectors in the pre-competition phase in order to also stimulate basic research. Researchers' awareness for knowledge transfer is to be raised, and they will be offered support in planning and implementing transfer projects.

The objective of funding knowledge transfer is to give research an option to test scientific results under real-world conditions. Here, the format of transfer activities is not predefined. Depending on the scientific problem and objective of the partners working on the project, a variety of transfer forms may result. 

Funding will be provided for projects that can develop visibility and effects in society that transcend the limits of the project. Transfer projects are equal cooperations between science and non-science partners that will ideally also provide an impetus for new scientific questions and topics. Projects pursuing purely informational or consulting purposes cannot be funded in the context of knowledge transfer.

Transfer projects can be applied for in conjunction with all DFG funding programs and in all academic disciplines funded by the DFG.

Prerequisite for receiving funding is that the transfer projects are based on results that come from DFG-funded projects or are closely related to current projects.

Partners from the research- and the application-sides must jointly work on projects, based on a cooperation agreement. Funding will go to the academic partners.


Initial information can be found in this brochure.
Detailed information is provided by the DFG at
For actual project ideas, or questions regarding DFG funding for transfer projects, please contact Mr. Rüdiger Mull (Ph.: 73-2210,

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