Green ICT Space - the accelerator for sustainable start-ups and SMEs

Benefit from the infrastructure of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany

The competence center "Green ICT @ FMD" would like to motivate you as a start-up or small and medium-sized enterprise to engage in resource-saving product development at an early stage.

Through the Green ICT Space, you can benefit from the infrastructure of the competence center and thus from the technologies of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD) and realize acceleration of your product and company development.

The focus of the Space projects should be on the savings potential of your innovative ICT hardware from an ecological and economic point of view.

In the current round of applications for Green ICT Space projects, there will be two directions:

1. You apply for a life cycle assessment of your product. This will probably be a project lasting less than one year.

2. You need support in developing your ICT hardware and, at the same time, want to focus on the savings potential of your product. These projects are scheduled to run for approximately one year.

The Green ICT @ FMD competence center institutes work with you to develop your product ideas into a functional demonstrator or prototype and/or determine the life cycle assessment of your product. The institutes receive up to €250,000 in funding for this.

Start-ups and SMEs benefit from:

  • the FMD infrastructure
  • the FMD technology
  • the technological skills of FMD employees
  • the non-technical expertise of FMD employees (assessments of alternative solutions, competitions and markets)

Terms of participation

You qualify as a start-up if you have founded your company less than three years ago. In addition, you aim to scale quickly with your innovative product idea.

You qualify as an SME if you employ up to 249 people and generate an annual turnover of up to 50 million euros or have an annual balance sheet total of no more than 43 million euros.

Please check if at least two of the five listed criteria are key aspects of your business activity:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint2footprint
  • Hardware Ecodesign
  • Sustainable digitalization
  • Sustainable business model
  • Sustainable consumption

Application process

During the program, start-ups or SMEs are recommended for funding by the jury in several selection rounds and funded by the BMBF. The first application phase ran until July 30, 2023, the second until January 15, 2024. The next application phase will start on March 1 until April 30, 2024..

Phase 1: Application
If you see this website, you are already in the middle of it. Feel addressed and apply for our support program. To apply, please fill out our questionnaire, which we provide as a download. This way, you can concentrate on the essentials, regardless of the fixed order of the questions: Your technology that you want to develop with the help of the institutes of the Competence Center Green ICT @ FMD. In addition, our checklist will help you remember everything when sending your application.
Phase 2: Matchmaking
In the second phase, all applications received are reviewed by FMD experts regarding the fulfillment of the tender criteria and the feasibility of the technology submitted. We then search for institutes suitable for your technology. At this point, we will notify you of your status in the application process by e-mail. In a workshop, you will now work with the institutes to develop and concretize your project through a project profile.
Phase 3: Selection process
This phase concludes your application process. You pitch your technology and the project to an external jury. In addition to your pitch, the evaluation is influenced by your team's interaction, the technology readiness level (TRL), the technology itself, its potential, and the project costs. After the jury has selected the technologies with the highest overall potential in a meeting, we will inform you again by e-mail.

Support throughout the entire development process

Based on a successful proof-of-concept, necessary improvements to the demonstrators or prototypes can be realized at FMD and transferred to pilot production. Subsequent large-scale production can be transferred to suitable foundries in Germany or Europe via the FMD network, enabling support for the startup throughout the entire development process.

Benefits of investor contacts

FMD's broad network represents an opportunity for start-ups here. Investor contacts can be used to provide promising start-ups with a professional demonstrator (proof-of-concept) and financial support on the way to a product.

Future-oriented cooperation

The joint development and use of suitable demonstrators in the green ICT sector not only supports the start-up ecosystem in the hardware sector but also further research and development based on application and market-specific findings. The charisma of the start-ups is used to inspire additional market participants for the topic based on the emerging demonstrators and conclusions.

Consulting offer for all start-ups in the field of green electronics

The Green ICT Space also offers a unique consulting service in green electronics. Interested start-ups can contact us with their wishes and challenges to receive comprehensive advice from FMD's scientific staff and discuss possible implementation projects together.

FAQ

What documents are required for an application?
First of all, all we need from you is the completed questionnaire, which you can download shortly from the application website and send to us completed via the web form. We will clarify everything else with you after evaluating your information.
A quick start is essential for my start-up. Who guarantees that my product will be finished on time?
Your contact person at FMD will accompany you and the participating institutes of the Competence Center Green ICT @ FMD throughout the program and will keep an eye on the jointly set deadlines.
Do the workshop and jury pitches have to be conducted in face-to-face presence?
The workshop can be conducted online in consultation with the participating institutes, as this is the bilateral preparation of the project profile. The jury pitch will take place in Berlin.
Will I get direct funding for my project?
Nein, die beteiligten Institute des Kompetenzzentrums Green ICT @ FMD werden für die Unterstützung bei der Umsetzung, das heißt der Herstellung Ihres Demonstrators oder Prototyps bzw. für die Pilotherstellung durch das BMBF gefördert.
How is the IP scheme handled within the funding?
The cooperation agreement includes the usual IP regulation for R&D projects. We have drawn up a sample contract, which you will receive before the workshop.
How will the collaboration be published later?
We plan to advertise the collaboration on the project website from the beginning. After completion of the project, with your approval, we will report in more detail about your start-up and the developed product on the Green ICT @ FMD website. Before an article goes online, it is always approved by you first! You are also welcome to use the article for your public relations.
How many startups and SMEs will be selected?
Two start-ups or SMEs will be selected in each of the three application rounds. Over the program's entire duration, six start-ups or SMEs will be supported in the production of their demonstrator or prototype or for pilot production.
When do the calls take place?
The first call took place from May 31 to July 30, 2023, the second call from November 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024. The next application period is from March 1, 2024 to April 30, 2024.
How long will the program run, or how long will I be supported in developing my demonstrator or prototype?
Your project's duration, effort, and costs are already recorded in the project profile. We aim for a project duration of six months to one year. If you are successfully accepted into the start-up program, you will be supported by our energy efficiency experts and Green ICT experts until completion.
What happens when the demonstrator or prototype is completed?
After completing your demonstrator or prototype, we will detail your product on the Green ICT @ FMD website and how it contributes to more sustainable electronics in green IT and communication technology. You can now use your product to find investors. We would also be happy to offer you further advice on this.
What happens if the demonstrator or prototype cannot be completed?
The development of innovative technical solutions always involves a development risk. That is why we must carefully examine and assess the technical feasibility of your proposal together with you to minimize this risk. Likewise, all the information you provide us in advance in the project profile, e.g., on possible challenges from your point of view, is significant for the analysis. That is why our questionnaire is quite detailed.
Further questions?
Feel free to send us an e-mail to: space[at]mikroelektronik.fraunhofer.de