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Unsere Arbeit mit ZIM Netzwerken

Working with small and medium-sized companies, we have always paid special attention to the cooperation between industry and research. Since 2019 we have a very special instrument at our disposal for this purpose: an international cooperation network, which we develop and manage within the framework of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM).

What is ZIM?

ZIM – das Zentrale Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand – ist ein bundesweites Förderprogramm des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi). Es ist das größte deutsche Förderinstrument für ZIM – the Central Innovation Program for SMEs – is a nationwide support program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). It is the largest German support instrument for small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim of the program is to strengthen the innovative power and competitiveness of the companies and thus support them in their growth. In this way, ZIM aims to help secure existing jobs and create new ones.

Warum lohnt sich die Teilnahme an einem ZIWhy is it beneficial to participate in a ZIM network?

Through our ZIM network we have the opportunity to support a wide variety of R&D projects. In doing so, we bring together companies and research institutions that are looking for solutions to the same problems – but often do not know where to find the right partners. In 2018, for example, our network manager Marc Köppen succeeded in bringing together 14 companies and six research institutions from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg in a bio-packaging network, jointly working on the development of innovative packaging solutions from sustainable raw materials – one of the first international alliances.

In Sept. 2019 Euverion started to establish the ZIM network Biopack&Transport. Currently the participating twelve companies and three research institutes from Germany and France are focusing on the topic of intelligent transport packaging. Relevant climate data and geodata are collected, another goal is to reduce the active climate impact. The aim is to enable new forms of transportation.

In addition, currently efforts are being made to establish a further ZIM network on the topic of packaging tracking. The goal is to connect the data from the preliminary project with payment flows and to integrate block chain technologies.

Who can participate?

Within a ZIM network it is possible to cooperate with one or more companies or research institutions in research and development projects. Companies with less than 500 employees and an annual turnover of maximum 50 million Euro (or 43 million Euro balance sheet total) are eligible for funding. The grants do not have to be repaid. The funding is given for R&D projects that lead to new products, processes or technical services. The program is open to all industries, topics and technologies. The prerequisite is that the projects have a high level of innovation and good market opportunities.

What is being funded?

ZIM offers three types of funding:

  • Individual projects: You can carry out individual research and development projects – with your own staff or with the help of qualified third parties.
  • Cooperation projects: You can carry out research and development projects together with one or more companies or research institutions.
  • Cooperation networks: You can carry out technological innovations in a network with at least six independent medium-sized companies eligible for ZIM funding.

The website of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs provides information on the funding conditions.

What do we do for you?

As a partner in our network the advantage for you is that we take care of all the organizational tasks:

  • We bring you together with like-minded entrepreneurs and researchers.
  • We ensure that the exchange of ideas results in concrete research projects – whether it is the implementation of new business ideas or a long-awaited project realisation.
  • We get your joint projects off the ground and also take care of the funding applications – from preparation to ongoing support and project completion.
  • We regularly organize networking events that give partner companies the opportunity to get to know each other better, identify common topics and initiate concrete projects. We invite relevant keynote speakers from the industry to report on their experiences
  • We accompany all network activities with strategic public relations efforts.


What else does the network management institution Euverion offer?

In addition to establishing and managing the ZIM network Biopack&Transport, the consulting company Euverion is your full-service provider for individual projects. We acquire funds for companies and start-up projects, especially EU subsidies, equity capital and financing. In doing so we use all available funding formats – whether state, federal or EU-wide.

In addition, we support you in product development: we solve a wide variety of technical problems and often make projects “eligible for funding” in the first place.

Our customers include renowned energy and medical technology groups, banks and insurance companies, universities and colleges, public and non-profit organisations, as well as medium-sized companies and start-ups.

In addition to Biopack&Transport, Euverion is currently preparing another potential ZIM network, which will be called Biopack&Trace and will continue the results from Biopack&Transport. More information can be found here.

Who are your contact persons?

Dr. Marc Köppen
Dr. Marc Köppen
Michael Anders
Michael Anders