Incentives for Innovation

futureSAX - The ecosystem for innovation-driven growth in Saxony

futureSAX is an initiative of Saxony's State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport. futureSAX pursues the objective of providing growth impulses for existing innovative companies and supporting start-ups in establishing themselves on the market. futureSAX is active for both, high-growth companies with a strong market position and high-potential startups.


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With its technology funding, the Federal State of Saxony fosters the innovation processes in Saxony’s business community. The requisite tools range from R&D project funding to technology transfer funding and the “InnoPrämie” innovation grant all the way to subsidizing “Innovation and Transfer Assistants,” “InnoManagers,” “Senior InnoManagers,” “Senior InnoExperts,” and “InnoTeams.”

The support of "pilot lines in the key technologies sectors" is a supplement to R&D project funding which starts in the early phase of an innovation process. This support creates a link between innovation and investment. The programs are co financed with EU Structural Funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund).

The “HORIZON-Prämie” grant financed with state funds by the Federal State of Saxony supports the participation of small and medium sized enterprises in the European framework program for research and innovation “HORIZON 2020.”

For all programs, the contact point for applications and approvals is Saxony’s Development Bank (SAB).

In 2017, the Federal State of Saxony approved a total of 513 technology projects with about 120 million euros of funds from the European Union and the federal state.

Please note: Detailed information on the below mentioned subsidy programs are available in German language only (all links lead to German explanations). The application for all of these funds has to be done completely in German language. So, if you need any further information or need help with the application, please do not hesitate to get in contact (see footer of this page) with us. We will help you or at least make contact to the right partners for your project.


The funding is to strengthen the innovative power and competitiveness of Saxony’s economy. It is, above all, designed to help minimize the financial risk of R&D projects, which is accompanied by an exceptionally high technical risk, and to permit projects which would otherwise not be realized.

Designed as “R&D project funding,” the financial aid is geared towards commercial enterprises having a corporate site in the Federal State of Saxony. Also eligible to the requisite subsidies are cooperations of these companies among themselves or with universities and research institutions in Saxony.

Detailed information (German)


The promotion of technology transfer is designed to contribute towards bringing the best (globally) available knowledge and expertise to Saxony’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and, thus, strengthening their innovative power.

Such projects may revolve around the acquisition of technological knowledge by an SME either directly from a technology provider or with assistance of a technology broker in order to implement new products and processes or products and processes that have been adjusted to a more recent technical standard. Another component of such funding can be adjustment developments and consulting services which are associated with the acquisition of the requisite technological knowledge.

Detailed information (German)


The “Innovationsprämie” [Innovation Grant] is designed to prepare particularly small companies and craft enterprises for cooperations with scientists. In addition, universities and research institutions are to apply their technological knowledge in Saxony even better than before.

Such “Innovationsprämie” innovation grants foster the utilization of external R&D services in conjunction with the development of new or the improvement of existing products, processes, and services as well as the requisite technical support during the implementation phase.

Detailed information (German)


The objective is to support the transfer of technological knowledge into ready to start production lines for the key technologies microelectronics, ICT, nanotechnologies, new materials, advanced production technologies, photonics, and biotechnologies.

Eligible to file an application are commercial enterprises and research institutions (in cooperation with companies). The primary responsibility for the project result needs to rest with the (manufacturing) enterprise. As a mandatory requirement, the pilot line is to be set up in a corporate site located in Saxony.

Detailed information (German)


The purpose of this funding is to strengthen the human resource base for R&D and innovation in SMEs.

Eligible to the requisite subsidies is the employment of junior R&D scientists as “Innovation Assistants” as well as highly qualified researchers and engineers as “Senior InnoExperts.” These staff members address innovative, technology-oriented topics. In addition, the employment of junior staff members as “InnoManagers” or professionally experienced personnel with leadership experience as “Senior InnoManagers” is also eligible to subsidies – for the establishment or expansion of corporate innovation management.

Detailed information (German)


This funding is designed to support the cooperation and mutual learning among the staff members of companies, universities, and research institutions. Towards this end, 3 to 12 team members work in joint projects on the development of new products or procedures.

Eligible to file an application are commercial enterprises having their headquarters or a corporate site in the Federal State of Saxony as well as, in cooperation with such SMEs, also universities and R&D facilities. The participation of an SME is obligatory; large companies may not act as team coordinators.

Detailed information (German)


The objective of this funding is to permit SMEs as well as technology brokers – for example, chambers, associations, engineering offices, or transfer offices at universities and research institutions – to establish additional human resource capacities for technology transfer. Eligible to the requisite subsidies is the recruitment and employment of personnel having earned a natural science and/or technology related university degree who have also gained several years of professional experience.

Detailed information (German)


This funding is to prepare SMEs for the application and implementation of projects within the EU framework program for research and innovation “HORIZON 2020.”

The purpose of the program is the utilization of external services in conjunction with the aspired participation in “HORIZON 2020.” The services may relate to the preparation, development, drafting, and support of “HORIZON 2020” applications (initial phase); when exercising the coordinator function, also to the establishment of the project management and project controlling (start up phase); and in case of an unsuccessful “HORIZON 2020” application, to the evaluation and assessment of the reasons for the refusal (analysis).

Detailed information (German)

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