Pioneer Fund

Pioneer Fund for Innovation

The university-internal funding program Pioneer Fund aims to increase TU Darmstadt’s capacity for Innovation. The Pioneer Fund finances these development- and validation activities in projects lasting up to 18 months with up to 135.000 Euro.

Current Note

The Pioneer Fund is looking for company partners for exchange financing and cooperations. If you are interested, please contact us!

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Projects

Here you will find an overview about currently funded projects and open announcements in the three program lines of the Pioneer Fund.

More Information

TU Darmstadt understands the transfer of research results as a key task beneath research and teaching. However, the transfer of scientific results into application is most times a difficult task. Due to technically and economically high risks in the early stages of the development-, validation- and exploitation-process it is often difficult finding exploitation partners and investors.

The university internal funding program Pioneer Fund was created in cooperation between TU Darmstadt and Entega AG to build a bridge above the death valley of innovation in the pre-competitive field. By this, the Pioneer Fund should contribute increasing TU Darmstadts exploitation and innovation capability.

Financing

The funding program is financed equally by TU Darmstadt and ENTEGA NATURpur Institut gGmbH with 300.000 Euro per year, each.

History

  • November 2020: Eighth meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • Summer 2020: Seventh meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • November 2019: Sixth meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • March 2019: Fifth meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • November 2018: Fourth meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • June 2018: Third meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • November 2017: Second meeting of the Pioneer Fund Committee.
  • July 2017: Funding of the first Projects.
  • March 2017: First committee meeting and start of the selection procedure to decide about the proposals submitted.
  • January 2017: Release of the Pioneer Fund guideline.
  • September 2016: Ceremonial signing of the cooperation agreement for the Pioneer Fund and launch of the funding program.
  • Beginning of 2016: Initial talks between TU Darmstadt and Entega about collaboration and design of a funding instrument for overcoming the Valley of Death.

The committee decides over the project proposals for the Pioneer Fund. It is equally represented by TU Darmstadt and Entega AG with four members each.

The university-internal funding program Pioneer Fund aims to increase TU Darmstadt’s capacity for Innovation. It comprises the following three program lines:

  • Pioneer Projects A (“ACTIVATOR”) Subject- and exploitation-open innovation funding: Support of validation, development of mature prototypes, feasibility and market studies, opening up of new application fields as well as the development of business models. Please find details on page 3 of the guideline (see below).
  • Pioneer Projects B (“BOOSTER”) Funding of commercialization projects addressing practical problems: Within program line BOOSTER the work on practical issues is supported. Application is possible after publication of a topic-related announcement (see program line BOOSTER). Further details on the program line you will find on page 4 of the guideline (see below).
  • Darmstadt Pioneers (“PIONEERS“) Darmstadt Pioneers (“PIONEERS”): Funds for innovative start-ups to commercialize Intellectual Property (IP) of the University: The objective of program line PIONEERS is start-up promotion. Development activities to proof the technical feasibility or pilot studies are part of the funding as well as development and validation of prototypes. Also the design of business concepts and economical tasks in preparation for the start-up can be funded. Please find further details on this program line on page 5 of the guideline (see below).

Rahmenbedingungen

Target group of all program lines are scientists of TU Darmstadt of all disciplines as well as students, graduates and former employees of TU Darmstadt. The Pioneer Fund finances these development- and validation activities in projects lasting up to 18 months with up to 135.000 Euro. Please find details in the guideline (see below).

Project proposals can be submitted continuously

Application

Current Note: No application is available at this time. The current program period of the Pioneer Fund has expired. If you are interested, please contact us or visit this page again at a later date.

Application documents

The following documents are relevant for application:

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(*) only available in German language

Note on the proposal templates: The current version of the proposal templates is 01/2018. Please check before submitting your proposal if you are using the most current version of the template, which is always available on this page.

Guideline of the Pioneer Fund Download Broschüre (opens in new tab)