»FMD-Space« - The Hightech Incubator for Innovators and Startups


The future will be electric and digital - and the German electrical industry, with a turnover of 192 billion euros, is one of the leaders in Europe. To keep it that way, the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics (consisting of 11 Fraunhofer Institutes) and the Leibniz Institutes FBH and IHP have joined forces and founded the »Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland« (FMD). The network offers diverse participation opportunities for start-ups and companies.

With a funding volume of approx. 350 million, the BMBF has made a clear and unequivocal commitment to Germany as a high-tech location. The performance centre, based in Berlin, has set itself two goals: to strengthen the position of the European semiconductor and electronics industry (FMD is currently Europe's largest cross-location R&D association in the fields of micro- and nanoelectronics), and to establish itself under the name »FMD-Space« as a high-tech incubator for innovators and start-ups, and to enrich the founding ecosystem in Germany with a unique incubation program.

Startups as the future

Fraunhofer Venture contributes the experience gained from hundreds of start-up projects and funding programs - from a very early idea to the startup and investment phase, but also through the various forms of cooperation with Fraunhofer spin-offs, SMEs and external startups.  In addition to the development and production of demonstrators and prototypes within the FMD Institute - »High-Tech for Hardware Start-ups«- Fraunhofer Venture complements the »FMD-Space« with various support concepts under the motto »Business Model and Team Development for High-Tech Projects« as a unique offer for founders. Innovationmanager Florian Ascherl acts at the interface between the FMD »One-Stop-Shop« (central point of contact for all future R&D projects) in Berlin and the Fraunhofer Venture Office in Munich in order to accompany the design and implementation of the start-up module.

What does the timetable look like now?

The support concept consists of four phases: »Scouting«, »Matching & Selection«, »Prototyping & Incubation« and »Launch«. After a pilot phase in autumn/winter 2018, the process will eventually run in 2-3 batches of 4-6 months each, simultaneous to Fraunhofer Venture's FDays®. At the same time, roadshows within the FMD institutes and at start-up centres, business plan competitions and at universities will be held in the coming weeks to make the »FMD-Space« known and to get to know as many potential microelectronic start-up teams as possible.

Who can apply?

In principle, companies of any size with a microelectronic problem can receive FMD support. But the »FMD-Space« is specifically aimed at potential founders and existing start-ups who still have to complete their prototypes with microelectronic components in order to achieve a breakthrough, as well as SMEs who, with the help of the expertise and technologies within the FMD Institutes, would like to ignite the next stage of innovation for the next generation of ground-breaking innovations together with us.

On 28.09. the application platform for »FMD-Space« was officially opened on the occasion of the first FMD Innovation Day at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin. Phase 1 »Scouting« will officially start - i.e. from now on there is a Call to Action for all founders in the field of microelectronics out there!