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Trilateral Transfer Projects with Fraunhofer

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Fraunhofer Society, are strengthening cooperation in the area of knowledge transfer and will publish one joint call for proposals for transfer projects per year.

Trilateral transfer projects conducted by researchers from universities, Fraunhofer Institutes and application partners, which are expected to close a gap between basic research and application, are to be funded.

Topic of the call

Trilateral transfer projects can be applied for with a university partner (DFG-funded), a Fraunhofer partner (Fraunhofer-funded) and one or more application partners (self-financed).

The trilateral project must expand on the results of a DFG-funded project associated with an individual grant or with a coordinated process such as a Priority Programme, Research Unit or Collaborative Research Centre.

The project partners address these results and further develop them into a demonstrator/prototype. A joint and balanced work programme describes the planned work and networking between the partners. The planned results of the projects applied for must be pre-competitive.

The rights and obligations of the three partners as well as the use and marketing of the results are governed by a trilateral cooperation agreement in accordance with competition rules. The sample agreement must be used for the trilateral cooperation agreement.


Please observe the current Guidelines for Trilateral Transfer Projects with detailed information on submitting proposals.

Proposals are submitted in two phases.

Phase 1: Project outlines

The deadline for the submission of project outlines is 30 September 2020.

Project outlines should include the following:

  • a scientific description of the project,
  • a plan for cooperation with the industry partner(s) with a work schedule and cost plan,
  • a convincing of the planned use.

Please use the template "Project outline DFG-Fraunhofer 2020".

Phase 2: Full Proposals

The deadline for full proposals on request as well as for the signed cooperation agreement between the project partners is 10 February 2021.

Proposals should be submitted according to the guidelines for research grants (DFG form 50.01) and the instructions for submitting project proposals (DFG form 54.01).

The template "Trilateral Transfer Project DFG-Fraunhofer 2020" is binding for the description of the project.

Funding amount

DFG and Fraunhofer will provide funding of up to €3 million for each announcement. The aim of each call is to support at least five projects.

Funding duration

Applications can be made for trilateral transfer projects for a maximum period of three years. Renewal proposals will not be accepted.

Forms and Guidelines (in German only)

The project outlines as well as the full proposals must be submitted via elan, DFG’s electronic submission system
(Externer Linkhttps://elan.dfg.de/), selecting “Drafts DFG-Fraunhofer Cooperation 2020” or “Trilateral Knowledge Transfer Projects in cooperation with Fraunhofer 2020” respectively from the current list of calls.