The innovation support programmes cover a broad spectrum of themes and have a different focus, depending on the individual programme and its objectives, for example basic or pre-competitive research. Formal requirements also vary, such as consortium structure, application procedure or calculation and payment modalities for public funds.

Experts from various organisations are on hand to advise and assist participants and other interested parties on behalf of the public sector – from the initial preparation of an innovation project and applying for funding to the project’s implementation and successful completion.

Horizon 2020
The partners of the Enterprise Europe Network at ZENIT GmbH deliver advice on funding in Horizon 2020 as well as information, for example on topics, deadlines and conditions. They also check project ideas in terms of eligibility and likelihood of success and put applicants in touch with national and European experts as well as potential project partners.

The National Contact Points (NCP), a specialist network set up by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and KoWi (the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations) are further sources of advice and assistance – from initial information to project implementation. They also organise information days and, if necessary, help in the search for project partners.

EU Liaison Officers at the universities, Technology Advisors in the chambers of commerce, industry and craft trades as well as EU experts in clusters and initiatives also offer information and advisory services to a varying degree.

Lead Market Competitions
The LeitmarktAgentur.NRW is responsible for organising all Lead Market Competitions on behalf of North Rhine-Westphalia’s state government. It provides assistance and information related to the competition calls in the eight lead markets for participants and other interested parties and collects the corresponding proposals.

Its tasks cover all aspects of project support - from drafting the calls for proposals to the selection procedure to accompanying projects and disbursing funds.

ZENIT Centre for Innovation and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia (ZENIT GmbH), Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany


Dr. Uwe BirkDr. Bernd Janson
Tel.: (0208) 30004 49Tel.: (0208) 30004 22

E-Mail: bi(at)

E-Mail: bj(at)


DLR Project Management Agency at the German Aerospace Center, Bonn, Germany

Matthias Woiwode von Gilardi
Tel.: (0228) 3821 1654

E-Mail: Matthias.Woiwodevongilardi(at)