AI innovation competition – Generative AI for SMEs

Call for funding based on the "Development of digital technologies" funding programme

The submission deadline has expired. You will receive further information shortly.

Key points of the programme

The aim of the "AI Innovation Competition - Generative AI for SMEs" funding call is to create the conditions for the use of Generative AI in companies and the public sector and to demonstrate added value based on concrete solutions in relevant fields of application (including knowledge management, maintenance, marketing, consulting services). Priority is to be given to the interests, needs and opportunities of SMEs. The funded projects should provide substantial impetus for the successful and productive use of Generative AI and demonstrate a wide range of application examples that favour the broadest possible transfer and imitation effects in the technology landscape.

The call for funding focuses on the further development, adaptation and implementation of (existing) generative AI models as well as the collection, processing and provision of the necessary data sets. The new and further development of Foundation Models is not the subject of the funding call. The priority should be on German/European models. The use of open source solutions is also possible.

The funded projects should illustrate the innovative and application-oriented use of Generative AI, particularly with regard to the R&D aspects of training data generation, trustworthiness and the transferability of AI. Examples include assistance systems, Generative AI-driven AI agents, optimisation of internal company processes, improvement of operational knowledge management, development of digital value-added services (AI as a service) and the creation of new, innovative business models.


Sketches must be submitted via PT-Outline. The deadline for submissions is April 8th, 2024 | 12:00 noon. Further information on the application can be found in the call for funding and the funding programme.


Those interested in funding should form consortia for the application. When forming the consortium, the PT-Partnering portal can be used to find interested partners. A virtual information and networking event will take place on 26 February 2024 from 10:00-12:30 via Webex, where questions about the call for funding can be clarified and potential partners or consortia can be found.

Contact persons

for content-related and technical questions:

Mrs Damla Harman, Mrs Regina Wittal

for administrative questions:

Mrs Katharina Chauveau


Phone: +49 228 38211-885


  • April 8th, 2024 | 12:00 noon - Deadline for submission of sketches; the submission deadline is a cut-off deadline!
  • Calendar week 24 - Reviewers' meeting
  • Calendar week 25-26 - Applicant consultations
  • August 16th, 2024 | 23:59 pm - Submission deadline for applications
  • February 1st, 2025 - planned start of the project