GO-Bio initial: Facilitating the successful transfer of life sciences technologies

With its new funding opportunity “GO-Bio initial” the German ministry of research and education (BMBF) supports the identification and development of early research projects with recognizable potential for innovation in the life sciences. Within a two-phase program, research results shall experience an advancement and refinement that allows the continuation of the project within the framework of further established funding measures for validation, start-up and company cooperation support, such as VIP +, EXIST research transfer, KMU-innovativ or GO-Bio, or alternatively enables a direct commercialization. The overall objective is thus the gapless transfer of promising ideas into application.

Most R&D funding schemes require extensive preliminary work and a degree of substantiation that is typically not present in the early phases of innovation. At the beginning there is often only a vague idea of the product or service to be achieved.

Starting point of the GO-Bio initial funding are therefore very raw and sketchy ideas with potential for commercial exploitation. For the application to the 12-months Exploration Phase, no patented technology is required. Likewise, no determination is needed for a precise exploitation path, e.g. licensing to an existing company or launch of an own spin-off company, because such developments cannot be predicted reliably at the early stage.

Funding will be granted preferentially to project ideas from the fields of “therapeutics”, “diagnostics”, “platform technologies” and “research tools”. The funding program supports the project teams from the conceptual design and the validation of feasibility to the consideration of possible exploitation options. The funding measure is explicitly aimed at doctoral and post-doctoral researchers as well as at interested group leaders, who want to gain insight into research and development processes outside of the classical academic context.

Applications for Phase 1 (Exploration Phase) can only be submitted once a year, always on February 15th.

The GO-Bio initial program constitutes of two consecutive phases:

  1. In the mostly conceptual Exploration Phase, based on initial scientific findings a potential exploitation strategy shall be elaborated, an implementation pathway shall be developed and necessary partners shall be identified. Eligible for funding are individual projects at universities or research institutions. The Exploration Phase lasts up to 12 months and provides a funding volume of up to 100,000 euros per project.
  2. In the subsequent, mainly experimental Feasibility Phase, development work up to the "proof of principle" shall be carried out. Funding is available for individual and collaborative projects with a duration of up to 24 months. Companies can be involved in feasibility projects as associated partners. In the Feasibility Phase, up to 500,000 euros can be granted for individual projects or up to 1,000,000 euros for collaborative projects or if research partners are involved as subcontractors.

Further information (in German only) is available on the GO-Bio initial website.

Support and Advice by Max Planck Innovation

Max Planck Innovation offers specific support and advice on the GO-Bio initial funding opportunity. MI intends to provide scientists with a potentially relevant project idea with intense project reflections, formal and conceptual support in the application process as well as guidance and assistance during the funding phase. The goal is to increase the quality of the applications and thus the likelihood of project funding.
Support and advice is available to all Max Planck scientist. In addition, institutes may secure exclusive support for own proposals by submitting an informal declaration of consent. In that case, all GO-Bio initial applications from that institute must be submitted through the MI-office. MI strives to provide the best possible support to all requests; however, in case of overload, inquiries from institutes that have agreed to exclusive support are given priority.

Our project manager GO-Bio initial, Mr. Masin Abo-Rady, is available for questions and further information.

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Project Manager GO-Bio initial

Dr. Masin Abo-Rady

Molecular biologist, M.Sc.

Phone: +49 89 / 29 09 19-38