We fund Public Interest Tech.

The next funding period starts on September 1st, 2024.

The Prototype Fund is the first low-threshold funding program for free developers in Germany who develop innovative open source software from society and for society.

Users are not only consumers of software but often also experts: We use this intersection and offer tech-savvy civil society access to the resources and processes needed to contribute to the common good. Funding is provided for public interest technologies, i.e. technologies with added social value that focus on the needs of users and are freely available, sustainably accessible and customizable as open source software. Within this, the four funding priorities are civic tech, data literacy, data security and software infrastructure.

We will support software projects in a total of 16 funding rounds until 2025. The projects selected by a jury of experts and approved by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research will receive up to €47,500 in funding from the BMBF over a period of six months, as well as coaching, advice and networking opportunities. The relatively short funding period and low funding amounts enable the prototypical testing of ideas.

€15.5 Million



(incl. #wirvsvirus)

47.500 €


We fund your idea

The last application period ran until 31.03.2024. To apply, answer these questions about your project idea. If your idea is recommended for funding by the jury, we and our project management organization, the DLR, will help you with the formal funding application.

After approval, you can expect coaching on UX/UI design or project management and optionally on other topics during the funding period - in addition to financial support of up to €47,500. We also emphasize exchange, both with the Prototype Fund team and within the funding cohort of up to 25 projects - e.g. at the Kickoff-Day, in monthly group calls, bi-weekly updates and in interim meetings. In addition, we and former grantees are always happy to answer any questions or requests. At the end of the funding period, you will have developed a prototype of your idea, which you will present at the Demo Day.