Notes & Funding Criteria
Information and support regarding your application
- These are the content-related and conceptual questions (German) that you have to answer on the application platform.
- Our application guide (German) provides a step by step instruction for your application.
- In this blog post (German), we have compiled answers from successful applications and show why they were evaluated positively.
- This is the corresponding funding guideline (German) of the BMBF.
- In this blogpost, we have compiled five additional application tips (German) on things we often notice.
- And of course there is a separate page with frequently asked questions about applications, selection and funding.
Important criteria for the jury evaluation
- Does the project meet the content-related focus (German) of the Prototype Fund? This consists of the components “relevance“, “social-digital approach“, “reach” and “making and keeping innovation accessible“.
- Degree of innovation: How innovative is your project (we use this understanding of the term innovation (German))?
- Feasibility: Do you have the necessary skills and is the idea feasible within 6 months? Is both the technical implementation and the project plan (“milestones”) described in a comprehensible way?
- Reach and social benefit of the project: How many people will benefit from the project?
- What are the chances of success? Success is not only about making money with your project. It is nevertheless important that you are familiar with the market and existing products and that you can describe how your idea differs from them and/or fits into the ecosystem.
- No double funding: Is or has the basic idea of the project already been funded elsewhere or is a similar product already available with open source code?
Important: We only fund open source software because it provides new opportunities for projects and cooperation. We want to ensure that funded projects can be maintained and further developed in the future.
What should the application look like?
- Specific: You have summarised your ideas in a clear, short outline that makes it clear what problem you want to tackle. Clearly state what technical means you intend to use. Supporting material for any claims are welcome.
- Understandable: Our jury is made up of experts – but perhaps not experts in your exact field. So write your application in a way that people who are not working on the project can understand it.
- Active: You have an account on GitHub, BitBucket or similar platforms and there’s something on it? We’d like to see it!
- On topic: Your project falls into one of the four main themes (all linked resources in German): Civic Tech, Data Literacy, Data Security and Software Infrastructure.
- Legally sound: If you want to work with existing data sets, explain where they come from and that/how they may be used.
- Realistic: Consider how long you will work on the project within six months and calculate the working hours accordingly. The maximum total number of hours, also for teams, is 950 hours.
- Foresight: In the project timeline you plausibly show which tasks you want to complete in the six months and roughly how much time you plan to spend on them. Such plans can always change, but you should show whether your idea is well thought through.
- Four-eyes principle: Please make sure to present your application to a third party before submitting it. This way you can improve them and avoid mistakes.
- In German: The evaluation process and all subsequent paperwork is in German. Therefore, both the initial application and the subsequent formal grant application must be submitted in German. To support all applicants, we offer a workshop in German to help with the formal paperwork.