The Prototype Fund supports software developers, designers and other creatives in transforming their ideas from concept to software prototype. Whether society, education, environment or technical sovereignty – together we explore and test new ways for technical and social innovations as open source software from society and for society.
Users are not only consumers of software, but often also experts: We make use of this intersection and offer the technically skilled civil society access to the resources and processes that are necessary 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 adaptable as open source software. Within this, the four funding priorities are Civic Tech, Data Literacy, Data Security and Software Infrastructure.
Until 2025, we will support software projects in a total of 16 funding rounds. The projects, which are 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, consulting and networking services. The relatively short funding period and low funding amounts enable prototypical testing of ideas.