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What is GO-Bio?

The BMBF funding initiative GO-Bio supports life science researchers with innovative ideas who are looking to go into business. It provides excellent conditions from an early project stage on for a successful switch from the lab to the economy.
Oliver Pötz | Signatope GmbH

Many good ideas evolve during scientific research. But until an idea becomes a market-ready product, it usually takes a long and costly path.
With the Gründungsoffensive Biotechnologie GO-Bio (Founding Initiative Biotechnology), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports life science researchers eager to start their own business.

With GO-Bio: From lab to business

Due to long development times and major financial requirements, starting a business in life sciences is particularly risky. Only a few scientists dare to take the plunge from the research lab to business. Here GO-Bio has been helping since 2005. It deliberately gets on board at an early stage of the project. By covering the financial gap during the development phase, teams can cultivate their ideas in order to transfer them into products and services during the company formation.

Ready for the market

It’s important to close the financial gap with public resources, but beyond that business knowledge and additional investors are essential for the long-term success of a project. At GründerGespräche, entrepreneurial qualifications are promoted and the teams are prepared for the market. Furthermore, they get the chance to collect private funds for their projects at the Investmentlounge.
In return, investors learn about lucrative and advanced investment opportunities in Germany.

Much sought-after funding measures

Most of the GO-Bio spin-offs progress successfully, are attractive to investors and frequently win innovation awards. The funding initiative enjoys an outstanding reputation withinvestors and scientific teams. Because of the practice-oriented focus and substantial financing, the GO-Bio programme is in great demand (for more information see “Selection Rounds”).

By supporting research teams with GO-Bio, the government provides promising professional careers and strengthens Germany’s leading role in life sciences.

How to get GO-Bio funding?

The GO-Bio calls for tender take place every one or two years. They are announced in the section “Calls for tender” as well as on the Federal Gazette and on websites of the BMBF along with their corresponding application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The funding initiative GO-Bio is addressed to:

  • Young scientists with research experience
  • Individuals with several years of experience in research and development in companies
  • Physicians with several years of clinical experience

What will be funded?

The project ideas should be based on research in the life sciences with a high potential for corporate or clinical innovation and should be focused on commercial usefulness. The subjects are intentionally broad (for more information see “Calls for Tender”).

Please use the electronic application system “easy-Online” to create project outlines and grant applications. Project ideas will be assessed subsequently by an expert committee in a two-tier selection process.

Two funding phases

GO-Bio funding takes place in two phases over a period of three years maximum respectively.

  • During the first phase the teams work out the potential for implementation. This phase is primarily academic driven, but preliminary arrangements for the foundation of an enterprise are already put into place.
  • An interim evaluation decides whether a team can enter the second funding phase. During the second phase a spin-off is founded, which has to acquire co-financing from the private sector – in addition to GO-Bio funding.

Subsidy volume

The BMBF provides 15 to 30 million Euros for each funding round. The corresponding amount per project depends on the individual project content.
On top of that, universities and research institutions can obtain up to 350,000 Euros for technology transfer, if they have hosted one of the GO-Bio projects that have successfully entered the second funding phase.


Dr. Jan Strey
Projektträger Jülich (Berlin Office)

Tel.: +49 30 20199-468


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