Innovation academy for application-oriented research

Zwei Wissenschaftler:innen führen ein Experiment durch.

The innovation academies for application-oriented research are a new funding program for interdisciplinary, innovative research projects at the interfaces between engineering, natural sciences and medicine. Here, application-oriented solutions are to be developed on topics such as health and prevention, resource efficiency or new materials. The aim is to make a relevant contribution to solving current social problems with new technologies.

Funding is provided for novel, interdisciplinary, and possibly even high-risk research projects that envisage practical application. This can be, for example, licensing, patenting, development of prototypes or spin-offs from the scientific community. We only support scientists who are affiliated with a research institution in northern Germany.

We have launched the call for applications for the Innovation Academy for application-oriented research in the thematic area of health and prevention (application period March 14 to May 2, 2023). The other thematic areas mentioned, such as resource efficiency and new materials, will be successively advertised in the course of 2023 until spring 2024.

At a glance

What do the Innovation Academies offer?

Within the framework of the Innovation Academies, we support excellent scientists who receive the following benefits:

  • Staff position based on TVL-14 for two years,
  • up to 100,000 euros in project funding per project, which is freely available and can be used on the basis of the submitted cost plan,
  • Personnel funds and project funds may not exceed a total of 250,000 euros,
  • up to 25,000 euros for consulting services on start-up issues,
  • up to 5,000 euros for outreach activities, individually selectable seminars on science communication and other aspects of the topic,
  • a high-level seminar program of 8-10 working days within two years. The following topics will be covered:
    • Competencies around spin-offs, translation and transfer,
    • Theoretical and methodological challenges in transferring research results into practice,
    • Issues related to quality criteria, open data versus patent and trademark protection,
    • Outreach, science communication, and personality development (e.g., leadership training, training on stress management and team building, or similar).

The exact design of the seminar program is based on the selection of the participants in order to adapt the offer as well as possible to the respective needs. Individual interests in topics will be asked for during the application process.

The Innovation Academies also serve the purpose of networking, so that the grantees can support each other and learn from each other on their way from research to practical application.

Who is the funding aimed at?

The program is aimed at scientists who belong to a research institution in northern Germany or who are considering a position there.

We support

  • Doctoral students in the advanced stage of their doctorate,
  • postdocs and junior professors,
  • scientific employees.

Scientists who apply should have entrepreneurial or strongly application-oriented thinking and communication skills, and be interested in exchanging ideas with researchers from other disciplines and social actors.

Selection procedure

The selection takes place in a two-stage procedure: The written documents are reviewed by a five-member expert panel consisting of representatives of the specialist disciplines and experts on transfer issues. This is followed by a personal interview with the most promising candidates at the Joachim Herz Foundation. Applicants will be notified of the decision on admission to the Innovation Academy by the beginning of August.

Innovation Academy for Applied Infection Research

Innovation Academy for Application-Oriented Infection Research

The current call for applications runs until April 30. For the Innovation Academy for Applied Infection Research, we are looking for applicants:in,

  • who conduct research at the interface of medicine, engineering and natural sciences and who want to bring novel developments into practical application,
  • who belong to a research institution in Hamburg, Borstel, Lübeck or Kiel or who have a position in prospect there.
  • Applications are invited from postdocs, advanced PhD students (f/m/d), academic staff members and junior professors whose research in the field of infection research is characterized by scientific excellence and interdisciplinarity.

Your research should have high relevance for infection research and added value for society. If you have not been able to pursue your idea so far, our funding is intended to provide you with the necessary freedom for creativity, testing and development.

Prof. Dr. med. Götz Thomalla
Prof. Dr. med. Götz Thomalla

Prof. Dr. med. Götz Thomalla, Vice Dean for Clinical Research & Translation, UKE Hamburg

"The Innovation Academy for Application-Oriented Infection Research is an excellent opportunity for researchers to put their own project on the path to application. The Corona pandemic has shown how quickly the path from basic research to application can go. The best scientific ideas can only develop their full impact if the transfer to application is successful. I am pleased that this interdisciplinary funding program will provide space for excellent scientist:ing to explore exploitation options for their research or develop their start-up ideas."

Arik Willner, Chief Technology Officer Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg
Arik Willner © DESY, Axel Heimken

Arik Willner, Chief Technology Officer German Electron Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg

"Innovative, interdisciplinary and application-oriented research in the field of infection research must be transferred more quickly in order to be able to respond more effectively to endemics and possible pandemics. Supporting researchers in this field is therefore of great importance, as it highlights transfer opportunities and career paths that ultimately help to make results from research useful to society in the most direct way possible."

Dr. Michael Baehr, Klinikapotheke Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
Dr. Michael Baehr

Dr. Michael Baehr, Clinic Pharmacy University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf

"The Innovation Academy enables young scientists to further develop their innovative concepts and gives them a platform for interdisciplinary networking between science and business. A remarkable support program for the metropolitan region of Hamburg, Borstel, Kiel and Lübeck."


Dr. Marion Helen Stagars

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Marion Helen Stagars T. +49 (0)40 533295-645 mstagars(at)joachim-herz-stiftung(dot)de

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