Opportunities for Funding via the Helmholtz Validation Fund (HVF)

Program description

The Helmholtz Validation Fund (HVF) is a cross center financing instrument funded by the initiative and Networking Fund and is intended to close funding gaps between:

  • scientific findings and their marketable applications,
  • public research and private investment.

By reducing the funding gap, the HFV aims to bridge the gap between idea and application. Thanks to the Helmholtz Validation Fund, research results can be further developed in order to increase their value and commercialize them. For this purpose, there is often a lack of validation - i.e. a document that makes the results interesting for partners from industry, for example through:

  • proof of general applicability,
  • the testing of a suitable production process,
  • a pre-clinical trial. 


General information on the HVF can be found on the following overview page:





Funding is given to projects which, through a validation phase, can increase the value of an invention or the potential for commercialization of a product or service. The validation thus represents proof that the research results have a practical and commercial relevance. Such proof of technical feasibility or economic potential should lead to an increase in attractiveness, making the validated idea interesting to business partners or potential investors.

In addition to the formal criteria, the following conditions must be met in order to receive funding from the validation fund:

  • The project application comes from a scientist from a Helmholtz Centre.
  • The project is planned to run for up to two years.
  • The grant from the Helmholtz Validation Fund for the project is more than 1,000,000 euros per year and should normally be more than 250,000 euros per year. 



Validation proposals from the Helmholtz Centers are selected in a two-stage application procedure. Preliminary and main proposals are evaluated by independent reviewers, whereby the preliminary-proposal is no longer absolutely necessary, but is recommended. The five-page preliminary-proposals can be submitted at any time. No later than two months after submission of the preliminary-proposal, either a reasoned rejection of the preliminary-proposal or an approval for a main application will be given. In the case of approval for a main application, the application form, on a maximum of 20 pages, must include details of the project planning including milestones and financial plan. A written confirmation from the Helmholtz Centre that the application is supported and that the applicant's own contribution is guaranteed must be enclosed. The validation projects are selected by a decision-making board composed of external experts.

If you are interested in submitting an application, please contact us. We will advise and support you in the preparation, elaboration and submission of your application.



The preliminary-proposal's plausibility check includes the following groups of criteria, which are evaluated by independent experts:

  • potential for commercializaton,
  • added value through validation,
  • feasibility.

In the main application phase, the "Project Management"- criteria group is also included in the evaluation.

Once the application process has been succesfully completed with a positive decision by the decision-making board, a grant agreement is concluded between the Helmholtz association and the Helmholtz Center. The grant is vouchsafed as fixed amount financing and is conditionally repayable.

FIMA (third-party funding) will support you with the financial handling. SU Law will assist you with any necessary cooperation agreements. IRM will be happy to put you in touch with the right contacts.



The duration of a project can be for up to two years.

The projects supported by the validation fund are linked to a milestone plan. The fulfilment of the milestone is a prerequisite for the call for funds, which takes places in tranches usually lasting three to six months.

FIMA (third-party funding) is responsible for financial processing during the term of the project. If desired, innovation management will be happy to answer you organizational questions.



Upon completion of the validation project, an immediate commercialization must be possible. In the final phase of the project, the various valorization options must be examined in order to realize commercialization. This can be via a cooperation partner, a license agreement with an industrial partner or a spin-off.

FIMA (third-party funding) is responsible for the financial processing of the deal. If desired, innovation management will be happy to answer your questions regarding the final report and the subsequent commercializaton.