In the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package, a comprehensive support programme for the vehicle industry – from small suppliers to OEMs – has been decided under section 35c. Up to 2024, 1.5 billion euros in subsidies are available for this purpose.

Kopa 35c at a glance.

Three modules provide the financial and content-related framework of support for research and development as well as for investments. The measures are coordinated and interlinked, with a particular focus on knowledge and technology transfer. The goal is to position the German automotive industry as a market leader on the international market. This transformation can succeed with the help of future investments in Industry 4.0, digitalisation, new mobility concepts and highly qualified employees.

Module A: Digitalisation & Industry 4.0

Module A focuses on the implementation and introduction of digital concepts in manufacturing and value creation processes. Both investments (A1) and innovations (A2) are funded here. The funding rates are staggered and depend, for example, on the funding basis, the size of the company and the location.

Note: In Module A1, the investment programme for modernising production, a funding rate of up to 50 percent can currently be achieved under the small grants scheme. The prerequisite is a Corona-related decline in turnover of at least 15 percent in the months of April to June 2020 compared to the same months of the previous year. The maximum amount of support is 1.8 million euros. The small grant scheme is expected to expire in December 2021, so the increased funding rates should not be missed. Applications for funding in Module A1 should be submitted by September 2021.

Funding is available for investments in the expansion and optimisation of production facilities (e.g. the purchase of new machinery) as well as accompanying measures to build up competencies (e.g. advisory and qualification measures).

In Module A2, the focus is on research and development for the digitalisation of the vehicle industry. Both industrial research and experimental development in SMEs and non-SMEs can receive the grant. Example: In the case of industrial research by an SME, a funding rate of up to 80 percent can be achieved.

Module B: R&D funding for new vehicle and system technologies

Module B extends the existing funding for new vehicle and system technologies and sets three thematic priorities:

  • Automated driving
  • Innovative vehicles (e.g. open-technology drive concepts)
  • System technologies

Funding is provided for cooperative projects involving at least two partners; commercial enterprises, especially SMEs, are eligible to apply. The funding quotas are analogous to Module A2, so that here, too, up to 80 percent of the project costs can be funded.

Module C: Regional Innovation Clusters

The third module focuses on innovation clusters that drive the regional transformation process of the automotive industry. The aim is to develop innovative formats and new value-added structures – against the background of transferring these into practical application as quickly as possible. Funding is provided for cluster management. However, members of the cluster can also apply for funding for the other modules.

Funding with advice

The extensive Kopa 35c funding offers the automotive industry very good opportunities to compensate for the slump caused by the Corona pandemic and to move towards new mobility concepts, digitalisation and investments in the future. Until probably September 2021, it will also be possible to benefit from higher funding rates under the small grants scheme.

The recommendation is: Take the path to funding with an expert at your side. They will guide you through the selection and application process for funding. This way, companies significantly increase their chances of success and can continue to focus on their core activities. DORUCON works on a highly success-based basis, which assures you that the interests are going in the same direction.