Franco-German Innovation Projects for Private 5G Networks

Cross-border programme by BMWi and MEFR supports collaborative projects with partners from industry and research with up to €14 million.

As part of the Franco-German Dialogue on Technology, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi – German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) in collaboration with Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances et de la Relance (MEFR – French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery) are launching a joint call for bilateral research projects on private 5G networks. This Franco-German applied research collaboration is designed to foster the creation of a common 5G ecosystem of technology and service providers with operators of local private 5G networks from both countries.

The aim of the call is to launch new collaborative projects with a focus on collaboration between industry and research. The joint projects should aim at developing pre-competitive products and services and selecting topics that involve technological barriers while offering great economic potential in both countries. Scientific findings are to be transferred into the development of marketable high-end technologies with strong practical potential.

The thematic focus of the call is on applications in the following areas:

  • Industry 4.0
  • Logistics
  • Rural areas and healthcare (e-health)
  • 5G campus networks for experimental and educational purposes
  • Relevant economic and social sectors for 5G campus networks

Funding is provided in two funding lines:

  1. Main project: establishment of ecosystems in the area of 5G private networks (campus networks) with open and/or virtualised solutions.
  2. Demonstrator projects: technical projects in specific application areas to demonstrate use cases and the capabilities of campus networks, and virtualised and open solutions, and their benefits to the business community.

Eligible for funding are bilateral consortia including at least one eligible partner for each of the two participating countries. The consortium must be composed of at least one company and one research actor carrying out an activity in the general interest and without a project partner representing more than 70% of the project expenditure. Applications in the funding line 1 must bring together six to 10 partners per country in a consortium. Applications in the funding line 2 must bring together three to five partners per country in a consortium.

The overall funding period is three years. For funding line 1, BMWi and MEFR will provide common funding of up to €14 million for one large consortium. BMWi and MEFR will fund up to five projects in funding line 2. The common funding budget for demonstrator projects is up to €26 million. The overall budget of the programme is €20 million in Germany and €20 million in France.

The scheme comprises a multi-step application process with an initial invitation for voluntary expressions of interest followed by a formal funding application and a review meeting for shortlisted applicants.

Expressions of interests (voluntary) are requested by 3 June 2021. The submission window for applications closes on 1 September 2021.