Current Projects

Environmental Project Financing | New approaches of financing research – the matching concept | crowdFANding

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Unit, Innovation Financing

We take on the neutral role of “interpreter“ between innovators and capital providers. International research and innovation projects with disseminators from the scientific and political communities as well as the finance sector provide a common operational framework. This makes it possible to improve the flow of capital into promising innovation projects and to increase the awareness of financing options, especially in the area of investment readiness and alternative financing instruments.

We work for clients from the science community, the political arena and the finance sector.

Our range of services saves innovators a considerable amount of time and money during their search for the tailor-made regional and non-regional capital providers. A scientifically sound comparison of the market relevant investment criteria represents the reliable basis for our services. We design and participate in events in the field of innovation financing and investment readiness.

We make it possible for capital providers to gain access to promising and scalable innovation projects. It also saves time and money. The range of services offered by the Innovation Financing Unit is completed by participation in interactive event formats, access to the Fraunhofer network and to other (co-)investors.

Innovationspreis Thüringen innovation award prize-giving ceremony at the Neue Weimarhalle: Host Stephanie Müller-Spirra interviews Toni Schley (on the left) and Robin Bürger from the people's choice award winning crowdFANding project.

“A small, 'crazy' idea grew into what is probably biggest project in the history of German fan culture so far. We are extremely grateful and are hoping for long-term and worthwhile follow-on projects for crowdFANding!“


Toni Schley, crowdFANding project coordinator

Current research projects

JUSTiCE – The impact of distributed blockchain technology on the sharing economy

crowdFANding II / 13.8.2017

Participation with crowdfunding in sports

Matching concept

New approaches of financing research


Success factors for crowdfunding in sports

DBU Special Representative

DBU Special Representative in Central and Eastern Europe


Press Review for the project: crowdFANding II - Participation with crowdfunding in sports


Starting Signal crowdFANding II – Participation through crowdfunding in sport

Financing expert gives presentation at G-Forum 2018

The G-Forum 2018, an interdisciplinary annual conference on entrepreneurship, innovation and SMEs, will take place on 11 & 12 October 2018. At the event, the Innovation Financing Unit's Marie-Luise Arlt will present a paper entitled “ClusterFeedback - Development of a transfer instrument for the early validation of innovation projects through market feedback.”

Investor Days / 13.6.2017

Investor Days Thüringen

On 13 and 14 June 2017, start-ups, investors and industry experts from all over Germany will get together in Erfurt to meet in person and to expand their networks. The Innovation Financing unit will once again lend academic support to the 2017 “Investor Days Thüringen“. In 2016, the researchers already investigated how start-ups in Germany can be driven by venture capital for STIFT Thüringen.

Fraunhofer IMW financing experts present research results at European crowdfunding convention


Thüringer Innovationspreis 2016: people's choice award for crowdFANding

Das Projekt „crowdFANding“ hat den Publikumspreis des 19. Thüringer Innovationspreises 2016 gewonnen. Das von der Gruppe Innovationsfinanzierung des Fraunhofer IMW in Leipzig wissenschaftlich begleitete Pilotprojekt konnte sich in der Online-Abstimmung mit über 1.200 Stimmen durchsetzen.

Am vergangenen Mittwoch (23.11.2016) nahmen Projektkoordinator Toni Schley und Gruppenleiter Dr. Robin Bürger die Auszeichnung aus den Händen von Thüringens Wirtschafts- und Wissenschaftsminister Wolfgang Tiefensee entgegen.

Hinter „crowdFANding“ steckt ein innovatives Finanzierungsinstrument, mit dem die Bürgerinitiative UNSER STADION JENA e.V. bei der Kampagne zum Erhalt der Südkurve im FC Carl Zeiss Jena unterstützt werden konnte und das künftig für weitere Fanprojekte angewendet werden kann. Dank des international ausgerichteten Kampagnenkonzeptes wurden knapp 155.000 Euro von über 2.000 Unterstützern aus 35 Ländern gesammelt.

„Wir freuen uns über die Bestätigung, die wir durch den Innovationspreis erfahren haben“, so Dr. Robin Bürger. „Mit dieser zusätzlichen Motivation ausgestattet, widmen wir uns der wissenschaftlichen Auswertung des Pilotprojekts und freuen uns auf das Nachfolgeprojekt crowdFANding 2. “

Der Thüringer Innovationspreis wird jährlich von der Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung Thüringen an Innovatoren aus der Region verliehen. Eine Jury prämiert die Gewinner in den Kategorien „Tradition & Zukunft“, „Industrie & Material“, „Digitales & Medien“, „Licht & Leben“ und „Junge Unternehmen“. Außerdem werden der Ernst-Abbe-Preis für innovatives Unternehmertum und der Publikumspreis verliehen.

The ball just keeps on rolling – crowdFANding international

Since the “crowdFANding“ project was launched on 6 June, it has attracted an increasing level of interest. So far, fans from 23 different countries have already pledged their support. More than 1,250 of them have contributed to the recent breaking of the 100,000 euro mark. crowdFANding is therefore more than a regional project.

Fraunhofer crowdfunding experts attend European Commission workshop

UNIDO invites innovation financing experts to panel discussion

Fraunhofer experts speak on crowdfunding and fintech at biggest entrepreneurship conference in the German-speaking countries


Interview with Dr. Robin Bürger on the topic of “crowdFANding – Südkurve bleibt!”

Fraunhofer IMW lends scientific support to “Investor Days Thüringen“


Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung (STIFT)

Leipzig Fraunhofer Center and “Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung Thüringen (STIFT)“ Announce Agreement

Kick-off of the BMBF-funded joint project “Innofinanz“


Fraunhofer IMW now “strategic member” in the European Crowdfunding Network

Since the beginning of 2018, Fraunhofer IMW has been a “strategic member” of the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN). The Innovation Finance Unit promotes knowledge transfer through crowd-based financing instruments with scientifically based findings from national and international project work. Membership of the ECN also reflects Fraunhofer IMW’s commitment in actively promoting the potential of crowdfunding in Germany and Europe. 

Selected projects in the annual reports of the Fraunhofer IMW

In its annual reports, the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center presents the wide scope of its socio-economic services spectrum. The expert teams' contributions provide a compact overview of the institute's projects and product, subject and research focuses.