German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF)


The German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen, AiF) was founded in 1954. As a registered non-profit association, the AiF concentrates on application-oriented research and development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). That is why it primarily promotes interchange between industry and science in order to swiftly put new research findings into practice. Its services are especially oriented towards German firms. The association is active at the national and European level.

Innovation Network

The AiF has established an innovation network that involves 100 industrial research associations with approximately 50,000 companies (mainly SMEs). It has also set up two subsidiaries in Cologne and Berlin. Over 1,200 research institutes have contributed to Industrial Collective Research (IGF) projects. The industry-based research associations of the AiF are entitled to submit applications.

Facts and Figures

  • Network of 100 industrial research associations from all sectors (manufacturing industry and service sector) with 50,000 affiliated companies (above all SMEs); roughly one third of these research associations maintain their own research facilities

  • 504 million euros of public funding for research projects for SMEs (2014)

  • 174 staff

Organisational Details

The AiF is organised by industry and is particularly involved in increasing the competitive strength of SMEs by supporting the efficient application and advancement of R&D programmes. This includes a variety of fields of applied research, such as process control, construction industry, medical technology and food science. The AiF promotes R&D for small and medium-sized enterprises in several ways:

  • organisation of collective industrial research for the benefit of entire industrial sectors
  • administration of programmes for governmental R&D support measures
  • promotion of R&D through open innovation processes
  • networking within and between industrial sectors and politics
  • coordination of international cooperation networks for SMEs

Research Budget

Image Research Budget

In 2014, the AiF managed an annual budget of 504 million euros allocated from public funds for research projects on behalf of SMEs. It is currently a partner of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).



German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF)



Bayenthalgürtel 23

50968 Cologne



work Phone
+49 221 37680-0



AiF: Funding for Research Projects

AiF: Funding for Research Projects

The AiF offers various opportunities for project funding, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). More AiF: Funding for Research Projects