Calls for


Run-up to the ninth call:
We're calling for an intermdediate sprint

This year innovative initiatives are reaching their goals in record time

The financial resources needed for transferring commercially viable or socio-cultural concepts from the university to industry or society are often lacking. And so promising ideas, inventions and smaller research projects often end up buried in researchers’ files. Started in summer 2018, the Calls for Transfer (C4T) project run by Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) specifically addresses this issue and fosters the transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology at Hamburg’s public universities by initially funding project proposals with up to EUR 30,000. In this way, more than 100 different projects of a technical, scientific and medical nature, as well as from the arts and humanities, are already closer to their goal of long-term realisation.

Calls for Transfer (C4T) is this year approaching the end of the pilot phase and is thus calling for the realisation of innovations in a sprint process from 1 April 2023. Researchers from all of Hamburg’s universities can apply for four weeks to explore and implement innovative initiatives within six months. Ten of the submitted projects will be given the chance in the ninth call to bring novel ideas, inventions and concepts to the common goal of a first practical application in record time with the help of EUR 30,000.

Who is supported through "Calls for Transfer"?

Calling forward-thinking inventions, novel insights or commercially effective concepts: All researchers at Hamburg’s public universities are eligible to apply if they want to implement a project, with a running time of 6 months . The project period is funded with EUR 30,000 , and the funding can be flexibly applied. In this way, project plans can be moved forward with a focus on implementation. It is irrelevant whether the funds are used for material costs, personnel costs or other investments. The emphasis is on the best possible further development of the project. It is also important to note that the applicant must be employed at a public university in Hamburg for the entire duration of the project.

What projects are supported by the funding programme?

“Calls for Transfer” supports “transfer-relevant” applications, i.e. the focus is not on the academic discipline, but on the probable impact of the idea. The aim is to help project applications get off the ground that have a real chance of changing something in business, politics and society for the better. Accordingly, the development of demonstrators has been supported just as much as knowledge-based start-ups or the implementation of artistic concepts.
Genuine potential for change also depends on a further aspect: the degree of genuine innovation. Therefore the funding programme committee assesses each bid not just on realisation and ongoing funding potential but also on its degree of innovation. How new is this idea really? How high is its technological or creative potential? What possibilities are opened up by this project? These are just a few of the questions that the committee looks at in its deliberations in order to help applicants develop and realise their projects. And because genuine “transfer potential” often comes about through a mix of different skills and perspectives, the funding programme also focuses on cooperation: whether it is a matter of interdisciplinary collaboration between universities, direct cooperation between businesses and researchers or the involvement of the creative industries, more can be achieved when people work together.

Watch out!

Special format!

Call 09 will start in a special format and be open from 1 April to 30 April 2023.

Calls for Transfer is approaching the end of its own pilot phase and so is calling for an intermediate sprint for innovative ideas. The basic information for the ninth call is:

  • The call will be open from 1 to 30 April 2023
  • Applicants will receive EUR 30,000 as usual for implementing their innovations
  • Earliest start for the project duration is 01.07.23, ending on 31.12.2020 at the latest (max. 6 months)
Funding guidelines and application documents will be provided here in time for the start of the call. You can find more information on the C4T intermediate sprint at:

We answer
your questions

On 18 April 2023 // 11 a.m. we are hosting our digital information event to answer any questions in person. This will provide information on the ninth call as a “sprint process” and advise all participants on their planned projects. We will give information and answer questions on both content and form.

Call 09 closes in…

Unfortunately the application period for the 8th call has ended. The 9th call will be open for you in spring 2023


You can submit your project proposal for the ninth call via an online form until 30 April 2023. Please pay attention to our funding guidelines and use the application form in the download.

We look forward to receiving your application.

C4T application

Submission must be made via our online form

Please fill in the application documents in full and submit them in PDF format by 30 April 2023 using our online form.


FAQ Call09

Who can apply?

Both individual academics and research networks at Hamburg’s public universities are eligible to apply. The applicant must also be employed at one of Hamburg’s public universities, regardless of whether as a professor, lecturer or research associate. The C4T funding format is open to all topics and explicitly supports project proposals from all academic disciplines. The participation of external partners is possible, but not eligible for funding. External partners must therefore contribute their own resources.

How high is total funding via the C4T format?

The C4T funding format provides start-up funding for project proposals costing up to €30,000. More expensive projects are also eligible in principle, but in this case it must be shown how the funding shortfall will be made up.

The approved funding takes the form of a non-repayable grant.

How may C4T funding be used?

Depending on the project, applicants can apply for funding for personnel, material or other investments. The aim is to facilitate an individual and yet flexible implementation of ideas, concepts, inventions, technologies, etc., and their optimum further development. The application must state in detail what the funds are to be used for. A reallocation of funds during the course of the project is possible.

What time frame can my planned funding project have?

The funding period for individual projects – and thus the project duration – is limited to a maximum of 6 months. The earliest start date is 01.07.23 and you must have completed the project by 31.12.23. A cost-neutral extension is not possible in this call.

Can a further project application be made?

Multiple participation in one or more calls is possible in principle, however individual bids must differ in content. This also applies to new bids from applicants who have already received C4T project funding.

Project proposals rejected in previous C4T calls may be resubmitted. However, applicants should pay attention to the deficiencies mentioned in the rejection letter and revise these points. Please note on the application form that you are submitting a revised project and what the main changes are. (You will find space for this on the title page of the application form.)


Who evaluates C4T project bids

Evaluation of submitted applications is by an external panel of reviewers. The reviewers are experts in various sectors and disciplines so that they can evaluate and assess the project proposals in their diversity in the best possible way.

As a coordinator of this project, Hamburg Innovation communicates their decision to applicants and is available for any questions or comments about this funding instrument.

What criteria are relevant for the selection of ideas and concepts for funding?

Submitted applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Degree of innovation
  • Academic viability
  • Technological or creative potential
  • Probability of utilisation or further financing of the initiative
  • Interdisciplinary cooperation or approach
  • Previous groundwork
  • Involvement of partners from industry and/or society

It is important that C4T is understood as start-up funding for projects that, without it, would have had no chance of being launched and tested.

In addition to the “degree of innovation”, which assesses a completely new or particularly creative perspective, technology, scientific method, etc., the probability of the project idea being continued is also important. Projects whose continuation after 12 months is neither expected nor planned will not be funded.

What funding formats does C4T have?

A: Research projects in academic establishments

B: Research cooperation with industry, business or society

C: Exploitation of intellectual property rights: WIPANO validation applications

D: Preparation of knowledge-based start-ups

What is special about applying for funding format C (WIPANO)?

Project applications for funding format C (exploitation of intellectual property rights: WIPANO validation applications) can be submitted to Hamburg Innovation GmbH at any time and do not have to be approved by the review panel. Instead, they must be endorsed by the Patent Exploitation Agency for the universities in Hamburg (PVA). Funding is provided for a maximum of five validation projects per year, and co-funding of the applicant’s own contribution required under WIPANO funding is set at a maximum of €30,000.

What conditions have to be met for funding format D (start-ups)?

As C4T provides seed capital for projects in their early stages, the start-up must not have been founded yet. C4T specifically funds the preparation for knowledge-based university spin-outs. If you are looking for funding opportunities for a start-up that has already been founded, you are welcome to contact beyourpilot.

How can I submit an application?

Complete project applications can be uploades and submitted as a PDF via our online form. The ninth call is open from 1 April to 30 April. You can find our online form here: submit application

What information is essential for the application to be complete?

The form must contain information on the following points in German (an English translation may be attached optionally):

  1. The title of the project as well as the choice of funding format A, B or D (multiple selections are possible if the project concept fits more than one format, but none is predominant)
  2. General information about the applicant
    • Brief outline of previous academic career
    • Max. 10 examples of previous publications, patent applications or preliminary project work
    • Substantive overview of third-party funding already acquired and any partnerships with industry, business and/or society (LoIs may also be attached)
  3. Description of the project with details of the goal of the funding bid including funding amount
  4. Work plan by work packages with indication of milestones and those responsible for implementation
  5. A detailed budget showing precise planning of spending on material and personnel costs and other items
  6. A summary of the composition of the requested funding budget (in contrast to the detailed budget, expenditure on on material and personnel costs and other items should be shown here as a total)
  7. Prospect of planned opportunities for exploitation or follow-up funding
  8. Date and applicant’s signature

Please note that your application form will be valid without this information (this also includes the date and your signature).

What are the formal requirements? How many pages may the project proposal have? And how should attachments be handled?

Please use the application form to submit your project bid. In the interests of comparability, it is important that you observe the following formal requirements. Applications that do not meet these requirements will, unfortunately, have to be rejected at the outset. The font, font size, line spacing and margins of the application form must not be changed (you can find details of this in the funding guidelines).

Application length:

Points 3 and 4 of the application form may not exceed five A4 pages. This also applies to your project description and the rough presentation of the funding budget sought. Title page, attachments, privacy policy as well as date and signature do not count towards the five A4 pages. You may add images as attachments.


Please note that the attachments (curriculum vitae, publications, patent applications, project work and previous third-party funding) should be as concise and representative as possible, which is why the information in the application form must not be exceeded. Optional LOIs may be submitted as PDF files.

What must be done after the end of the project?

A final report must be submitted within three months to the coordinator, Hamburg Innovation (HI). HI reports on successful projects via a range of communication channels. In addition, we will be happy to advise on further opportunities for funding and cooperation following on from C4T.


Rea Alp

Transfer and Content Manager

…makes innovation visible. As a former innovation scout, she knows the funding landscape like the back of her hand and knows how to express complex ideas so that they can be understood. Rea reports on the successes of C4T-funded projects, tackling a variety of topics, ranging from building materials or articificial intelligence to new exhibition concepts. In addition, she connects innovative research approaches within the Hamburg knowledge ecosystem, brings people together and – along the way – fights the corner of the arts and culture in knowledge and technology transfer. As a humanities scholar, she thrives on interdisciplinarity, brings together technology and the creative industries, and has the expertise and ability to properly represent all disciplines of academia. Rea is also a PhD student in art history, thereby advancing her own research.

Tel: +49 40 76629-3156

Mareike Post | Creativ / Project Lead

Mareike Post

Creative / Project Lead

…has been navigating between the worlds of science and business for more than a decade. As a graduate in media studies (MA), editor and trained designer, she has put her theoretical knowledge to practical use in magazines, start-ups and television. She loves a challenge and prefers to solve problems unconventionally. She counters “dry” research with storytelling, unites opposing disciplines through open designs and swiftly turns around entrenched project strategies. For HI and C4T. she is constantly thinking outside the box – from communication concepts or extensive counselling to spirited “number-crunching”. Mareike is passionate about innovative ideas and splendid stories. As a project manager, she loves juggling many different tasks while navigating around strict timelines. Here she can rely totally on her strong team without which she would be lost.

Tel: +49 40 76629-3153

Inga Twisselmann

Project Development & Communication Staff

…has already worked in a whole variety of areas in her many professional roles. The qualified event manager and graduate in media studies (MA) combines organisational and creative talent and is very well versed in project management and marketing – the ideal combination, therefore, to actively support the Calls for Transfer team. She prefers to work as an equal, communicates directly and yet never loses her sense of humour, especially when it comes to selecting GIFs for the team chat. At C4T she always keeps the big picture in view, optimises processes and increases visibility. She can also indulge her passion for writing and her interest in innovative topics, since it is rare to be able the encounter so many exciting projects and researchers at once.

Tel: +49 40 76629-3154

Basic info CallIX

  • Submission phase: 01.04. – 30.04.2023
  • Funding sum for individual projects: up to €30,000
  • Possible start for approved C4T projects: from 01.07.2023 till 31.12.23 at the latest
  • Maximum duration: 6 months
  • Eligible for funding are innovative trasnfer-relevant concepts from all academic disciplines at Hamburg’s public universities
  • Not only proposals from applied and technical science are considered transfer-relevant, but also research projects from the social sciences, humanities and the arts
  • The innovative power of the application and the possibility of economic exploitation or socially relevant implementation are important
  • The most promising project submissions will be selected as to their potential and quality by experts on the C4T funding programme committee

“Calls for Transfer” is funded by the Hamburg Ministry for Science, Research, Equalities and Districts (BWFGB) and is administered by Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). The project is actively managed and coordinated by us, with the board deciding independently of us.


And the 10th

... is still in the lap of the gods.

But we are hoping there will be a continuation of the sucessful programme in 2024.

Funded by: