Impact Innovation

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • Support for digitalisation
  • Transition to a climate-neutral economy
  • Fostering innovation
  • Start-up support
  • Support of SMEs
Utoljára módosítva: 18 November, 2020

Impact Innovation

Angol név:

Impact Innovation


SMEs (Start-ups, partnerships or corporations with or without a profit intention, natural persons/sole proprietors and non-profit organisations that offer a product or a service) from all economic sectors. 

Main characteristics

The funding programme 'Impact Innovation' encourages enterprises to explore ideas using innovation methods and pays half of the projects costs. Up to €75,000 are available, regardless of topic or industry for projects lasting up to a year. The goal of the programme is the research and development of innovative and efficient business models that will have a positive social or societal impact. The website mentions examples such as solutions for education programmes, networking and societal participation, transparency and environmental protection.

Applicants should describe a planned project development and implementation. If they do not have any specific knowledge or information they can also build up know-how during the project and, if desired, involve experts. 

The project is run by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in cooperation with Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development. 

There are many successful projects which have been funded so far. Some beneficiaries are 'destination:development' for their solutions for qualitative impact measurement in tourism, 'MILES Learning' for their development of Digibook project which offers digital school book and 'Teach for Austria Alumni Club' for their design of innovative schooling processes that increase educational opportunities in the long term.


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Austrian Research Promotion Agency; National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development.


The projects must research possible solutions for defined and existing problems. The research programme should be suitable for applicants' business and manufacturing models.

In 2017, a total number of 104 organisations or persons have submitted an application. Of these submissions, 16 projects received the funding, resulting in a success quote of 15.4% (ZSI 2019).


The relatively open design of the programme has made it very attractive for enterprises, especially for innovative ideas without a strong technological focus. Thus, unconventional ideas have had a valuable chance to participate in a funding programme (ZSI 2019).


According to the evaluation by the Austrian Centre for Social Innovation, only few significant jobs were created by this funding (ZSI 2019).

Another criticism is that the programme is designed only for SMEs, whereas bigger social enterprises could bear innovative potential as well.


'destination:development' ,'MILES Learning' , 'Teach for Austria Alumni Club' .
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