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Information for humanities and social scientists

Information, first steps and advice on "Research applications, knowledge transfer and foundation of startups" in the field of humanities and social sciences

Possible applications for knowledge and current research resultsfrom the humanities and social sciences are often not apparent at first glance. However, outlining these is becoming increasingly important for various third-party funding agencies in research funding. This is not exclusively about commercial application opportunities, but generally about the positive impact of research and transfer for society.

Profund Innovation helps to develop methodological competencies, to address the right funding programs or to find cooperation partners for your project. Oriented towards your research and your individual needs to support transfer and knowledge exchange, we offer numerous formats, including the following:


Step 01: Getting to know your research and determining the support needs

  • Individual initial consultation for those interested in transfer and founding a company at Freie Universität Berlin
  • Topic-specific advice: on specific funding programs (see below), on setting up a business, on the protection of intellectual property or on sustainability strategies. Through our network of experts we cover many other topics.


Step 02: Workshops to support the transfer from the humanities and social sciences, etc.:

  • Events for knowledge exchange and transfer in the humanities and social sciences
  • Workshops for the development of business models or alternative applications for humanities scholars and social scientists
  • Workshops to prepare for the application for specific funding programs
  • Presentation trainings
  • Topic workshops, e.g. on "Social Entrepreneurship", "Financing", "PR and Communication" and others

We regularly offer workshops in the above mentioned areas, also individually for specific working groups, institutes and fields of expertise. Current dates can be found here.


Step 03: Competitions

  • The Research to Market Challenge for research-based business and start-up ideas as well as alternative application possibilities from the research of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité. In addition to the categories "Digital & Technologies" and "Life Science & Health", the "Social & Cultural" category in particular offers an entry point for projects in the humanities and social sciences. Includes a Pitch and Present Workshop.
  • Also in cooperation with the other Berlin universities, the Forum for Young Top-level Research on transdisciplinary topics is offered annually


Step 04: Local, national and international support and scholarship programs are gradually opening up to projects that focus strongly on social or ecological impact and want to have their success measured by this, in addition to classic business ideas. The distinction between "classical start-up" and impact-oriented projects is not always easy to make, even with regard to funding opportunities. The advice and support provided by Profund Innovation's start-up consultants is based on their knowledge of the formal criteria of individual programs as well as on years of experience in working with the institutions responsible for the program and its funding.


Scholarship and support programs

  • Bridge The Gap and Validation Grants of the FU Berlin (internal research funding)
  • VIP program of the BMBF
  • Scholarship programs for people interested in founding a company: “Berliner Startup Stipendium” for innovative business ideas (in cooperation with TU, HU and Charité; State of Berlin and EU/ESF). EXIST GS for innovative, technology-oriented or knowledge-based projects with significant unique selling points and good prospects of economic success (BMWE).
  • Green Startup of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt supports start-ups and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability with a focus on digitization in an innovative way.
  • Advice on other transfer-oriented funding programs of the federal government, foundations and other institutions


In addition, networks and events provide a framework in which scientists from the humanities and social sciences can exchange ideas with their colleagues in the natural and life sciences, IT specialists and many other people with professional and life experience and can network effectively and sustainably.

  • Mentoring network of transfer-experienced researchers at Freie Universität Berlin (also open to external participants)
  • Co Working and Event Space for up to 100 people (request at profund@fu-berlin.de)
  • Weekly Startup Standup
  • Business & Beer, networking event of NFUSION, Entrepreneurs Network of Freien Universität Berlin
  • Access to experts, corporate networks, investors, foundations, associations, etc.



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