"Digital Now" application and benefits

The program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) is intended to support small and medium-sized companies in investing in digitization projects. The rush to the program was underestimated and the application is preceded by participation in a lottery. It shows that digitization has long since arrived in the economy and that the pressure to invest is enormous.

Scope of funding:

The maximum amount of funding for applications from individual companies is €50,000.00 and for applications from affiliated companies €100,000.00 per applicant! The funding rate, on the other hand, depends on the number of full-time employees:

number of employees funding rate
Until 50 40 percent
Between 51 and 250 35 percent
Between 251 and 499 30 percent

A number of fulfilled criteria can ensure an increase in the funding rate. For example, the connection between project partners in a supply chain. Another opportunity to increase the funding rate is investing in IT security or the fact that the applicant comes from a structurally weak region.

Funding requirements for “Digital Now”:

  • Legally independent commercial and craft companies
  • At least an investment of €17,000,000
  • Between 3 and 499 employees
  • Permanent establishment or branch in Germany
  • The company is not in financial difficulties
  • The project must not have started yet
  • The project must be completed within 12 months
  • A digitization plan must be available or created for the application!

Not fulfilled

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process of application

1. Lottery

After a successful draw, an application can be submitted. The drawing takes place once a month.

2. Application

The completed digitization plan, the financing plan and a de minimis declaration are required.

3. Approval of the measure

From now on, the order can be awarded or the project can generally be started

4. Project phase

The implementation takes place and the payments are made by the SME

5. Grant

After the proof of use has been submitted and checked, the company receives the grants

Eligible projects:

For the Digital Now program, the eligible expenses have been divided into categories. However, the categories can be combined and a separate application is not required for each category. Digital Now makes sense wherever business processes and procedures can be optimized!

Investments in technologies and related processes. This includes hardware and software that promote the internal and external networking of companies.

Project examples:

Excluded from funding:

  • Data-driven business models
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • cloud applications
  • big data
  • sensors
  • 3D printing
  • List itemIT security
  • data protection
  • Standard hardware or software
  • Replacement or routine investments
  • First-time basic equipment with information and communication technology
  • Measures already funded
  • Personnel and administrative expenses
  • Affiliated Company Services
  • Use of own developers
  • Consulting service for a digitization plan

Investments in the qualification of employees for the development and implementation of a digital strategy in the company as well as in IT security and data protection.


If you want to know more about the topic, feel free to contact me.