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Core Objective

Do you work on a new technology, therapy or medical solution with clinical potential, but the developmental know-how is lacking? Do you want to validate your research findings with the goal of translating these into therapies, products or services? Why not let the SPARK-BIH program enhance the translatability of your innovative technology!

SPARK-BIH supports the development of novel therapeutics (small molecule, biologics, ATMP, gene therapy), medical devices and diagnostics, as well as the repurposing of existing drugs for new indications. Translational research projects can come from any medical field. SPARK-BIH empowers project teams to overcome translational hurdles through Education, Mentoring & Funding and Entrepreneurship support.


Exclusively, scientists and clinicians from Charité including BIH are eligible to apply for funding. The number of project proposals per applicant is not limited. Projects must be developed within the academic setting.

Program Overview: Budget and Duration

The funding program consists of two different tracks, Track 1 and Track 2. Applicants have to assign their proposals to one of the following two categories:

Track 1 projects are usually earlier in the development timeline. Funding can be granted for up to 50.000 €. The funding period is max. one year (see 'Guide for Applicants - Track 1').

Track 2 projects are further along the development timeline and must meet strict requirements regarding intellectual property rights and market access strategies. Funding can be granted for more than 50.000 €. The funding period is max. two years (see 'Guide for Applicants - Track 2').

Project funding is strictly milestone-based. If it is determined at any point that the project goals cannot be met anymore, the funding will be terminated.

Project Requirements

All project proposals have to demonstrate a translational relevance. Essential evaluation criteria include:

  • Scope of unmet clinical need
  • Novelty of approach
  • Fit of proposed solution to unmet clinical need
  • Feasibility (budget and time)
  • Quality of data
  • Suitability of team
  • Marketability/probability of commercialization

Application Process & Selection Procedure

  • To apply, please submit your Track 1 / Track 2 project proposals in English via the online BIH application portal.
  • The submission deadline is May 31, 2021 at 14:00 CET.
  • Applicants of selected Track 1 or Track 2 projects will be invited to pitch their proposals between August 16th and 20th in front of an expert committee. Detailed information will be communicated directly to the selected project teams.
  • Funded projects are expected to start in Fall 2021.

All applicants who are unsure whether their project is suitable for our funding program or to which track they should apply are encouraged to contact the SPARK-BIH team before submitting a proposal to ensure that their project meets the requirements of the call.

The BIH seeks to increase the diversity of its funding programs. Women, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, as well as individuals with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply for BIH programs.

Submission Deadline

May 31, 2021, 14:00 CET

BIH Application Portal

Please click here for the online BIH application portal. In case of technical problems with the online portal, please contact portal@bihealth.de. We recommend using the Google Chrome browser for your online application.

Charité BIH Innovation

Charité BIH Innovation, the joint technology transfer of Charité and BIH, supports researchers and clinicians at Charité including BIH in the development and transfer of technologies and products to patient and market. In addition to consultations and support in the areas of IP, patenting, licensing and law, we offer mentoring by subject matter experts, access to networks of talents, of development partners, industry partners and investors. In addition, Charité BIH Innovation offers two support instruments:

The SPARK-BIH program supports projects in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices to validate research results with the aim of developing them into a therapy or product. The BIH Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) program supports teams with digital health ideas and concepts to turn them into market-ready digital health solutions. In focus are solutions driven by digital technologies such as 3D, AR/MR/VR, machine learning/A.I., robotics, sensors, and software. The next Call for Applications of the BIH Digital Health Accelerator program will be issued in Q3 2021.

Please note: Both, SPARK-BIH and the DHA program, can in general be combined with support from the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA), as long as double funding is excluded. Prior coordination with the respective program management is absolutely necessary for this.