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German government giving innovative startups support to participate in Munich trade fairs

May 15, 2013

- Eight Messe München trade-fairs in 2013 and 2014 selected for German Ministry of Economics incentive program
- State subsidizes up to 70 percent of participation costs

It is a huge opportunity for young entrepreneurs: Under the motto “Innovation made in Germany,” the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is supporting companies that want to present their products at an international trade fair for the very first time. The BMWi is financing the loin’s share of costs for the stand rental fee and stand construction by contributing up to EUR 7,500 to participate in a joint exhibition stand. A total of eight international trade fairs organized by Messe München in 2013 and 2014 have qualified for this incentive program – with an emphasis on high-tech fairs.

Klaus Dittrich, Chairman/CEO of Messe München, considers the BMWi initiative an ideal way to support new companies that are trying to establish themselves in important export markets: “Our trade fairs are a stepping stone to global business.” As Dittrich explains, networking and making personal contacts at trade fairs are an outstanding way to initiate international business transactions and gain access to new markets for innovations.

The objective of the BMWi program is to further strengthen Germany’s position as a center for innovations and exports, which is why Dittrich – the head of Messe München – feels that it suits Munich’s portfolio particularly well: “Our technology fairs give companies an opportunity to present their products to a large international audience. Trade visitors know that there are always plenty of innovations to see in Munich.”

International category
The BMWi program only applies to trade fairs that are FKM certified, which means that the number of exhibitors and visitors and the amount of exhibition space is determined on the basis of uniform standards and certified by an independent auditor. Another criterion is that at least 15 percent of exhibitors and 10 percent of visitors must come from abroad. Besides the international trade fair BAU 2013, which took place in mid-January, the following Messe München events have qualified for the program:
- LASER World of PHOTONICS 2013, the International Trade Fair and Congress for Optical Technologies – Components, Systems and Applications (May 13 – 16)
- transport logistic, the International Trade Fair for Logistics, Mobility, IT and Supply Chain Management (June 4 – 7)
- productronica, the International Trade Fair for Innovative Electronics Production (November 12 – 15)

Four trade fairs will participate in the incentive program in 2014:
- analytica, the International Trade Fair for Laboratory Technology, Analysis, Biotechnology and the analytica conference (April 1 – 4)
- IFAT, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management (May 5 – 9)
- AUTOMATICA, the International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics (May 20 – 25)
- Electronica, the International Trade Fair for Electronic Components, Systems and Applications (November 11 – 14)

productronica a prime example
productronica is a prime example of successful interaction between a trade fair and the incentive program: Since the initiative was established six years ago, as many as 20 innovative startup companies have presented themselves at a joint exhibition stand at every edition of the international trade fair for innovative electronics production – professionally organized and implemented by the project teams at Messe München. The registration deadline for joint exhibition stands at productronica 2013 is September 1, 2013 (

Who receives support
The companies that receive support are legally independent, new and innovative companies with new product or process-related developments that are based in and do business in the Federal Republic of Germany, that satisfy the EU definition of a small enterprise (no more than 50 employees and annual balance-sheet total or annual sales of no more than 10 million euros) and no more than 10 years old (
Companies that are interested in participating should contact the fair’s organizer no more than eight weeks prior to the beginning of the fair. At the same time, they must also submit an application for authorization to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) (Downloads at