The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), supports innovative projects and ideas in research through targeted funding programmes. Direct project funding is allocated to concrete areas of research and is implemented within the framework of specific programmes. These promote basic technologies which push forward developments in key fields of application and thus serve as a force for growth in many industrial sectors. They support German industrial companies including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as universities, institutions of higher education and other R&D institutions and are generally open for international cooperation.