CfA for the Startup Learning Expedition 2024

Context of the Call for Applications

The German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future (GFA) is a bilateral initiative created and officialized during the German-French digital conference on October 27, 2015.

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Institute Mines-Télécom (IMT) have been engaged to convert the political wish expressed by both our governments, which is to enhance the competitiveness of our economies, foster French-German cooperation and address the digital transformation of our industry. In order to pursue these objectives, the GFA acts in three areas: research, education and innovation.

On a research level, the Academy has funded 32 TUM & IMT research tandem projects since 2017 with a strong benefit for the ecosystem.

On the education level the GFA is always on the forefront of innovation and supports a variety of projects like online courses, PhD Schools and workshops as well as hackathons.

Now we are tackling the field of startups and entrepreneurship on a French-German scale. This is a logical next step for the GFA with the huge incubator network of IMT on one side and the Startup Incubator, Entrepreneurship Center, and Venture Labs of TUM on the other side. Our second French partner in this project INRIA also has a strong similar background with its INRIA Startup Studio.

Last year, the first Learning Expedition of the GFA took place and we were happy to have 18 startups from the TUM, IMT and INRIA Startup Studio ecosystems participating. More information here.

Objectives of the Call for Applications

We are excited to invite startups incubated or supported by IMT,  TUM and INRIA ecosystems to apply for the opportunity to participate in a unique learning expedition. This expedition will not only include visits to innovation clusters, industry clients, venture capitalists and startup fairs in France and Germany, but also meetings with researchers and academic experts from our two institutions.

This will help the startups to tackle their technological challenges on the one hand, and on the other hand will provide an unparalleled opportunity to gain insights into the industry of the future with all its facets. Moreover, startups will benefit from dedicated networking events and connecting with the rich ecosystems.

We are specifically seeking innovative and forward-thinking startups that are working in the field of Industry 4.0. This may include areas such as data science and AI, automation, robotics, cybersecurity, Industrial IoT, sustainable manufacturing, and circular economy. Startups from the field of HealthTech with a link to Industry 4.0 are also invited to apply.

If you are a startup supported by IMT incubators, TUM Venture Labs, INRIA Startup Studio or come from the ecosystem of these three institutions, and you are passionate about driving change in the future of industry, we encourage you to apply. This is your chance to gain valuable knowledge, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and take your business to the next level.


The maximal allocated funding per startup from IMT and TUM is 2.000€. The funding is allocated for a period of 9 months and will cover travel and accommodation expenditures for the learning expedition in the partner country ecosystem.

The participation costs such as entry tickets will be taken in charge by the GFA additionally.

Please note that it is not possible for startups to be supported by different institutions (double funding is not allowed).

Startups that already participated in the Learning Expedition of the GFA 2023 cannot apply but are invited to exchange with the 2024 startup delegation during a networking event in October.

Time frame

The proposals should be submitted in accordance with the template added in the appendix of this document.

Proposals must be sent by Friday, March 15th at noon (12 pm), by e-mail to:

Notifications of selection will be sent beginning April 2024.