Thematic Call

What are Thematic Calls?

The IKI Thematic Calls address current challenges in climate action, adaptation and biodiversity conservation on an annual basis. For these challenges, the respective IKI ministries define new thematic priorities as a basis for submission of project outlines. The financing volume provided by the IKI can range from 5 to 20 million EUR per project depending on the thematic priority.

Call closed

How much funding is provided?

5 to 20 million Euros

Who receives funding?

Several organisations and/or companies in a consortium

How long do the projects run for?

Up to 8 years

How often is funding provided?

Annual selection procedure

Where is funding provided?

Bilateral, regional oder global

How are the projects selected?

The project selection procedure is in two phases. In the first phase (outline phase), interested implementing organisations are invited to submit project outlines within the framework of an ideas competition. The three ministries involved in the IKI usually select one or two project outlines per thematic priority from all submissions. In the second phase (proposal phase), the organisations whose project outlines have been selected (from the first phase), are invited to submit a detailed proposal.

Phase 1: outline phase

Exemplary process flow of the outline phase of the IKI topic call.

The outline phase takes place in two steps. After you submitted an outline to an ideas competition, it will first be checked to see whether it meets the minimum requirements. In case it is also one of the most promising project ideas, your idea will be shortlisted. Based on the IKI selection criteria, your outline is then reviewed in depth internally and externally by independent experts. Based on the review results and the budget available, the responsible ministries will select project outlines to be pursued further in the second phase. All participants will be informed in writing about the result of the review of their outline.

Phase 2: proposal phase

After you submitted an outline as part of an ideas competition and it is selected in the review process, then it is at the second stage in the selection process: the proposal phase.

As the applicant submitting the selected project outline, you will receive at the beginning of this phase a written request to submit a detailed project proposal. We recommend including a preparation phase to work on your detailed proposal.

With the benefit of a preparation phase, projects can be optimally adjusted to local circumstances in the countries of implementation, the data required for detailed planning can be procured and a tailor-made support strategy can be developed. The expenditures incurred in the preparation phase is eligible for funding as part of the overall project budget.

Further information including key requirements and the essential templates can be found on this information page on the proposal phase for the thematic calls

Once the IKI Office at Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft gGmbH (ZUG) has reviewed the detailed project proposal, a final decision will be made as to funding/project commissioning. The implementation phase can then starts, which runs for up to eight years. 

To the information page on the proposal phase for the thematic calls

Who can participate in the ideas competition?

Participation in the ideas competition of IKI Thematic Calls is open to the following organisations:

  • Non-governmental organisations; 
  • Universities and research institutions; 
  • International intergovernmental organisations and institutions such as development banks;
  • United Nations organisations and programmes;
  • Implementing organisations of the Federal Republic of Germany;
  • Commercial enterprises. 

Partner country governments and individuals cannot participate in the ideas competition.


IKI Office
Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH
Stresemannstraße 69-71

10963 Berlin

Phone hours:
Mondays 1 pm-3 pm (CEST/CET)
Thursdays 10 am-12 pm (CEST/CET)

+49 30 72618 0222



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