1 The Challenge

In science, we continually find examples of ideas with extraordinary innovation potential motivated by the idea of doing good. They have the potential to produce concrete improvements for people and the environment on a small or large scale.

The KIT Academy for Responsible Research, Teaching, and Innovation (ARRTI) seeks to promote these ideas and is offering KIT employees support in implementing projects with the Sustainable and Responsible Innovation Challenge.

Who can participate?

PhD students and academic staff of KIT are invited to participate, as sole applicants or as a team. Applicants must be employed at KIT or working on their PhD at the time of the call.

How to apply?

We are looking for ideas for products, processes, or services that are based on expertise from KIT and aim to put this expertise into practice. These ideas should be motivated by a desire to do good and their implementation should promise to make a positive impact on individuals, society, or the environment. Acting out of and with a sense of responsibility is especially important: The innovative idea is understood as a solution to a situation in which one feels responsible to act. At the same time, there is an assumed responsibility for one's actions. The idea is therefore not only motivated by a need to act. When planning its implementation, one also considers the goodness of the action itself, i.e. the justifiability of the (potential) consequences associated with the idea’s implementation, such as the appropriateness of the approach or (undesirable) side effects. Doing good in a good way is thus the guiding principle of the proposals to be submitted.

2 Funding

Funding - amount and purpose

Funding is available for projects with a duration of up to one year, starting no later than September 1, 2022, with a maximum funding amount of €40,000. Funding for the projects is made available for a limited period of one year and may be spent on personnel, materials, and investment funds in accordance with the state budget regulations. Funds not spent during the funding period revert to the overall pool. The projects are funded by the University of Excellence as KIT projects. Funding within the Challenge can also serve to carry out preliminary work on a later spin-off.

Supporting reflection sessions and coachings

In addition to the funding distribution, project teams are also supported by coaching and reflections during the funding period. To support funding recipients in achieving the responsibility aspects of their projects, ARRTI supports the projects with ethical reflection sessions. In cooperation with IPEK - Institute of Product Engineering, funding recipients are supported in terms of the methods of their innovation process.

3 Award procedure

Application period

March 01, 2022 to May 31, 2022

Participation in the Challenge

Your idea should be presented in a document up to 5 pages in length (in German or English). The template can be found in the download area of this page. The application should clearly describe how your project relates to the challenge objectives and your solution approach. This includes:

  • Presentation of the problem to be solved and justification of its relevance: What does the idea respond to? What problem or need is being addressed? Why should the problem be solved?
  • Description of the idea for a solution and justification of why and how implementing this idea helps to solve the problem: Why is the idea a good(!) solution?
  • Project plan for implementing the solution within the one-year funding period and planning of the outflow of funds: How will the idea be realized within the scope of a project? What preliminary work will be done?

Completed applications can be sent as PDF file via email to ARRTI-SaRI-Challenge.

Evaluation criteria

The submitted project ideas will be evaluated based on five criteria:

  • Problem identification: Is the innovation idea dedicated to an object in the line with the call for proposals? How convincingly is this justified?
  • Level of reflection: How convincing is the rationale for the innovation idea as a good answer to the problem in the terms presented in the call? How well are possible, unintended side effects considered?
  • Invention level: Is the idea creative and new?
  • Innovation potential: in terms of market potential and need
  • Proximity to implementation: What is the degree of maturity of the idea? When can the practical realization be expected?
Selection process

Projects are selected by an independent jury of scientists and employees of research institutions and companies according to the criteria outlined above. The jury’s evaluation of the proposals is "blind"; personal data are used only for administrative purposes.

Public Event

Funding is awarded in the context of a public event, where the funded projects are presented in 10-minute presentations.

Date: will be published in time on this website.

4 Information Event

Date: March 15, 2022

Time: 17:00 h

Place: Zoom-Meeting, Meeting-ID: 653 8148 4176

5 Contact

Do you have any questions? Then please feel free to send us an e-mail to ARRTI-SaRI-Challenge



Status: May 2, 2022