Our work with ZIM networks

Working with small and medium-sized companies, we have always paid special attention to the cooperation between industry and research. Since 2019 we have a very special instrument at our disposal for this purpose: an international cooperation network, which we develop and manage within the framework of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM).

What is ZIM?

ZIM – the Central Innovation Program for SMEs – is a nationwide support program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). It is the largest German support instrument for small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim of the program is to strengthen the innovative power and competitiveness of the companies and thus support them in their growth. In this way, ZIM aims to help secure existing jobs and create new ones.

Why is it beneficial to participate in a ZIM network?

Through our ZIM network we have the opportunity to support a wide variety of R&D projects. In doing so, we bring together companies and research institutions that are looking for solutions to the same problems – but often do not know where to find the right partners. In 2018, for example, our network manager Marc Köppen succeeded in bringing together 14 companies and six research institutions from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg in a bio-packaging network, jointly working on the development of innovative packaging solutions from sustainable raw materials – one of the first international alliances.

In Sept. 2019 Euverion started to establish the ZIM network Biopack&Transport. Currently the participating twelve companies and three research institutes from Germany and France are focusing on the topic of intelligent transport packaging. Relevant climate data and geodata are collected, another goal is to reduce the active climate impact. The aim is to enable new forms of transportation.

In addition, currently efforts are being made to establish a further ZIM network on the topic of packaging tracking. The goal is to connect the data from the preliminary project with payment flows and to integrate block chain technologies.

Who can participate?

Within a ZIM network it is possible to cooperate with one or more companies or research institutions in research and development projects. Companies with less than 500 employees and an annual turnover of maximum 50 million Euro (or 43 million Euro balance sheet total) are eligible for funding. The grants do not have to be repaid. The funding is given for R&D projects that lead to new products, processes or technical services. The program is open to all industries, topics and technologies. The prerequisite is that the projects have a high level of innovation and good market opportunities.

What is being funded?

ZIM offers three types of funding:

  • Individual projects: You can carry out individual research and development projects – with your own staff or with the help of qualified third parties.
  • Cooperation projects: You can carry out research and development projects together with one or more companies or research institutions.
  • Cooperation networks: You can carry out technological innovations in a network with at least six independent medium-sized companies eligible for ZIM funding.

The website of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs provides information on the funding conditions.

What do we do for you?

As a partner in our network the advantage for you is that we take care of all the organizational tasks:

  • We bring you together with like-minded entrepreneurs and researchers.
  • We ensure that the exchange of ideas results in concrete research projects – whether it is the implementation of new business ideas or a long-awaited project realisation.
  • We get your joint projects off the ground and also take care of the funding applications – from preparation to ongoing support and project completion.
  • We regularly organise networking events that give partner companies the opportunity to get to know each other better, identify common focal points and initiate concrete projects. We invite relevant keynote speakers from the industry to report on their experiences
  • We accompany all network activities with strategic public relations work.
Learn more about our network managers

What else does Euverion offer?

In addition to establishing and managing the ZIM network Biopack&Transport, the consulting company Euverion is your full-service provider for individual projects. We acquire funds for companies and start-up projects, especially EU subsidies, equity capital and financing. In doing so we use all available funding formats – whether state, federal or EU-wide.

In addition, we support you in product development: we solve a wide variety of technical problems and often make projects “eligible for funding” in the first place.

Our customers include renowned energy and medical technology groups, banks and insurance companies, universities and colleges, public and non-profit organisations, as well as medium-sized companies and start-ups.

Who are your contact persons?

Dr. Marc Köppen
Dr. Marc Köppenmarc.koeppen@euverion.com
Michael Anders
Michael Andersmichael.anders@euverion.com
Dr. Peter Harnischfeger
Dr. Peter Harnischfegerpeter.harnischfeger@euverion.com
Learn more about our network managers


What is Biopack&Transport?

The international ZIM cooperation network “Biopack&Transport” was launched on September 1st, 2019. It has so far brought together 12 small and medium-sized companies – ten of them German and two French – and three research institutes. The network is already being expanded and is growing steadily.

The goal of the network is to further develop the potential of fibre-based, eco-friendly packaging as a substitute for plastic packaging and also to open up this kind of packaging to the field of transport packaging. The packaging should be developed to be compostable and recyclable. The focus will be on the development of intelligent packaging, i.e. packaging that monitors the condition of the food it contains – for example, its freshness – and provides information on this. This is of particular interest for high-quality food products, as great importance is attached here to special, quality-assuring protection of the goods. For the organic sector, the use of environmentally friendly packaging is also a must.

France is a country known for its regional delicacies and thus offers excellent development opportunities for online trade. By including the French partners in the network, excellent bridges are created for the German partners in the form of industry contacts and research alliances. These enable them to open up new markets in the adjacent country.

In addition to the development of innovative packaging, the network also aims to encourage innovations that allow both companies and consumers to be able to provide transparent information about transport and to prepare the integration of the data with blockchain technology.

Which strategies are being pursued?

The topic of “sustainable transport” in connection with digitally operated logistics is becoming increasingly important, also in view of demographic change and the development of rural areas. Society is aging, and at the same time important facilities of general interest are being lost in rural areas, as the operation of grocery stores, doctors’ practices or pharmacies is often no longer worthwhile due to the shrinking population. Smart logistics solutions are in demand to ensure that all sections of the population at every location can be supplied on a sustainable basis.

The vision of the network is a sustainable packaging world that is also digitally integrated. The basis should be ecological base materials, with the focus on fibre-bound packaging. The raw materials for this are to come mainly from annual plants. This would enable the paper industry, which has lost around 20 percent of its market share in recent years due to digitalization in the graphics sector, to win back markets. In addition, the global amount of plastic waste could be reduced.

The planned innovations in the development of functional surfaces also focus exclusively on those materials that can be disposed of in the paper, cardboard and paperboard (PPK) fraction. This has two ecological advantages: firstly, only residues of annual plants are used, which are chemically unpolluted and which “accumulate anyway”; secondly, there is a high recycling rate in the PKK stream, and the recyclates enhance the quality of the process due to their unpolluted fibre structure.

Who can participate?

The network is suitable for small and medium-sized companies with a focus on packaging or transport issues – producers and suppliers, companies from the fields of metrology and process engineering as well as the food industry – who are interested in product development, market expansion, cross-industry interdisciplinary cooperation and networking.

Currently, 12 companies and five research institutions from Germany and France are participating in Biopack&Transport:

Creapaper GmbH

The company from Hennef in North Rhine-Westphalia has developed a process for the production of fibres from grass. The raw material is produced purely mechanically and can replace fresh and wastepaper fibres in a resource-saving way. Creapaper GmbH has received several awards, including the “IKU Innovation Award for Climate and Environment 2017”, the “KfW Award Gründen 2017” and the “Seal of Excellence 2018” of the European Commission. It has also been named one of the “Red Herring Top 100 Europe 2019”. In the network, Creapaper is to process other residual materials such as hops and hemp for paper and fiber processes.

Easy2cool GmbH

The Munich-based company easy2coolGmbH offers tailor-made cooling systems made of recycled wastepaper for transport and logistics as well as for end consumers. Their favorable alternative to polystyrene can be completely disposed of in the paper, cardboard, carton (PKK) stream. For its temperature-controlled packaging COOLandFREEZE, the company was awarded the “IF Design Award 2018” and the “Innovationspreis Wellpappe”.

EcoCool GmbH

Founded in 1999, EcoCool GmbH won the Bremerhaven Founders’ Prize in the first year of its existence with its innovative packaging and insulation concepts. The packaging solutions are used by customers from the pharmaceutical and food internet shipping sectors as well as by freight forwarders and logistics companies. The company’s expertise in classic refrigerated packaging is to be successively transferred to the development of more ecological variants. The network benefits from the fact that previous experience with specific material properties and market conditions can be evaluated in detail with regard to different groups of buyers.


Ekolis, based in Châteaugiron, Brittany, is a software company that makes transport data available or readable for trucks. The company now wants to make this application available for smaller units as well. Applications for pallets are already available, and the path to even smaller applications is already laid down in the development line. Thus Ekolis is an ideal partner for the further network companies, which can realize a complete application with suitable hardware or appropriate platforms.

Gut Wulksfelde Lieferservice GmbH

Gut Wulksfelde Lieferservice GmbH from Tangstedt in the north of Hamburg has more than 30 years of experience in the distribution of “organic boxes”. The customers are supplied directly, which guarantees the freshness of the food. The company is particularly interesting for testing new types of dispatch packaging, as the entire supply chain can be monitored from receipt of goods to delivery to the customer. This logistics expertise will be used to develop plastic-free outer packaging that guarantees a high level of food quality. New elements for cold chain monitoring and tracking are to be integrated.

Leinos – Reincke Naturfarben GmbH

Reincke Naturfarben GmbH manufactures ecological, toxicologically safe natural paint products. As a specialist with many years of experience in the chemistry of natural substances, the company, founded in 1985 under the name Leinos Naturfarben, has succeeded in combining quality and ecology on the basis of natural raw materials and in producing paints, glazes and care products of the highest compatibility. The integration of the company’s expertise in the field of “healthy printing” is an important building block on the way to holistically ecological packaging.

Meteolytix GmbH

Meteolytix GmbH, based in Kiel, has been involved in the development of specialized forecast models since 2009. Its customers include bakeries, beverage retailers and logistics companies for whom the company optimizes sales planning and personnel deployment with the aid of algorithms. The attributes added by Meteolytix are important components of an open data structure, which are to be enriched with further information about the transported goods within the network. The company also has a specialization in weather data, which is interesting for the food shipping industry.

Popular Packaging Design

The young Hamburg-based company Popular Packaging Design develops sustainable packaging solutions for so-called fast-moving consumer goods. At Fachpack 2019, Popular Packaging Design received the “Sustainability Award for Young Companies”. As a formative part of the innovation process, the design office represents the link between production and the customer. In addition to the development work on innovative closure possibilities for the new materials, there is also the possibility of creating prototypes with new materials, which give the network partners good presentation opportunities at trade fairs etc.


The French company ProcSea operates an online platform for shipping fresh fish. Within 24 hours, the fish from the predominantly Breton fishing areas is brought to restaurants in France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Via the internet platform, trade is conducted without intermediaries and thus directly and quickly. There is also maximum transparency – in this case regarding the origin of the fish and the fishing method. This makes the company an ideal development partner for realizing intelligent transport packaging for an expensive, sensitive and also heavy transport good. With ProcSea, one of the first sustainable fresh fish packaging will be developed and tested in the network.

Richter & Hess Verpackungsservice GmbH

Richter & Hess Verpackungsservice GmbH has its own production of corrugated board products for the industry. For this purpose, a modern machine park for printing (flexographic printing), cutting, creasing, die-cutting and sealing (gluing, taping, stapling) is available at the company’s location in Chemnitz. The product portfolio includes folding cartons according to the FEFCO-ESBO code, special designs and bulk packaging as well as customer-specific solutions (including compartments, inserts and blanks). The company would like to work in a network on printed reinforcements made of natural materials.

SES RFID Solutions GmbH

SES RFID Solutions GmbH is one of the world’s leading providers of solutions in the field of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), i.e. radio wave-based transmitter-receiver systems. The performance profile includes copper-wound antennas with 125 kHz and 13.56 MHz, thin and flat inlays, dual interface inlays, injection-molded and overmolded labels, intelligent wearables and woven antennas. This performance profile offers the right hardware for the data acquisition system with which the transport packaging is to be equipped in the network.

Studio Fren GmbH & Co. KG

The focal points of Studio Fren GmbH & Co. KG are product and packaging design. It also realizes its own prototype and small series production. In packaging design, the young company pays particular attention to the use of newly developed and sustainable materials that are as compostable as possible. In doing so, the separation of outer packaging and protective packaging is broken down as far as possible; ideally, only one material is used for the entire packaging. This, in turn, favors composting or feeding into the recycling system.


TTZ Bremerhaven

Under the umbrella of the Bremerhaven Technologie-Transferzentrum (ttz), founded in 1987, an international team of around 50 experts works in the fields of food technology, bio-economy, aquaculture, sensor technology and analysis. In addition, the institute supports companies of all sizes in the planning and implementation of innovation projects. As a network management institution in the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) of the German Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi), ttz has already been active in 13 cooperation networks. In the Euverion-ZIM network Biopack&transport, the institute intends to participate in research projects for the development of new packaging and shipping solutions for food. For example, ttz could also test prototypes of transport containers with high insulating properties using ecological materials or the use of temperature sensors and other measurement technology for food in the supply chain.

Universität Bonn, Institut für Tierwissenschaften

Bereits seit 2003 ist der Schwerpunkt der Arbeitsgruppe am Institut für Tierwissenschaften an der Universität Bonn Kühlkettenmanagement (Cold-Chain-Management). Inhaltlich steht hier die Verbesserung der Lebensmittelqualität und die Steigerung der Sicherheit im Rahmen von Lebensmitteltransporten im Zentrum. Die Forschungsschwerpunkt beinhalten unter anderem die Themen intelligente Verpackungssysteme und kettenübergreifende Sensorsysteme und umfassen somit die Kernthemen von Biopack&Transport. Mit dem ITW steht den Netzwerkteilnehmern ein erfahrener und sehr gut vernetzter Partner zu Seite, der inhaltlich die gesamte Kühlkette abdeckt.

This network is supported by: The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.

How do we support you?

Our innovation and network managers take care of all organizational matters related to your projects. They

  • carry out market and competition analyses and evaluate these for the activities of the network;
  • coordinate the conceptual R&D work in the network and develop the technological roadmaps for this purpose;
  • help you to prepare your funding applications and communicate with the funding agencies;
  • support you in the development of marketing concepts;
  • organize your presentation at trade fairs and exhibitions;
  • coordinate with international partners in order to identify suitable funding programs;
  • take care of knowledge transfer and communication between the partners and externally;
  • manage the public relations of the network.

Who are your contact persons?

Dr. Marc Köppen
Dr. Marc Köppenmarc.koeppen@euverion.com
Michael Anders
Michael Andersmichael.anders@euverion.com
Dr. Peter Harnischfeger
Dr. Peter Harnischfegerpeter.harnischfeger@euverion.com
Learn more about our network managers


What is Biopack&Trace?

We would like to link up with the topics and experiences of the packaging network and Biopack&Transport in a further network. Here the focus should be on ensuring the provenance of the contents, the authenticity. Especially for organic products and specialities, there is a particular interest in a reliably traceable guarantee of origin and authenticity. In the network, research is to be conducted into ways of ensuring this in an efficient and simple manner.

Who can participate?

In general, about ten small and medium-sized enterprises can participate in ZIM networks in addition to the research institutions. This future project could be particularly suitable for organizations that are related to food topics, transport and logistics, IT/tracking or measurement technology and that are interested in product development, market expansion, cross-industry interdisciplinary cooperation and networking. Actors from the insurance and banking industries with an interest in sustainable solutions are also welcome. Please contact our network managers if you are interested in a cooperation!

Who are your contact persons?

Dr. Marc Köppen
Dr. Marc Köppenmarc.koeppen@euverion.com
Michael Anders
Michael Andersmichael.anders@euverion.com
Dr. Peter Harnischfeger
Dr. Peter Harnischfegerpeter.harnischfeger@euverion.com
Learn more about our network managers



7. November 2019 @ 8:00 - 17:00

Am 07.10.2019 haben sich Euverion-Geschäftsführer Michael Anders, Netzwerkmanager Jörg Gröne und Marc Köppen mit mehreren Netzwerkpartnern am Institut für Tierwissenschaften der Universität Bonn getroffen, um über technische Forschungsansätze im Biopack2Transport-Netzwerk zu diskutieren: Welche Messdaten können während des Transports erhoben werden? Wie kann der Datentransfer weiterentwickelt werden? Wie können bei jedem Schritt möglichst nachhaltige Verfahren zur Anwendung kommen?

Die Partner einigten sich darauf, im Netzwerk vor allem zu Multi-Versand-Verpackungen für den Onlinehandel sowie spezifische Versandverpackungen für Frischfleisch und Frischfisch zu forschen. Letztere sind besonders für die französischen Partner interessant, die per Konferenzschaltung an der Veranstaltung teilnahmen. Die im Meeting ausgearbeiteten Themenschwerpunkte sollen in weiteren Netzwerkgesprächen präzisiert werden.

Save the date: Netzwerkauftaktveranstaltung

5. November 2019 @ 8:00 - 17:00

Am 05.11.2019 findet in Bremerhaven die  Netzwerkauftaktveranstaltung von Biopack&Transport statt. Die Veranstaltung dient allen Partnern zum Kennenlernen, Austauschen, Ziele setzen, Projekte planen …

Neben interessanten Vorträgen werden konkrete Forschungsvorhaben des Netzwerks thematisiert. So wird es Input über Anforderungen an Transportverpackungen in der Kühlkette von der interdisziplinären Arbeitsgruppe Cold-Chain Management am Institut für Tierwissenschaften der Universität Bonn  geben. Zudem haben alle Netzwerkteilnehmer die Möglichkeit, ihr Unternehmen und ihr Forschungsinteresse vorzustellen.

Für Interessierte findet am 06.11 und 07.11.2019 zudem das Lebensmittelforum Bremerhaven  statt, auf dem Trends und Innovationen in der Lebensmittelwirtschaft diskutiert werden.

Großer Erfolg auf der SOLPACK 2019

5. June 2019 - 6. June 2019

Vom 5. und 6. Juni 2019 fand in Hamburg die mittlerweile dritte SOLPACK – die Internationale Konferenz für nachhaltige Verpackungen – statt. Die Teilnehmer-/innen aus Handel, Industrie und Recycling, aus Forschung und Beratung diskutierten auf dem Campus der Steinbeis Business Academy spannende Fragen rund um ökologisch tragfähige Verpackungslösungen: Welche Ansätze gibt es zur Umsetzung der am 4. Juli 2018 in Kraft getretenen neuen EU-Verpackungsrichtlinie? Mit welchen Technologie-Trends wartet die Recyclingbranche auf? Welche recycling-freundlichen Kunststoff-Alternativen sind in der Pipeline? Worauf kommt es bei der Herstellung faserbasierter Barriereverpackungen an?

Organisiert wurde die SOLPACK wieder von der Agentur für Packungsdesign und Nachhaltigkeit PACOON und dem Umweltcluster Bayern. „Die Veranstaltung war eine wunderbare Gelegenheit für unsere Netzwerkpartner, sich mit relevanten Partnern in der Branche auszutauschen“, so Marc Köppen. „Unsere Netzwerkpartner konnten ihre Strategien und Innovationen vorstellen und mit den verschiedensten Marktteilnehmern über aktuelle und zukünftige Trends rund um die Nachhaltigkeit diskutieren.“ Die SOLPACK 4 wird in 2020 wieder stattfinden.


Network managers

Each network we establish is led by experienced innovation and network managers who accompany and coordinate the entire process. They

  • ensure knowledge transfer and communication between the partners and externally;
  • carry out market and competition analyses and evaluate these for the activities of the network;
  • coordinate the conceptual R&D work in the network, develop the technological roadmaps for this purpose and support the partners in preparing their funding applications and in communicating with the funding agencies;
  • support the network partners in developing marketing concepts;
  • organize the presentation of the network partners at trade fairs and exhibitions;
  • coordinate with international partners to identify suitable subsidy programs;
  • manage the public relations of the network.

Who are the Euverion network managers?

At Euverion these innovation managers take care of your concerns: Marc Köppen, Michael Anders und Peter Harnischfeger.

Dr. Marc Köppen
Dr. Marc Köppenmarc.koeppen@euverion.com
Dr. Marc Köppen is a trained boat builder and businessman and has many years of experience in organizational and IT consulting. Since 2014 he is working as ZIM Innovation Manager. Marc Köppen’s focus is on the development and management of networks in the sustainability sector. To this end, he organizes trade fair visits and – together with the sustainable packaging agency PACOON – the annual International Conference for Sustainable Packaging, SOLPACK. He also realizes the innovation forum “bioverpackt” in cooperation with the Umweltcluster Bayern.
Michael Anders
Michael Andersmichael.anders@euverion.com
Michael Anders Michael Anders has been working in the field of EU funding since his studies of electrical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University. While EU funding for large and multinational collaborative research programs was initially the main focus, his field of activity has now extended to include individual project and network funding. Mr. Anders established (of course with EU funding) various business incubators and technology centers and accompanied numerous funding projects in various sectors over the last 30 years. Mr. Anders’ successful funding projects are characterized by the networking of different partners and individual product development based on his technical know-how.

Dr. Peter Harnischfeger
Dr. Peter Harnischfegerpeter.harnischfeger@euverion.com
Dr. Peter Harnischfeger After studying physics at the TU Darmstadt, Dr. Peter Harnischfeger held management positions in several international companies and was managing director of an SME. His range of experience includes work in global corporations, JVs, holdings, associations, start-ups, NGOs and various industries. Peter has extensive international experience on all continents and has lived and worked in Japan for several years.

Interested? Get in touch now!