The Commission has approved the German State aid programme "Innovationsprogramm der Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau". The programme, which is administered by the "Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau", is intended to strengthen Germany's efforts in the field of applied research as well as the development of new products, production processes and services including their commercial introduction on the market. Part I of the programme is directed towards applied research and development. Participation is open to SMEs as well as other companies with an annual turnover of less than ECU 260 million. The maximum aid amount is ECU 5.2 million. Part II of the programme aims at the improvement of commercial potential and is intended for companies which plan to introduce an innovative product, procedure or service to the German market. Eligible costs during the period of market introduction include: - External technical consultancy services which might help to solve problems arising out of production or marketing during this first period; - Consultants, one-off training, general market research and information, viability studies. The aid intensity for the R&D part of the programme respects the following limits: - 25% for companies; - 35% for SMEs; - 35% for companies in the new Bundeslander; - 40% for SMEs in the new Bundeslander. The programme will last for five years with a total budget of ECU 312 million. It is expected that over 1000 companies will apply for assistance from this new facility.