aws Digitalization - special Terms / Conditions AI-Start

The aim of AI-Start is the first-time implementation of trusted AI projects in SMEs in collaboration with a cooperation and implementation partner.


All sectors

Company size

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)


  1. The application is submitted before the start of the project.
  2. The company's registered office or permanent establishment is in Austria.
  3. Compliance with state aid limits according to AGVO or de-minimis.
  4. An offer from a potential cooperation and implementation partner must be available uploaded upon application (potential cooperation and implementation partners can be found on the aws KI-Marktplatz).
  5. A trustworthy AI project is implemented in an SME for the first time.

For more information on the requirements, please refer to the program document (available in German)

Success rate

25 %


Type of funding

Non-repayable grant

Funding amount

Up to 50% of the eligible project costs and up to EUR 15,000

Project duration

9 months

Eligible costs

Consulting and implementation costs:

Costs for external consulting and implementation services directly related to the planning, implementation, and execution of the initial AI project. This includes, for example:

  • Survey of the potential of AI use in the SME.
  • Identification of suitable use cases
  • Creating the (data) requirements and/or project planning
  • Implementation and realization of an (pilot) AI-project

Approval period

1-4 Monate


You will receive the grant at the end of the project after final completion of the project accounting.





Additional funding / Complementary services


aws AI-Adoption 

aws AI-Knowledge (German)

aws KI-Marktplatz

What cannot be funded?

  • Projects that are not first-time AI projects.
  • Projects without an existing offer from a cooperation and implementation partner. 
  • Projects in which the application is not submitted by an SME.
  • Projects where the trustworthiness of artificial intelligence has not been sufficiently considered.
  • Projects in which the use of artificial intelligence does not provide a significant technical or economic advantage.
  • Projects that do not meet the formal and content criteria (see program document available in German).
  • Projects that were started before the application was submitted.
  • Projects for which full financing cannot be demonstrated.
  • Application has to be exclusively sent via aws Fördermanager
  • Submission: The call is open from 1 February 2023 to 31 March 2023 12:00.
  • The formal and conceptual review is carried out by the aws experts according to the best-of principle.

FAQ (available in German)

Downloads (available in German)



Apply now! 


DI (FH) Matthias Grabner
Özlem Özdemir, BSc (WU)