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BMZ digilab

At BMZ digilab, we scout for innovative technologies geared to international development cooperation and help the most innovative approaches to scale their impact.


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The booster for great ideas

With  unconventional and agile ways of working known from the start-up world, we give concepts and prototypes the boost they need if they are to develop in ways that are appropriate and specific to different countries and sectors. We help project teams, founders and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality by applying creative working methods. Working closely with the global tech industry, civil society and academia, we provide them with tools to harness their digital potential. As a springboard for digital innovation, we promote a sustainable world – lasting for future generations.

Our objective

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can no longer be achieved without digital approaches and innovations. Only innovative key technologies can both improve the lives of millions of people and scale up the effectiveness of our work. For this reason, digilab has three fundamental objectives:

  1. Scouting: We work with start-ups, the global tech industry, civil society and academia to identify digital innovations.
  2. Scaling Impact: We give breadth to successful digital innovative solutions, bringing real leaps in development to millions of people worldwide.
  3. Change in Work Culture: At BMZ, we are introducing new agile working methods, overcoming silo thinking and promoting knowledge management and networking.

Our approach

At BMZ digilab, our focus is on how we can help tried-and-tested digital innovations become projects with global impact (‘scaling’).

This work is based on a partnership of equals. Our cooperation is uncomplicated, open and transparent. All stakeholders are involved in our scaling-up processes from the outset. We use agile project management and new working methods to provide the right framework for productive collaboration.

Our scaling-up approach is flexible and comprises various phases. Instead of applying a rigid process, we attach importance to being able to respond quickly to the needs of partners and target groups. We have our ideas tested repeatedly, adapt them continuously and involve our partners closely. All in line with our guiding principle: the journey is the reward.

  • During the first phase (‘scouting’), we get an overview of the development policy needs and existing digital approaches both at BMZ and across our extensive network of partners. We are also open to external ideas – so write to us if you have a digital innovation you would like to scale up with us.

Our team

We are a dynamic team of innovation enthusiasts drawn from BMZ, GIZ, KfW and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Our team is built on interdisciplinarity, team spirit and passion. We combine expertise from development cooperation, the digital economy, innovation research and agile project management. The wide-ranging professional capacities and creativity of our supporter network enable us to drive forward the innovative power of German development cooperation at full speed.

Our lab

digilab is an inspiration, showcase, creative space and event venue in the heart of Berlin. Why not come in and get a taste of co-working at BMZ?

Our success stories

Discover the digilab success stories in our project overview.


Do you have scaling-up ideas for innovative digital projects? Perhaps you’re planning an event that reflects our goals? Or are interested simply in working with a team of doers?

If so, BMZ digilab is the right place for you. We provide support with a wide range of event formats, an agile methodology kit and can put you in touch with our extensive network of partners.

Write us an e-mail!