AiF`s activities are based on several pillars
- Collective research for the benefit of entire industrial sectors –“Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung“ (IGF) – Industrial Collective Research – plus three IGF-variants:
- Leading Technologies for SMEs: Projects of greater scale concerning future technologies and increasing the competitiveness of an entire business sector
- CORNET which promotes transnational cooperative research projects and
- PLUS which permits projects of greater scale consisting or several individual parts.
- Governmental R&D programmes to raise the innovativeness of individual enterprises: ZIM cooperation as one module of the ZIM programme (Central Innovation Programme) focuses on R&D cooperation between SMEs and between SMEs and research institutes.
- International activities to strengthen the capability of SMEs to succeed in increasingly internationalized markets: e.g. membership in organizations such as the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO) to help SMEs benefit from European R&D programmes.