What Research Organizations Need To Know About Business Finland’s Renewed Funding Services

January 10, 2023
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Press release from Business Finland

Developing Finnish competence and competitiveness is one of Business Finland’s core tasks. As the only public funding provider, we promote RDI, where companies develop solutions for the global market together with research organizations. In order to strengthen the effectiveness of our research funding services, we have renewed them at the beginning of 2023.

Business Finland promotes research cooperation with its funding services in three ways:

  • by funding business-driven public research and joint projects
  • by funding RDI projects of companies with subcontracting from research organizations
  • by funding the preparation of the commercialization of research results by research organizations.

The reforms that have now been carried out concern the first of these, namely funding for research organizations and joint projects between them and companies.

“We wanted to increase the leverage of our research funding,” says Jarmo Heinonen, Senior Director of innovation ecosystem operations at Business Finland.

“We are working closely with our research customers and stakeholders and have listened carefully to their needs. For example, we share the views of The Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Arene, and the Rectors´ Council of Finnish Universities, UNIFI, on the need for RDI cooperation between universities and companies and for increasing its effectiveness. In cooperation with the Academy of Finland, we are stepping up the path from basic research to the commercialization of solutions and the international growth of companies,” says Heinonen.

Then what’s changed?

  • Changes have been made to the requirements and levels of funding for the Co-Creation and Co-Innovation funding services that will facilitate cooperation between businesses and research, encourage companies to implement increasingly ambitious development goals and deepen international research cooperation.
  • Co-Research will be introduced as a new funding service for research projects that create new business opportunities for Finnish export industries.

TO CREATE NEW BUSINESS: CO-RESEARCH

A suitable funding service is Co-Research when:

  • Business Finland has an open call for funding in which Co-Research is mentioned.
  • The research organization(s) has a project that generates new knowledge and expertise that is expected to develop the long run competitiveness of Finnish industry.
  • The results sought are expected to have high export business potential
  • The companies that could utilize the results are involved in the definition of the research problem as well as in co-financing the research.
  • After the project, the utilization of the results will still require R&D work in both research organizations and companies.

The normal level of funding for a Co-Research project is 60%. For a research project involving close international cooperation, Business Finland’s contribution is 70%.

Explore the detailed requirements and application guidelines for Co-Research funding.

FOR THE PREPARATION OF JOINT PROJECTS BETWEEN COMPANIES AND RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS: CO-CREATION

A suitable funding service is Co-Creation when:

  • A research organization and company want to develop a new idea and its potential together.
  • A research organization wants to build a new consortium and competence network required for its activities and engage companies in joint development.

What has changed in the requirements:

  • A joint international project involving Finnish companies can now also serve as a path for the research idea to be developed.
  • The idea must aim to bring together a joint project with great potential, in addition to international cooperation and networking.

Check out the detailed requirements and application guidelines for Co-Creation funding.

FOR JOINT PROJECTS BETWEEN COMPANIES AND RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS: CO-INNOVATION

A suitable financial service is Co-Innovation when:

  • Companies and research organizations cooperate closely in parallel projects.
  • Competence and solutions aimed at new export business will be developed.
  • Participants in a joint project have a need to collaborate on projects, a common goal and a plan to achieve a common goal.

What has changed in the requirements:

  • The export potential of the Co-Innovation project in relation to the required Business Finland funding is assessed based on the companies’ R&D projects, and research funding is no longer taken into account. The share of research may be higher in Co-Innovation joint projects that have high-level long-term technological and business goals and the results are intended to be utilized also outside the project consortium. Several risks are usually still involved in the commercialization of results. However, the share of public research in a joint project cannot exceed 70% of the total cost of the joint project.
  • In assessing the effectiveness of the joint project, the consortium’s cooperation plan and the dissemination plan to provide the results outside the consortium will play a more important role than previously.
  • The amount and quality of international cooperation affects the level of funding for the research project. The normal level of funding for a Co-Research project is 70 %. For a research project engaged in close international cooperation, the new level of funding is 80 %.

Explore more detailed requirements and application instructions for Co-Innovation funding.

WELCOME TO THE WEBINAR ON JANUARY 11, 2023, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RENEWED RESEARCH FUNDING SERVICES


Originally published on 9 January.

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