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Who can apply?
This funding is aimed at research groups and researchers in research organizations who want to create new business with their research and commercialize their ideas. The researchers also get to develop their own commercialization expertise.
What do we fund?
Business Finland funds projects by research organizations that help to commercialize a research idea, such as innovation searches, customer value definitions, or other analyses. We also give funding to applied research projects.
- A researcher or research team in the research organization is seeking to progress towards the commercial exploitation of the research results.
- The applicant has sufficient rights to use the background material and the resulting research results in order to commercialize the information and expertise in question.
- After the project, the research organisation will be able to hand over the rights to the research results to the party in charge of commercialization.
- The new business activity being created must be significant in scope. The application must include an assessment of the planned business's scope.
- The project involves that examination of various commercialization options – the beneficiary of commercialization must not be evident during the project.
Apply for funding
How to apply for funding
Two calls for applications are held every year. The universities' and research organisations' own innovation services will assist with the application and selection processes.
You must submit the funding applications via Business Finland's online services.
What can the funding be used for?
The funding is intended for the preparation of the commercialisation of the research idea. At least 40% of the project costs must be targeted at preparation of commercialisation.
How does the funding work?
Business Finland can fund 70% of the total cost of projects that have high commercial potential and set the basis for a new business activity.
The project must have several commercialisation options. The actual commercialisation of the idea will occur either within the new company being formed, or as a new business activity in an existing company.
Evaluation of applications
Business Finland's experts will evaluate the research project as a whole. The evaluation will also take account of other, competing funding applications.
Important evaluation factors:
- The novelty value and challenging nature of the technology or competence to be developed by the research project.
- How the project affects the development of creating major international business and society.
- The role of businesses in the realisation and steering of the project and the utilisation of its results.
- The project resources, competence level, and international cooperation. The team's commercialisation skills tend to present the greatest challenge.
- The application must describe the expertise and previous references of the persons responsible for commercialisation.
What other costs can be included in the project?
- Costs related to preparations for commercialisation. At least 40% of the costs must be targeted at preparation of commercialisation. Commercialization expertise can also be purchased from an external service. The costs may be as follows:
- An evaluation of the research idea from the commercialisation perspective (Proof of Relevance)
- Innovation searches
- Determination of customer value
- Competitor analyses
- Intellectual property rights analyses
- Experimental confirmation that the idea will work (Proof of Concept)
- Funding model investigations
- Business model investigations
- Costs of commercialisation and entrepreneurship training
- Applied research targeted at pre-defined market potential
Eligible costs have been further specified in the General Terms and Conditions of Funding (pdf).
Utilisation of the results
- The objective of the project is the utilisation of the research results in a new business.
- Utilisation generally requires the protection of IP through patenting, for example.
- The results will be made public after the completion of the research project. However, the announcement of the results must not jeopardise the founding of a business, for example by preventing patenting or making business secrets public.
- Any IP rights generated by the project will remain with the research organisation.
Steering and monitoring
- An accountable project leader, appointed by the beneficiary organisation, will be responsible for the scientific and research content of the project.
- A steering group will be appointed for the project, with the task of assisting with the implementation of the project through an advisory role.
- A Business Finland representative will have the right to participate in steering group meetings. An invitation to the meeting and the related material must be submitted to us in good time before the date of each meeting. Minutes must be taken at the meetings, which must be sent to the Business Finland contact person in addition to the steering group members.
- A report must be submitted on the research project, via Business Finland's online service, two to three times a year.
- If commercialisation does not progress as planned, the project will be suspended.