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New international expertise for business needs

Co-Research projects and joint projects for research organizations promote the building of significant new expertise for business needs and accelerate the renewal of Finnish companies’ business and international growth.

The funding is only available through specific funding calls. You cannot apply for the funding unless the call for applications expressly mentions the possibility of Co-Research funding.

The funding is granted to Finnish research organizations such as universities, research institutes, and universities of applied sciences.

Co-Research funding

Funding is aimed for one or several research organizations. A one research organization of its own can form a Co-Research-project. At least two research organizations can together form a joint project.

The participants of a Co-Research project or joint project collaborate to generate new knowledge and expertise that is expected to develop the long-term competitiveness of Finnish companies. The funding is aimed at disruptive and strategic projects and projects developing strategic competence. The results of the research projects will serve as a basis for the companies’ own development projects and potential Co-Innovation projects.

The aim of the funding is to accelerate the utilization of research data in companies’ R&D activities and the development of new export industries. Co-Research projects and joint projects strengthen the expertise of research organizations in research fields relevant to business, strengthen Finnish and international research networks, and disseminate information about new business opportunities created by research to companies.

Co-Research is particularly suitable for situations in which Finnish or international research has revealed significant new business potential, but companies still lack the capacity or vision to directly apply this knowledge to their product development or business. Co-Research projects may be used to build bridges between basic research and companies’ industrial research and to focus research on topics that are relevant to Finnish export businesses. In addition, the projects may aim to transfer technology or expertise to Finland. The funding may be used to build the international research cooperation, exchange of information, and researcher mobility required for the project.

A joint project may be formed by at least two cooperating research organizations. The project must be related to a special funding call by Business Finland that mentions Co-Research funding (e.g., the Partnership model funding call for leading companies). The call may also provide more specific instructions and other restrictions on the use of the funding. The project cannot include subcontracting of research from other Finnish research organizations outside the consortium. In other words, the research organizations must be part of the consortium. In addition, the funding cannot cover the costs of research carried out by a non-Finnish research organization.

The project should usually involve at least three companies that could utilize the research results. These companies must contribute to the financing of the project or its sub-projects, and their financial contribution to the total budget is an important assessment criterion. The research problem and the basic research premise should be discussed with the companies. The companies that finance the research organizations’ research projects or make other contributions that reduce the costs of a research organization’s research project take priority in negotiating the use of the research project’s results.

The project may also include companies or other participants such as trade associations that invest in the project through other means. These contributions such as work results, materials, and equipment are referred to as in-kind investments. Their role and contribution must be described, and they must complement and further the goals of the project.

The contribution of companies that could utilize the results may be lower in future-oriented, disruptive Co-Research projects or joint projects that develop strategic competence and have a high novelty value. The greater the emphasis on applied research, the greater the required participation of companies in the project. In these cases, we recommend that you check your eligibility for Co-Innovation funding.

The results of the public research project must also have broad applicability outside the Co-Research consortium. The assessment also takes into account the project’s indirect impacts such as the spillover effects the research might have on Finnish expertise and research. The research project must have a high-quality dissemination plan for the research results.

The funding from Business Finland is competed funding. The assessment takes into account possible other funding applications.

What are the requirements for a Co-Research project?
  • The project will significantly contribute to the generation of new expertise required by companies to increase their competitiveness, thus contributing to the renewal of Finnish companies’ business and international growth.
  • The new export business pursued with the results of the project has high potential.
  • The goals of the project are ambitious, and the participants have sufficient expertise, as well as the resources to achieve them.
  • The project will generate new knowledge and expertise, and the utilized results may have great business potential and social impact. The funding is aimed at disruptive and strategic projects, as well as projects developing strategic competence.
  • The results of the research project serve as a basis for the companies’ own development projects.
  • The research plan must include international cooperation with other cutting-edge research on the topic.
  • In general, companies that could utilize the results must contribute to the financing (preferably at least 10 %). There should be several of these companies (at least three, preferably many more).
  • Business Finland’s level of funding is typically 60 %. The amount and quality of international cooperation affects the level of funding for the research project. For a research project engaged in close international cooperation, the level of funding is 70 %.

See instructions for applying for funding

How does Business Finland funding work?

Before you apply

Plan a project and define its goals. Ensure the sufficiency of self-financing.

Apply for funding

Submit your application through online services. Submit the additional information requested.

Approve the funding decision

Business Finland will assess your application and notify you of its decision. Read the decision and its terms and conditions, and approve the decision in online services.

Use the funding

Arrange project accounting. Notify Business Finland of any changes.

Report your project

Report your project's implementation and costs. Attach the additional information requested with your report.


Research and knowledge-dissemination organisation means an entity (such as universities or research institutes, technology transfer agencies, innovation intermediaries, research-oriented physical or virtual collaborative entities), irrespective of its legal status (organised under public or private law) or way of financing, whose primary goal is to independently conduct fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development or to widely disseminate the results of such activities by way of teaching, publication or knowledge transfer.

Where such entity also pursues economic activities the financing, the costs and the revenues of those economic activities must be accounted for separately. Undertakings that can exert a decisive influence upon such an entity, in the quality of, for example, shareholders or members, may not enjoy preferential access to the results generated by it.