Research to Business
Research to Business funding is intended for public research groups and researchers in public research organizations, who want to build new business based on their research and make it real by commercializing their idea.
With Research to Business funding public research organization can prepare the commercialization of research based idea and carry out applied research which support the commercialization. The main goal is on the commercialization preparation, not on research of the idea. At the same time key team members can develop their own commercialization skills. Business Finland can fund 70% of the eligible costs.
Two calls for applications will be arranged per year: in the spring and in the autumn.
In addition to funding Research to Business service supports the commercialization preparations by organizing events where teams with Research to Business funding can meet early stage investors and peers. See the news: The first Science Startup Day brought together researchers and investors.
The funded teams have an opportunity to showcase their project also in the Dealflow Finland tool to wake the interest of domestic and international investors.
The researcher or research team in the public research organization has identified a research based idea from their own research field, which idea has a commercialization opportunity and they have a skilled project team to promote the idea towards commercial exploitation.
The innovation services unit (or equivalent) in the research organization has evaluated the novelty and commercial potential of the idea as high and supports the funding of the project.
The project prepares preconditions for the business to start.
The research organization has adequate exploitation rights for the background and emerging research results for commercialization.
The research organization has the desire and opportunity to disclose the rights after the project to the entity, who will commercialize the idea.
The project must have several commercialization options – the entity who commercializes the idea can not be known at the start or during the project. The actual product and business development occurs after the project either within a new company being established, or as a new business activity in an existing company.
Research to Business funding is intended for the preparation of commercialization of research idea and for the applied research that supports it.
At least 40% of eligible project costs must be targeted at the preparation of commercialization. If the project is funded in two phases, this rule applies in both phases. The commercialization preparation costs can include e.g.:
The funding can not be used for:
If the project does not progress as planned, the project will be suspended.
Explore some of the TUTLI funded projects on research organizations' web pages.
Two calls for applications are organized every year, the main call is in February-March and a supplementary call in September.
The innovation service units of universities and research organizations help researchers evaluate the suitability of the project and guide them in the application process. The research team will pitch the project idea to Business Finland before submitting the application.
The actual funding application including the attachments (e.g. project plan) is submitted via Business Finland’s online services.
The application requires a project plan. The main elements of the plan should be written directly in the application form. You can attach a separate project plan as a file to your application. Recommended length for the project plan is less than 25 pages.
The project plan should describe clearly:
Business Finland's experts will evaluate the research project for the preparation of commercialization as a whole. The evaluation will also take into account other applications competing for funding.
Important evaluation items include:
If the project contains significant risks and uncertainties, we can fund the project in phases and grant only part of the funding. If the project progresses according to the milestones, the next phase's funding may be granted for the project.
All costs that arise must be related to the implementation of the project. Eligible costs include:
Eligible costs have been further specified in the General Terms and Conditions of Funding (pdf).
The aim of the project is to bring research results into a new business activity.
The new knowledge and related intellectual property rights generated by the project are the property of the research organization. The research organization can transfer the IP rights to the beneficiaries for compensation.
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.
The research organization must appoint an accountable project leader that is in an employment relationship with the organization. The accountable project leader is the person in charge of the scientific and research aspects of the project.
The research organization will appoint a steering group for the project. As a rule, the steering group members are not employees of the organization. The accountable project leader can act as the chair of the steering group. The steering group must include an advisor on commercialization, such as an expert from business and industry or the innovation unit of the beneficiary, for example. The steering group's role is to play an advisory role, to contribute to the achievements of the project in accordance with the objectives, and monitor that at least 40% of the eligible costs of the project are used for the commercialization preparation actions.
Business Finland representatives are entitled to attend the meetings of steering group. The meeting invitation and related material must be submitted to Business Finland contact person in good time before the date of meeting. The minutes of the meeting shall be kept and sent, together with the annexes, in addition to the steering group members, to the Business Finland contact person.
The research project is reported through Business Finland's online service three times a year. The report consists a description of the results achieved in commercialization preparation and in applied research in relation to the milestones or final goals as well as a cost report. In case of any problems or changes related to project progression, connect directly with the project's contact person in Business Finland.
If the project does not progress as planned, the project will be suspended.
Research to Business projects typically vary in duration to 12-24 months, depending on the project's industry and idea readiness. After the project you should know, what is the best way to commercialize the idea.
The objective of Research to Business projects is to prepare the commercialization of research ideas after basic research, so basic research is not allowed in this project. Instead, applied research can be carried out according to the approved project plan to support the preparation of commercialization.
No. However, you can acquire information (customer surveys, market surveys etc.) that you need for your business plan.
Yes. When you are preparing your research idea for commercialization, it is important to find out, what problems or needs your potential customers have. You can do it e.g. by interviewing the potential customers or by running proof of concept tests in the customer interface.
No. You can do proof of concept tests to verify the functionality of your research idea. However, ready-to-sell products cannot be made.
Contact the person in your organization, who is in charge of research and /or Business Finland.
The goal of the Research to Business project is to prepare the commercialization of the research idea. If the start-up is set up to commercialize the idea, the project's goals are achieved and the funding will be discontinued.
The Research to Business project steering group is an advisory body. The steering group also monitors that the project is implemented in accordance with the approved plan and objectives and that at least 40% of the project costs are used for the commercialization preparations.
Research to Business funding is intended to determine whether it is possible to build international business based on the research idea. Evaluation of the project results with milestones is important in order to see if the project's final goals are achievable, i.e. the possibility of doing business still exists. Phased projects typically involve significant risks and uncertainties, which we try to manage with milestones. If the project does not reach the goals, the funding will be discontinued.
The responsibility of the accountable project leader is to lead the project. The project leader cannot allocate the direct costs of management to the project. If it is necessary for the person appointed as accountable project leader to also act as a researcher in the project, the direct costs of the researcher's work can be allocated to the project. Our recommendation is that the accountable project leader should not act as a researcher in the project.
In a joint project the research organizations have common project plan, where they show the benefits of the joint project, common goals and the tasks and resources of both organizations. Both organizations have to make their own application. The cost allocation for commercialization preparations (minimum 40%) can be a common target in the joint project. If either of the research organizations does not follow the project plan or reach the goals, the funding will be discontinued from both parties
Procurements made for the project are governed by provisions on public contracts and any instructions issued by the beneficiary's administration. Ask for instructions on innovation services or tendering services in your own organization. If a procurement has been made in violation of the procurement provisions, the procurement price is not an eligible project cost.
Communication costs that are necessary and reasonable for the implementation of the project can be eligible for the project in accordance with the funding conditions set out in the project plan. Communication costs may relate to the dissemination of research results, e.g. in a scientific conference or article in which they are the costs of applied research, or they may relate to the preparation of commercialization when communication of the project and its results aims to networking and finding potential customers and investors. In this case, the costs eligible for the project may include, for example videos, webpages, even podcasts, when they are not general communications of the organization. Ineligible costs include the cost of economic activities, brand building, marketing materials (e.g. letter templates, logos, clothing, pens, etc.). All project communication should always mention Business Finland as a financier.