Research to Business
The New business from research ideas (TUTLI) funding service has been renewed in the beginning of the year 2020 and the name has changed. The name of the service is now Research to Business. The target for the renewing is to make research commercialization more effective and create more international business from research.
As a result of the renewal Business Finland and funding applicant will set together 3-5 concrete and measurable goals for the preparation of commercialization, which are based on the project plan and applicants suggestions. We can fund projects in 1-2 phases, where the results in phase 1 have influence on funding for phase 2. The steering group 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.
In the future we will support commercialization preparation by offering different services and events where the teams can network with investors and other parties and also ascertain their interest and market opportunities. See the news: The first Science Startup Day brought together researchers and investors.
In addition, we will open our DealFlow Finland tool for those Research to Business projects, which are close to the end and targeting for a startup, to wake the interest of international investors.
With Research to Business funding it is also possible to prepare a funding application for the European Innovation Council's (EIC) Pathfinder funding, which will start next year 2021. More information on EIC's web pages.
Who can apply?
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. At the same time the team members will have a chance to develop their own commercialization skills.
What do we fund?
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. Business Finland can fund 70% of the eligible costs.
The networking services and events are offered only to the teams that have Research to Business funding.
Two calls for applications will be arranged per year: one in the spring and another in the autumn.
The researcher or research team in the public research organization has identified a research based idea, which has commercialization opportunity and they want to build a 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 new business pursued is estimated to be significant in scope.
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 organisation 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.
What can the funding be used for?
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 project costs must be targeted at the preparation of commercialization costs. If the project is funded in two phases, this rule applies in both phases. The commercialization preparation costs can include e.g.:
- Novelty searches and other IPR and freedom to operate analyses
- An evaluation of the research idea from the commercialization perspective (Proof of Relevance)
- Determination of customer value, market surveys, customer surveys
- Analysis of competing solutions
- Experimental confirmation that the idea will work (Proof of Concept)
- Funding model investigations and potential investor survey
- Business model investigations
- Protecting intangible rights of the idea (not the maintenance costs)
- Commercialization and entrepreneurship training
The funding can not be used for:
- Making a company business plan
- Marketing and selling
- Measures not directly related to the commercialization preparations
- Commissioned research
- Basic research
If the project does not progress as planned, the project will be suspended.
Some examples of the results of research to Business (former TUTLI) Funding
Explore some of the TUTLI funded projects on research organizations' web pages.
Apply for funding
How does the funding work?
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 can be entered directly in the application form. You can attach a separate project plan as a file to your application.
The project plan shall be drawn up in such a way as to show the milestones of 6-8 months and final goals.
Evaluation of applications
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:
- The size of the targeted business
- The impact of the project on the development of significant international business and on the society
- Project team, skills level and international cooperation; especially the experience and knowledge of the persons responsible for commercialization preparation
- New technologies or competences developed in the project
- The commercialization path and its realism in the project plan; Measures, milestones and final goals
- The composition and competence of the steering Group
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:
- Wages and salaries of person working directly for the project
- Indirect personnel costs
- Indirect costs (overheads)
- Reasonable travel expenses
- Costs of materials and supplies
- Equipment purchases
- Purchased services necessary for the implementation of the project
Eligible costs have been further specified in the General Terms and Conditions of Funding (pdf).
Exploitation of results
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 organisation. The research organisation 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.
Steering and monitoring
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 3 times a year. 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.
Frequently asked questions
Research to Business projects typically vary in duration to 12-24 months, depending on the project's industry and idea readiness.
You can prepare the commercialization of research based idea and carry out applied research which support the commercialization.
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.
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.
If the project aims to start business in a start-up, the project's objectives have been achieved and the funding will be discontinued.
The Research to Business project steering group is an advisory body. The steering group 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.
When Research to Business projects contain significant risks and uncertainties, we try to manage them with milestones. If the project does not progress according to the objectives, the funding will be discontinued.