Funding for the
The funding is intended for the goal-oriented and systematic development of innovation cooperation within an enterprise-driven ecosystem. The funding is provided as grant that can account for a maximum of 50% of the overall costs.
The funding is intended for a company, association or foundation which networks operators around selected business spearheads and drives the ecosystem towards achieving its common goal. Exceptionally, funding may also be granted for a research organization or other public body, but the same funding rules apply to it as to private operators.
When a group of companies and other actors have identified a business spearhead with a global market potential amounting to at least 1 billion euros in new exports, which can only be achieved in collaboration with others. The Finnish competences also contribute to further development of the business spearhead. The companies are prepared to share the information and their professional competences that the cooperation requires within the limits agreed in advance.
The idea can be developed into a clear joint growth vision and a detailed action plan for the development of a Growth Engine, and into business models and new or renewed business operations with the help of a reliable builder of the cooperation, the orchestrator, and funding targeted for the purpose.
Projects can, as a rule, apply for funding on a continuous basis.
What can the funding be used for?
Funding is intended for the development of innovation cooperation within the ecosystem. The orchestrator of the Growth Engine ecosystem also uses funding to activate the network in order to build joint research, pilot and demo projects and activities on an international scale.
With the funding, Growth Engine orchestrators can, for example, strengthen networks and information exchange within the ecosystem, step up its level of international cooperation, make activities more transparent and develop their impact and continuity in order to expedite the development leading to international exports.
The funding may not be used for research and development.
Stages of funding and evaluation criteria
The orchestration of Growth Engines is typically funded in two-year periods, for a maximum of ten years. A company, association or foundation can also be funded for the preparation of a Growth Engine (max EUR 100 000, grant 50%, deminimis).
The Growth Engines will be evaluated applying the following criteria:
Criteria for the first funding period of the starting phase
- The planned impacts of the Growth Engine on business operations, exports, creation of jobs and investments in Finland.
- The global market potential of the identified business spearhead.
- The challenge posed by the growth vision of the Growth Engine and its credibility
- The ambitiousness and credibility of the action plan for developing the Growth Engine and accelerating innovation activities
- The added value and resources produced by the Growth Engine orchestrator
Criteria for the following funding periods of the starting phase
- Achievement of the goals of the previous stage and the results achieved, including their impacts.
- The ambitiousness and credibility of the action plan for the following stages
- A detailed action plan on the international cooperation of the Growth Engine, generation of collaboration platforms and references, and other development of the operating environment and cooperation.
- The role of the Growth Engine as orchestrator, the management model, added value and a plan for the "self-sufficiency" of the Growth Engine
Apply for funding
Before submitting an application, please contact:
+358 50 5577 977, markku.heimburger (at) businessfinland.fi
The application is submitted via Business Finland's Online Service.
Send the application attached with a project plan (see the annexed instructions, at the moment only in Finnish) and commitment notices of the companies centrally involved in the Growth Engine, giving their targets and roles in the Growth Engine.
Progress with the project must be reported in accordance with the schedule announced in the funding decision. Submit the report and cost statement through the Online Service.
Eligible costs may include the costs resulting from increasing innovation cooperation within the Growth Engine ecosystem (including the marketing of innovation cooperation):
- HR costs (of people participating directly in developing the above-described operations, and those supporting them),
- administrative costs, incl. costs associated with consultancy and the equivalent services, when used exclusively for the development of the above-described operations
- overheads related to the above-described operations.
Terms and conditions of funding
Funding is subject to Business Finland's general terms and conditions for funding companies R&D.
The general terms and conditions for funding are applied to funding of this kind, with the following exceptions:
In accordance with the general terms and conditions of funding, eligible costs in the funding of innovation cluster operations can include the salaries and indirect personnel costs of the personnel participating in the cluster operations or assisting in them, travel expenses, purchased services, and material and supply costs directly related to the following cluster operations compliant with the project plan:
- promotion of cluster activities to facilitate cooperation, the exchange of information and the provision of specialized or tailored business support services
- marketing of the cluster to promote the participation of new enterprises or organizations, and to improve the visibility of the cluster
- the administration of the cluster's infrastructure and the organization of training programs, workshops and conferences to disseminate information and competences, and to promote international cooperation. Eligible costs may also include overheads caused directly by cluster operations compliant with the general terms and conditions of funding.
Eligible costs in funding intended for building and renewing the innovation cluster may include the acquisition costs of tangible and intangible assets in accordance with the project plan. Tangible assets refer to land areas, buildings, plants, and machinery and equipment. In the cost estimate, the acquisition costs of intangible assets are entered under the item Machinery and equipment purchases or Machinery and equipment rental costs. Intangible assets refer to patents, licenses, other intellectual property rights and know-how. In the cost estimate, the acquisition costs of intangible assets are entered under the item Purchased services.
Several users must have access to the cluster's premises, infrastructure and operations on transparent and non-discriminatory grounds. The payments collected on the use of the cluster's infrastructure and participation in its operations must correspond to the market prices or costs. Companies that have funded at least 10 per cent of the cluster's investment costs can be granted privileged access rights under more favorable conditions. Such privileged access rights must be in the correct proportion to the share of the investment costs paid by the company, and the terms and conditions of such rights must be made public.