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Horizon 2020 project preparation

Business Finland will fund the Horizon 2020 project preparation phase, i.e. writing a proposal for the H2020 programme. Thus, Business Finland encourages Finnish companies to develop international research and innovation networks. 

Horizon 2020 project preparation

H2020 project preparation can be built into a normal Business Finland project if the Business Finland project aims to broaden its future scope into international activities. The actual funding for H2020 project preparation is aimed for Finnish companies for the proposal writing phase of large projects with a significant impact on Finland, or if the Finnish participant(s) has a substantial role as the coordinator and/or a work-package leader(s).

Thus, this funding is not meant for preparation work on the popular SME instrument. 

H2020 project preparation as a part of a Business Finland funded project 

  • H2020 project preparation activities must be clearly described and included in the appropriate Business Finland funded project's plan as its own work package.
  • The project plan must also outline how the specific H2020 project would further the ongoing Business Finland project.
  • The project plan and budget of an ongoing Business Finland project can also be amended if a related H2020 proposal becomes current. However, adding these activities to an ongoing project will not increase the original Business Finland funding amount.
  • Eligible preparation costs must be reasonable in comparison with the potential amount of H2020 funding.

Funding for large H2020 project preparation for SME and Midcap companies

  • The total budget of the H2020 project must be at least 3 million euros and the Finnish participant's role(s) must be financially or otherwise significant (for instance, the coordinator and/or a work package leader).
  • Eligible costs for the project preparation phase can be max. 5 % of the Finnish partners' budget in the proposed H2020 project (for example, 1 M€ = 50 000 €). If a consortium includes three Finnish participants, for example, eligible costs can still only be a maximum of 5%, not three times 5% of the total budget of the Finnish participants.
  • The application should describe a convincing consortium with the following requirements for Finnish participation,
    • When an SME or Midcap -company prepares the proposal, at least one other Finnish participant must be included in the consortium,
    • At least 20% of the total budget of the Finnish partners in the consortium must go to Finnish companies.
  • Business Finland funds 75 % of eligible costs, maximum grant being 50 000 €.
  • Applications for project preparation funding are sent through the normal Business Finland process. Companies select "Tempo", the funding is de minimis grant. In case of parallel project, the name of the Horizon project needs to be given as a reference.
  • All Finnish participants in the consortium need not apply for H2020 project preparation funding, but they need to be mentioned in the application together with respective contact persons and estimated budgets.
  • The name of the Business Finland application for H2020 project preparation funding should be "H2020 – [name of the EU project]". This expedites the application process.
  • Applications for project preparation funding are accepted continuously; however, they must be submitted before the relevant Horizon 2020 call deadline. Costs are eligible from the date that the application has been submitted to Business Finland with sufficient information up until a maximum of six (6) months after the relevant Horizon 2020 call deadline. In effect, this means that Business Finland will cover related costs during the first month of Grant Agreement preparations. These costs could, for instance, stem from Consortium Agreement preparations and/or project management.
  • For two-stage Horizon 2020 calls, preparation costs for the first stage can also be eligible. However, Business Finland must have received the preparation funding application prior to the first stage deadline, and the Horizon 2020 proposal must pass the first stage evaluation and proceed to the second stage. Preparation costs are eligible for a maximum of six months from the second stage deadline.
  • The report on eligible costs can be sent after the H2020 proposal has been evaluated. The H2020 proposal must receive at least 3 points in each evaluated category.
  • The Business Finland report needs to include a short description of the proposed H2020 project, financial summary with eligible costs, as well as the EU evaluation summary report. An audit report is not necessary.

Online services

You can apply for funding, report on the progress of your project and create a cost statement through the Online Service. As a new feature, changes to projects are now applied for through the Online Service. All documents related to your project are also available via the Online Service.

Go to the Online Service