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At the moment, there is no funding available.

For whom?

The funding is intended for circular economy investments by companies operating in Finland that improve the level of environmental protection beyond EU standards or increase waste recycling through solutions above the current level of technological development. Funded circular economy investments contribute to the development of the circular economy in Finland.

Funding can be granted to companies of all sizes registered in Finland whose investments create conditions for growth in the circular economy and green growth, as well as growth in business operations and employment. To receive financing, a company must

  • Have the desire to transform long-established operating and production methods with its investment in order to promote the circular economy and green growth.
  • Aim to make circular economy investments in Finland that enable business and job growth in Finland and/or internationally.
  • The financial capacity to cover the self-financing part of the investment and to carry out continuous economic business operations. Support for unprofitable activities is not justified from the point of view of the interests of the national economy, business efficiency or effective competition.

What can be done with the funding? What need does it meet?

Investments made in Finland with significant positive environmental impacts may receive funding. Investments must increase material circulation, create conditions for completely new circular economy business models, and promote business and employment growth in different sectors domestically and/or internationally. In order for an investment to be eligible for funding, it must directly contribute to increased recycling or to exceeding environmental standards.

The targets of funding can include

  • Investments related to industrial construction (e.g. projects involving investment in new circular economy technology, innovative circular economy facilities or circular economy conversion of factories)

  • Investments to improve the circular economy of business ecosystems (e.g. innovative factory investment projects common to industrial parks or other ecosystems)

  • Digital solutions that facilitate activities that go beyond environmental standards or improve and increase waste recycling (e.g. investments that use digital solutions to improve material circulation or exceed the predominant environmental standards)

  • Investments in the recycling and reuse of waste (e.g. investments in an innovative plant or production line to increase or enhance recycling and reuse of waste produced by operators other than the beneficiary)

What is the funding not intended for?

Funding will not be granted if

  • The enterprise is active in the primary agricultural production or fisheries and aquaculture sectors (including further processing of and trade in fish and aquaculture products).
  • The company is not registered in the Finnish preliminary tax withholding register.
  • The company has a tax debt for which there is no payment plan in place.
  • The company has significant payment defaults.
  • The company has debts that are subject to enforcement and in the case of which there is no payment plan in place.
  • The company has unmet obligations on previous Tekes/Business Finland loans.
  • The company does not meet the requirements for continuous profitable business operations
  • On 31 December 2019, the company was in a situation that meets the definition of a company in difficulty. However, financing may be granted to companies that were not in difficulty between 31 December 2019 but became companies in difficulty between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021.

The provision of an investment grant is not appropriate if it is already possible to obtain a grant under another aid scheme. For example, projects related to energy saving or increased use of renewable energy are covered by aid for energy-related operations, and nutrient recycling projects can apply for funding under the nutrient recycling pilot program of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY). 

Financing may only be granted to companies operating in mainland Finland.

What can the funding be used for?

Financing may be granted for investments where an undertaking exceeds European Union standards applicable to operations or the current level of technological development in the sector. The eligible costs will be determined, where appropriate, by comparing the costs of the investment to be presented with the costs of an alternative solution in line with EU standards or the level of technological development of the sector. The funding can be used for work performed during the course of the project, which results from:

  1. The purchase and installation of machinery or equipment
  2.  The acquisition of intangible rights
  3. The purchase of materials or supplies necessary for the construction, renovation or extension of a building or structure, or the purchase or design of equipment closely related to these, or the payment of salaries
  4. The design, construction or purchase of equipment for computer networks or other similar networks, or the acquisition of rights of use that are necessary for the construction or operation of networks
  5. The implementation of an investment or the necessary training of the operating personnel

The funding CANNOT be used:

  • For investments that commenced before the application was submitted
  • To cover the costs of planning the investment and drawing up the application before submitting it
  • For investments that do not improve the level of environmental protection (compared to applicable EU standards, if such exist) or which do not exceed the level of technological development in the sector
  •  In situations where the investment is carried out to ensure that the undertaking complies with EU standards already adopted or standards which have not yet entered into force. (With the exception of purchase/retrofitting of new transport equipment, if the purchase was made before the date of entry into force of the EU standards)
  • Waste recovery activities other than recycling and reuse
  • Investments that only increase the demand for recyclable materials without also increasing the collection of materials
  • Mandatory business costs, obligations under EU law or normal operating costs

What is the amount of the funding and the company’s own funding?

The funding is provided as a grant. The amount will be determined case-specifically on the basis of comparative calculations from the applicant company, unless EU standards or additional costs arising from a solution that exceeds the technical level of development in the sector can be identified separately from the total investment costs.

Maximum aid levels for additional investment costs:

  • Small and medium enterprises 45%
  • Large enterprises (including midcap enterprises) 35%

The maximum amount of an individual grant  may not exceed EUR 15 million per company and per project..

  • The grant is paid against the actual costs of the investment project on the basis of interim and final reports and settlements.
  • No advance will be paid.

The financing does not burden the quota of the company’s de minimis program or the European Commission’s temporary aid scheme of EUR 1 800,000.

Acceptable costs

Costs of the project may be accepted for the period during which the instruments and services in question are used in the project and are directly linked to the investment project. Acceptable costs include:

  • Salary costs
  • Indirect employee costs
  • Services purchased from third parties
  • Materials and supplies
  • Equipment purchases

The costs of the auditor’s report submitted in connection with the final report on the project may also be accepted for the services purchased.

Only reasonable and necessary costs for the project are accepted.

In cases where an investment project is funded by leasing, sub-payment or similar means, costs up to the purchase price of the acquisition may be accepted. Operating lease costs are not accepted – assets must be transferred to the ownership of the funding recipient at the end of the funding lease period.

If the beneficiary is liable to pay VAT, the VAT related to the costs is not an acceptable cost.

Eligible costs do not include, for example, the general expenses and travel costs of the recipient of the funding, the costs of sales and marketing, the costs of normal operations, banking and financial costs, or the costs of drawing up contracts.

The Circular Economy

Following the principles of the circular economy is a way of working to achieve sustainable growth. Material cycles are at the heart of the circular economy, as they involve significant environmental impacts and significant business activities in different sectors.

The key goal in the circular economy is to keep products, materials and their value in the economic cycle for as long as possible. Efficiency is improved and value increases when materials and products are designed and manufactured for long-lasting use and reuse, and can be combined with services.

The purpose of the circular economy is to change conventional operating and production practices and to provide opportunities for companies that are adapting to change and investing in a new way of operating. Green growth may consist of a completely new type of business and create new businesses, but there are also opportunities in conventional energy-intensive and resource-intensive industries.

How is the funding applied for?

The funding is applied for through Business Finland’s online service application Circular economy investment grant.

The application for funding must set out the solution that exceeds the standards. The report must indicate which EU standards the investment to be presented exceeds, and what would be a solution with equivalent capacity in line with EU standards or the level of technological development of the sector. In the application, the applicant must provide a report on the circular economy, climate, innovation and environmental impacts of the project. In addition, the applicant must state what their course of action will be if the funding is not granted. In addition, the application must include a description of the positive impact of the investment on the investor’s business operations and the number of jobs and indirect impact that the investment may have on other companies’ business operations.

The mandatory project plan to be appended to the funding application must provide comparative calculations of the costs of the investment to be applied for and the benchmark investment for the purpose of determining the eligible part, unless the costs of the additional eligible part can be identified separately from the total investment.


Who is this financial service intended for?

Financial situation of the applicant

Amount and duration of funding

What can the funding be used for?

Application for funding and reporting