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Funding for co-innovation and local co-creation in developing markets

Are you developing an innovative product, service, process or business model that can bring about environmental, social, quality, cost or equality benefits? Would your innovative solution be relevant in emerging and developing markets? Do you need to (further) co-develop your solution with local partners to increase its competitiveness for market opportunities in developing markets? Our funding for co-innovation in developing markets helps companies to co-develop and co-create sustainable innovations together with local partners in those markets. The funding is complementary and must be linked to an R&D project funded by Business Finland.

For the moment, we can receive applications for the funding for co-innovation in developing markets projects in an ongoing basis until 30 September 2024. The funded projects must end by 30 June 2025 the latest.

Funding for co-innovation in developing markets

Our funding for co-innovation in developing markets enables companies to co-develop and co-create sustainable innovations jointly with local partners in developing markets. Possible target markets cover well over 100 countries from least developed to upper-middle income countries, as defined by the OECD. Possible innovative solutions can bring about, for example, environmental, social, quality, cost or equality benefits and, in this way, help contributing to at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The funding for co-innovation in developing markets is de minimis grant up to maximum of 300 000 EUR and it does not have to be paid back. The funding can cover up to 75% of the total accepted project costs. In the case of SMEs, 70% of the grant can be paid in advance and the rest against the real costs at the end of the project. In the case of large companies, all funding is paid against the real costs at the end of the project. 

The funding for co-innovation in developing markets is complementary funding to R&D funding of Business Finland, and forms an additional top-up linked to an R&D project. The funding for co-innovation in developing markets cannot form a stand-alone project. It must be linked to an R&D project that, in turn, can be more generic in nature and does not have to focus on developing markets. The R&D project must follow the regular funding principles and criteria of Business Finland.

The funding for co-innovation in developing markets project can run in tandem, as an expansion or as a continuation to the R&D project. The length of the project is not limited, although the typical length of such projects is some 6-12 months.

The funding for co-innovation in developing markets must be used for collaborative co-development and co-creation with (a) local partner(s) in (a) developing market(s). The funding is provided to customer companies that can in turn purchase services from the local partners. The purchased services from the local partners need to be at least half of the project costs.

The funding for co-innovation in developing markets forms a part of Developing Markets Platform (DevPlat), which is a joint endeavor of Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA). The funding derives from the official development assistance by the MFA. The funding is meant to enable development of innovative solutions conducive to achieving the SDGs as well as to the Finnish development policy objectives in developing markets. A positive assessment by the MFA is a prerequisite for a positive funding decision by Business Finland on a funding for co-innovation in developing markets project.

What is required of your company?
  • Your company has a Finnish business identity code.
  • Your company has (an) identified sustainable market opportunity/ies in (a) developing market(s).
  • Your company is developing or seeking to develop an innovative solution that can address a specific development challenge or a need in the target market(s) and can contribute to achieving at least one of the 17 SDGs.
  • Your company has identified (a) suitable local partner(s) in the target developing market(s) with whom to (further) co-develop and co-create (an) innovative solution(s).
  • Your company has, has had or is willing to apply for an R&D project funded by Business Finland to which the funding for co-innovation in developing markets project can be tangibly linked.
  • Your company has sufficient financial and human resources available for project implementation.

 

See instructions for applying for funding

How does Business Finland funding work?

1
Before you apply

Plan a project and define its goals. Ensure the sufficiency of self-financing.

2
Apply for funding

Submit your application through online services. Submit the additional information requested.

3
Approve the funding decision

Business Finland will assess your application and notify you of its decision. Read the decision and its terms and conditions, and approve the decision in online services.

4
Use the funding

Arrange project accounting. Notify Business Finland of any changes.

5
Report your project

Report your project's implementation and costs. Attach the additional information requested with your report.