Using Business Finland's R&D funding, companies seeking international markets can update their products, services, production methods or business models, or develop completely new ones. R&D funding is only provided for costs arising from research and development activities.
Business Finland can provide funding for SMEs and midcap companies seeking significant growth in export markets by granting aid or a loan for ambitious R&D projects that give companies a competitive edge. If successful, a project's export potential must be at least 20 times higher than the R&D investments made. Funding from Business Finland is discretionary and competed for.
Grant can be granted for critical research activities that aim at least to acquire new information in the relevant sector and create capabilities for later development, but that do not yet result in a finished product or service. The grant for SMEs' research projects accounts for at most 50% of total eligible project costs. For midcap companies, grant covers at most 40% of total eligible project costs. We pay aid afterwards based on your reported realized costs.
A loan is intended for your company's development and piloting projects. As a rule, it can cover at most 50% of your project's total costs. For a justified reason, the loan can account for up to 70% of total project costs. Your company can receive 30% of the loan funding granted for your project as an advance loan at the beginning of your project, and we will pay the remaining loan amount based on realized costs. The loan has a low interest rate (1% at present), and no collateral is primarily required. As a rule, the loan period is seven or ten years, of which three or five – or more, if necessary – are installment-free. If your project fails or its results cannot be used in your business operations, part of the loan may remain uncollected.
A project may include both research and development. In this case, Business Finland will assess the project content as a whole, considering the different nature of the activities.
Even if a project has appropriate total funding, resources and plans, the granting of funding also requires that the project could not be carried out at all without any funding, or it could be carried out much more slowly or on a smaller scale.
You can apply for funding for research, development or piloting when your company is committed to seeking international growth, and
Your company can receive Business Finland's aid or loan for development activities, the goal of which is:
Creating new information that gives your company an international competitive edge in cooperation with universities or research institutions, for example.
Significantly updating your current products, services, production methods or business models, or developing completely new ones. Development means the acquisition, merger, editing and use of existing know-how. However, routine or regular activities are not regarded as development.
Verifying the effectiveness of an innovation at the threshold of the commercialization phase through piloting and collecting feedback from potential customers or users. The aim is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed solution, increase credibility, and accelerate the commercialization phase. Piloting means verifying the effectiveness of a new solution at the threshold of the commercialization phase on a sufficiently large scale considering the solution's commercial potential in situations where significant uncertainties are still associated with the effectiveness of the solution. The piloting project must consist of research and development activities. Piloting can also be carried out in a customer's facilities, provided that it cannot be regarded as a commercial delivery and the customer does not provide funding for the project directly or indirectly. In other words, your company must always carry the risk of the piloting project's success.
We cannot grant your company funding if:
The funding terms and conditions describe the costs for which Business Finland can provide funding, how we monitor your project costs, and how you should report on the progress of your project.
Answer the questions and you will immediatelly know whether you should apply at the moment Business Finland funding or not. By completing the survey you will also speed up the application process – survey is part of it. Answering questions will take 5–10 minutes.
Send your application and attachments via our online service. You can also keep track of the processing of your application in the online service.
Set 2–5 concrete and measurable goals for your project in your application. The goals must be linked to concrete outcomes of the project and the development of your business. The project goals will be recorded in the funding decision, and Business Finland will monitor their achievement. The achievement of the goals set is a significant factor in deciding whether your company can receive possible further funding from Business Finland.
Examples of project goals:
A sufficiently detailed and clear project plan must be presented as an integral part of the application. The plan can be either entered directly in the application form fields or attached to the application as a separate file.
The project plan must include at least the following:
SMEs must also submit the following financial information with the application:
You can submit this information using our calculation templates available in the information box below or otherwise, e.g., as part of your business plan.
To make the funding decision, we may ask your company for additional information, if necessary.
The content and goals of your project determine which project costs can be accepted.
In research and development projects, eligible cost types include:
R&D funding is intended to cover the costs of research and development. As part of the project, Business Finland may fund customer and market analyses related to the solution being developed, as well as other measures supporting the utilization of the solution being developed, such as the development of the organization's operations or management. The portion of these measures cannot exceed 20% of the approved cost estimate.
Costs of piloting projects may include:
The following costs cannot be accepted as piloting project costs:
If you receive income from a prototype, demonstration project or production testing created in your project during or immediately after your piloting project, it must be reported to Business Finland immediately or no later than during the final report. If the income is significant, we may refuse to accept any costs related to commercial activities.
Plan a project and define its goals. Ensure the sufficiency of self-financing.
Submit your application through online services. Submit the additional information requested.
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.
Arrange project accounting. Notify Business Finland of any changes.
Report your project's implementation and costs. Attach the additional information requested with your report.