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Research, development and piloting

Who can apply?

A large company can benefit from our R&D funding, when you want to carry out challenging research and development work, which not only improves your company's own competitive advantage, but also increases the competence and exports of the SMEs belonging to your network.

What do we fund?

Business Finland R&D funding enables your company to develop new, innovative products or services, production methods and business models. The company can also test and demonstrate the operation of a new, innovative solution and evaluate the benefits together with your customers. 

What can the funding be used for?

1) Develop the product or service

With Business Finland funding, your company can renew their existing products or services, production methods and business models, or develop new ones. Business Finland funds R&D through loans.

2) Test and demonstrate functionality through a pilot

Involving customers in development work is beneficial in all business sectors. With our funding, you can pilot the features of a new, innovative solution alongside customers and obtain feedback for further R&D. Piloting can consist of a quick trial, as is often the case in software development, or involve long development processes, as in the energy or processing industries. You can also carry out piloting abroad. Piloting can involve:

  • The testing of a new innovative product, production method, process or technology in, for example, a production facility
  • The development and testing of a new innovative operating model or system in a real operating environment, for example, in a city district, traffic, or as part of client companies' operations
  • The development of a new innovative service and ensuring that it functions in the customer's operating environment and processes

Business Finland funds piloting through loans.

3) Creating new knowledge and competencies

Improve the competencies of your business and enhance the competitiveness of your products and services. Collaborate with universities and research organisations. Business Finland uses grants to fund new, innovative research. 

Become a customer to Business Finland

Business Finland's services are meant for companies seeking rapid business growth and bold renewal in the international market.

Become a customer

Funding levels

Loan for development and piloting

Loan funding from Business Finland is advantageous for your company. At the moment, the interest rate is 1%, and no collateral is required in most cases. If the project fails or its results cannot be commercially exploited, the loan may be partially converted into a grant.

As a rule, the loan period is seven or ten years, of which three or five years – even more if necessary – can be amortization-free. At the beginning of the project, 30% of the loan for the project in advance. We pay the rest of the funding on the basis of the actual costs.

For large companies the loan accounts for 50% of total project costs at a maximum. Large corporations must spend at least 15% of total project costs to acquire services from SMEs or research organisations, or the project must be carried out as a genuine joint project with SMEs and research groups.

Grant for research and creation of new knowledge

Business Finland grants are intended for R&D by companies that generate new knowledge and competencies, but not a finished product or service at this stage. We will pay the grant to your company in arrears, based on the reported actual costs.

For large companies the grant accounts for 40% of total project costs at a maximum. Large companies must spend at least 40% of total project costs to acquire services from SMEs or research organisations, or the project must be carried out as a genuine joint project with SMEs and research groups.

Before submitting your application, please contact us. The application for funding is made by using Business Finland's online services

In the application you are asked to describe the current status of your company's business, staff, and resources, the vision for growth, project objectives, project plan, and cost estimate.

Project plan

The application has to contain a project plan. The plan is free-form.


Business Finland pays out project funding on the basis of reports and cost statements. The beneficiary must keep a record of project costs, hours worked, and purchased services.

The funding decision and terms and conditions provide guidelines for reporting and describe which costs can be covered by Business Finland's funding and how they should be monitored during the project. Please read the decision and the terms and conditions carefully, and review them with the accounting firm or accountant responsible for your project accounts.

Eligible costs

The content and goals of your project determine what costs are accepted for it. We approve costs from the date when your application, which satisfied the related requirements was sent to Business Finland. In research and development projects, eligible cost categories can include:

  • Salaries
  • Indirect personnel costs
  • Overheads
  • Travel expenses
  • Costs of materials and supplies
  • Machinery and equipment purchases
  • Machinery and equipment depreciation costs/machinery equipment rentals
  • Purchased services

Eligible costs for a piloting project can include:

  • Costs of materials and supplies.
  • Design costs associated with the subject.
  • Commercialisation costs.
  • Costs associated with the use of premises during the project.
  • R&D costs associated with the pilot or demonstration projects.
  • Leases or depreciation costs for land, buildings, machinery and equipment associated with the project.

You must inform us without delay, or at the latest upon presentation of the final report, if your company earns revenues during the piloting project, or immediately after its completion, from selling a prototype, a demonstration project or the results of trial production that arise from the project. If the income is substantial, we may not approve the reimbursement of costs derived from the commercial operations.