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Finland 30.1.-30.3.2019

Challenge competition: Smart Mobility

Further information

Ulla Lainio
Program Manager, Smart Mobility
Business Finland
+358 403433357
ulla.lainio (at)


Jukka Mäki
Business Finland
+358 40 554 0487
jukka.maki (at)

Call has ended!

The goal of the Challenge competition is to discover the most promising company and research projects related to Smart Mobility and to facilitate networking between parties. Business Finland seeks to provide a total of 50 million euros of innovation funding for Smart Mobility projects over four years.

The Challenge competition is carried out in two separate phases: first the Challenge competition, and after that the actual call for funding.

Global transformation as a backdrop

The size of the global transport market is estimated at around 6.500 billion euros annually, with the share of Finland at some 30 billion euros. The transport sector is undergoing a radical transformation as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions, such as car-sharing and ride-sharing, and reforms to the taxi industry shake up old business models. Digitalization and new technologies are poised to revolutionize the transport market through innovations such as autonomous vehicles and ships, drones and Hyperloop routes.

Business Finland’s Smart Mobility program for 2019-2022 focuses on developing solutions based on seamless supply chains, reduced emissions and improved data utilization. The program promotes global cooperation in the transport market by attracting significant international operators to make use of Finnish test platforms.

The themes of the Smart Mobility program aim at creating new business, exports and world-leading solutions by Finnish companies. This involves areas such as seamless and resource-efficient supply chains for passengers and goods, innovative mobility services that utilize and disseminate data, and solutions for meeting and exceeding increasingly stringent emission limits as well as reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

The program is intended for service, ICT and manufacturing sector companies, research organizations, municipalities and cities.

The Challenge competition: in search for the best players

Business Finland launched the Challenge competition on the theme of Smart Mobility on 30 January 2019. The Challenge competition is intended for Finnish SMEs and mid-cap companies (group-level turnover less than EUR 300mn), large corporations, research organizations, municipalities and cities seeking international competitive advantage. The Challenge competition is a part of the Smart Mobility program by Business Finland.

The goal of the Challenge competition is to discover the most promising company and research projects related to Smart Mobility and to facilitate networking between parties. With the Challenge competition, Business Finland seeks to promote projects and innovation activities aimed at forming business ecosystems.

The challenge competition has two phases. In the first phase, applications presenting the idea and challenge to be solved are submitted to Business Finland. Business Finland will review the applications and group them by theme. Business Finland will give advice and feedback to the applicants, propose a possible course of action and help bring together applicants to form joint projects.

The actual call for funding takes place in the second phase of the Challenge competition from 2 May 2019 onwards.

Companies taking part in the Challenge competition must have established business operations. Applicants must have a clear understanding of the challenges and possibilities of Smart Mobility.

The aim of the projects funded in the Challenge competition is to discover solutions for the following Smart Mobility themes: ‘From Forest to Sea’ or ‘From Door to Door’. Applicants may also propose solutions and technologies that develop some other theme related to Smart Mobility.

Projects to be funded in the Challenge competition may involve the following areas, for example. Applicants may combine different areas, and areas that are not mentioned below can be presented; hence the applicants can focus on several areas:

  • Cyber security in traffic or in remote operations
  • Autonomous or automated logistics and supply chains
  • New system electrification solutions / electric vessels, vehicles or moving machines
  • Artificial Intelligence and sensor data fusion and open data in smart vehicle or traffic solutions 
  • Disruption of traffic, mobility services and digitalization from user’s perspective
  • Analytics and use of open traffic data or integration of system data 
  • Arctic sea traffic and Arctic routes, logistics
  • Solutions for reaching or under cutting the tightening emission limits
  • MaaS (Mobility as a Service), transportation of goods and passengers
  • Other solutions or technologies improving the Smart Mobility theme

The funded projects and the solutions they develop must have a substantial positive impact on the applicants’ international competitiveness. The challenge to be solved may be related to increasing the value of an existing product or service or the creation of a totally new product or service concept.

The Challenge competition is not expected to result in a finished product or service. The Challenge competition is only intended for funding research on applying Smart Mobility, not any other R&D or research activities of the applicant.

In the second phase of the Challenge competition, when the actual call for funding begins, all Business Finland funding services are available.

Further information on funding here

The applicant must be able to clearly describe the following details in the application:

  • What is the challenge to be solved 
  • How would solving the challenge help the company or research institution develop international business, description of international cooperation and business potential
  • What is the advantage to be gained 
  • Which partners and business ecosystems does the application involve 
  • What is the project’s practical and measurable performance target in euros
  • How will the results of a successful project be utilized commercially
  • How and by what means will the challenge be solved
  • Preliminary budget and timetable

Length of the application

Up to three (3) A4 pages, font size 10. Applicants must fill in the application form. All details are included in the application form.

Download the application form here (doc)


First round: Challenge competition call for ideas 30 January-30 March 2019.

Actual call for funding begins on 2 May 2019.

Business Finland will announce details of the competition's application process and timetable on its website.

Read more on Smart Mobility program here