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Call 13.1.-5.3.2020

Research to Business – funding for the commercialization preparation of a research based idea, call 1/2020

Submit your application before Thursday 5.3.2020 klo 23:59

For more information, contact

Jaana Rantanen
+358 50 3962 923
jaana.rantanen (at)


Call has ended!

The New business from research ideas (TUTLI) funding service has been renewed in the beginning of the year 2020 and the name has changed. The name of the service is now Research to Business.

The target for the renewing is to make research commercialization more effective and create more international business from research.

As a result of the renewal Business Finland and funding applicant will set together 3-5 concrete and measurable goals for the preparation of commercialization, which are based on the project plan and applicants suggestions. We can fund projects in 1-2 phases, where the results in phase 1 have influence on funding for phase 1. The steering group monitors that the project is implemented in accordance with the approved plan and objectives and that at least 40% of the project costs are used for the preparation of commercialization.

In the future we will support commercialization preparation by offering different services and events where the teams can network with investors and other parties and also ascertain their interest and market opportunities. In addition, we will open our DealFlow Finland tool for those Research to Business projects, which are close to the end and targeting for a startup, to wake the interest of international investors.

Call for applications

Business Finland will fund Research to Business projects in public research organizations where the project team prepares a research-based idea for commercialization and carries out applied research which support the commercialization. The purpose of the commercialization preparation is to clarify the potential exploitation paths of the research idea and to help choose the most promising paths and ways that can lead to business either in a new start-up or in an existing company.

Business Finland can fund 70% of the total cost of projects. This is the main call in 2020.

In the evaluation of funding applications we examine following issues:

  • The size of the targeted business
  • The impact of the project on the development of significant international business and on the Society
  • Project team, skills level and international cooperation; especially the experience and knowledge of the persons responsible for commercialization
  • New technologies or competences developed in the project
  • The commercialization path and its realism in the project plan; Measures, milestones and final goals
  • The composition and competence of the steering group

We also require:

  • The research organization has adequate exploitation rights for the background and emerging research results for the commercialization. The research organization has the desire and opportunity to disclose rights after the project to the entity, who will commercialize the idea.
  • If the research organization has its own process of evaluating the commercialization of ideas (innovation services unit), it is required that the project is evaluated and approved by the process.
  • The project must have several commercialization options – the entity who commercializes the idea can not be known at the start or during the project.

The evaluation will also take into account other applications competing for funding.

Eligible operations in the preparation of commercialization, for example 

  • Novelty searches and other IPR and freedom to operate analyses
  • An evaluation of the research idea from the commercialization perspective (Proof of Relevance)
  • Determination of customer value, market surveys, customer surveys
  • Analysis of competing solutions
  • Experimental confirmation that the idea will work (Proof of Concept)
  • Funding model investigations and potential investor survey
  • Business model investigations
  • Protecting intangible rights of the idea (not the maintenance costs)
  • Commercialization and entrepreneurship training

Apply for funding 

Submit your application via Business Finland's online service at the latest on Thursday 5th, 2020 at 23:59. 

If you want to apply for research project funding from the EU structural fund (ERDF), write 'ERDF application' in the reference field under the page Basic information of the application.

Frequently asked questions 

How long can the Research to Business project last?
Research to Business projects typically vary in duration to 12-24 months, depending on the project's industry and idea readiness.

What can I do with Research to Business project funding?
You can prepare the commercialization of research based idea and carry out applied research which support the commercialization.

Can I include basic research in the Research to Business project?
The objective of Research to Business projects is to prepare the commercialization of research ideas after basic research, so basic research is not allowed in this project. Instead, applied research can be carried out according to the approved project plan to support the preparation of commercialization.

Can I contact potential customers in the project?
Yes. When you are preparing your research idea for commercialization, it is important to find out, what problems or needs your potential customers have. You can do it e.g. by interviewing the potential customers or by running proof of concept tests in the customer interface.

Can I make product development in the project?
No. You can do proof of concept tests to verify the functionality of your research idea. However, ready-to-sell products cannot be made.

What should I do, if my research organization does not have any innovation/commercialization unit?
Contact the person in your organization, who is in charge of research and /or Business Finland.

Can we set up a start-up before the Research to Business project ends?
If the project aims to start business in a start-up, the project's objectives have been achieved and the funding will be discontinued.

What role does steering group have in the project?
The Research to Business project steering group is an advisory body. The steering group monitors that the project is implemented in accordance with the approved plan and objectives and that at least 40% of the project costs are used for the commercialization preparations.

What is the reason for dividing the project funding in phases?
When Research to Business projects contain significant risks and uncertainties, we try to manage them with progress milestones. If the project does not progress according to the objectives, the funding will be discontinued.