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Calls 15,10.2021

Temporary R&D&I loans for large employers to overcome the effects of the coronavirus crisis

Submit your application at the latest on 15th of October  2021.

Call has ended!

The temporary research, development, and innovation loan is intended for limited liability (private and publicly listed) SMEs and midcap-companies employing at least six people and operating in Finland and for foundations and associations doing significant business. Eligible for funding are those companies, foundations and associations that are through development seeking new means of coping with the disruptive circumstances in their businesses.

The funding is especially well suited to organizations in the fields of commerce, logistics, hospitality, tourism, social and health services, temporary staffing services, software and industry.

Promoting restructuring and development projects to maintain competitiveness and to preserve jobs

Organizations that, thanks to the unusual circumstances, have been able to focus more on business development and that need more resources for these kinds of projects can also apply. The idea is to enable these kinds of organizations to channel their idle resources into development and to accelerate development projects with the help of Business Finland's funding. This will allow them to keep their staff employed during the crisis.

Funding for restructuring, development and piloting

The funding may be used for two types of projects:

1. For companies, foundations and associations operating in the Finnish and/or international market whose business has been impacted by covid-19 and which have identified clear development needs in their business operations as the result of the exceptional circumstances caused by covid-19.

  • Beneficiaries can use the funding to search for new means of coping with the disruptive circumstances in its business and to improve operating conditions and renew business in order to remain competitive after the covid-19 crisis.
  • The funded project must attempt to directly solve a disruptive situation or business threat caused by covid-19.
  • The developed solution must offer competitive advantage at least in the Finnish market. Describe in the application within your own sector or in comparison with your competitors, what new or enhanced products, business processes, practices or services will be created as a result of this project.
  • The level of funding is generally 70%, and the maximum amount that may be granted is EUR 500,000.
  • In most cases, the so-called EUR 800,000 Temporary State Aid Framework of the European Commission applies to the funding; under it, a maximum of EUR 800,000 of support per company in total can be granted for an individual company (the whole group). The support of all public funders that use the Temporary Framework in question is included in the sum. For example, if the company has received support for business costs, this will be taken into account in the amount of the RDI loan granted by Business Finland, and the total sum may not exceed EUR 800,000. In contrast, de minimis support, of which the company can receive a maximum of EUR 200,000 over a period of three years, is not included in the EUR 800,000 Temporary State Aid Framework. If a company has received funding in disruptive circumstances granted by Business Finland and the ELY Centres, it will not reduce the quota of EUR 800,000; instead, the funding is included in the company's de minimis quota. The funding may also be granted on the basis of General Block Exemption Regulation if the company's accumulated quota of EUR 800,000 of Temporary State Aid has been reached.

2. For companies seeking international growth whose business has been impacted by covid-19 and that want to invest in research, development and innovation (RDI) activities during the exceptional circumstances in order to improve international competitiveness and the prerequisites for international growth.

  • In projects by companies, foundations and associations seeking international growth, Business Finland follows the so-called standard criteria for RDI funding. This means that developed solutions must seek a competitive advantage in at least the specified international markets.
  • The content of the funded project does not necessarily need to directly relate to solving the disruptive situation caused by covid-19, but applicants must demonstrate to Business Finland the negative impact or business threat caused by the crisis on business operations.
  • Standard funding level is 50%. No upper limit of the amount of granted funding.
  • Funding is generally approved on the basis of the General Block Exemption Regulation.

Business Finland's loan covers 50-70% of the approved project costs, depending on the project type as described above.. The company must cover 30-50 % of the costs through its own finances. The applicant must be able to prove to Business Finland that it has sufficient funds for the whole duration of the project. As Business Finland's funding is generally paid retrospectively, the funding receiver must first be able to pay the costs arising from the project itself.

The term of the loan is generally 7-10 years.