How are funding decisions made? How is the use of funds monitored? How is Business Finland monitored? Here are six points about Business Finland's funding practices. You can also find out more about the projects funded by Business Finland in our open funding database.
Business Finland's expertise and funding services are meant for companies seeking bold business growth and renewal in the international market. Business Finland funding is always discretionary and based on the company's plan, resources and ability to carry out the project to be funded. The scale of business development projects and the granted funding vary, as companies have different capabilities and needs to carry out research and product development projects.
The progress of the funded project and the use of the funding are monitored through interim reports. At the end of the project, the company sends Business Finland a final report within four months of ending the project.
In the report, the company describes
The payment is conditional on the project having been carried out according to the project plan and in compliance with the funding decision and conditions.
Business Finland pays the funding in several instalments. The payment depends on the type of funding granted to the company. For example, a grant and a loan have different funding conditions. Some types of funding allow the company to receive an advance once the funding has been granted. The rest of the funding is paid once the company has submitted the final project report to Business Finland and the report and project costs have been approved by a Business Finland expert.
The costs must be recorded in the company's accounts as paid when submitting the final project report and cost statement. The company's auditor must certify that the costs have been incurred for the project.
Business Finland can perform a cost audit on an ongoing project. In addition to the regular project monitoring, Business Finland can also carry out more detailed subsequent monitoring for some projects. The projects subjected to a subsequent follow-up audit are selected randomly or based on a risk assessment, or when there is reason to suspect irregularities.
The follow-up audit is meant to ensure that the work for which costs have been reported to Business Finland during the project period has been carried out according to the funding conditions.
Business Finland also conducts background checks on its customers to prevent, for example, money laundering and support for illegal and unethical activities.
Business Finland is a public organization under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Business Finland’s activity is based on the Business Finland Act. Business Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment make an annual performance agreement, the progress of which Business Finland regularly reports to the Ministry.
The purpose of Business Finland's internal control is to ensure that its finances and operations comply with the law. Business Finland monitors the use of its funding and the quality of its own operations through regular audits. These audits assess the quality of both the preparatory work for funding decisions as well as the monitoring work during the duration of the project.
The National Audit Office of Finland (VTV) audits the legality of the state's financial management and also carries out audits of Business Finland's activities.
Performance management documents (in Finnish)
Business Finland has the possibility to suspend funding, disallow costs submitted or claw back the granted funding if the costs incurred by the project do not comply with the funding conditions, the funding has not been used for the purpose specified in the funding decision, or the funding conditions have not been respected. In cases of suspected misuse of funding, Business Finland may, if necessary, submit a request for investigation to the police.
Decisions are assessed based on the information provided in the application, the project plan and the company's financial data. Several people are involved in the processing, decision-making and monitoring of the funding application. Decisions are made on presentation, i.e., the decision-maker and the person preparing the decision are different people.
Business Finland takes the issue of experts' affiliation and disqualification very seriously. Business Finland has adopted a Code of Conduct that prohibits people who work with customers from holding management positions, such as board members or CEOs. Business Finland's staff is regularly trained in matters regarding affiliations and disqualification. Every client-facing employee has the responsibility to be aware of situations where conflicts of interest may arise and to refrain from dealing with such matters at all times. Such situations include, for example, applications from related parties. Business Finland addresses misconduct, and it is the duty of every employee to report suspected misconduct.
Funding granted and paid by Business Finland is published in Business Finland's open funding database. You can view the funding data of an individual company under the tab "Customers".