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Release 16.01.2024

Companies granted EUR 416 million in innovation funding

Nina Kopola, Director General

In total, the funding granted by Business Finland last year amounted to EUR 726 million. The share of funding granted to companies was EUR 599 million, and EUR 416 million of this was innovation funding. EUR 127 million was granted to research. The exports of Business Finland’s customers have grown most in high-value-added products and services.

“Innovation funding creates competitiveness and sustainable growth for Finland through promoting development. Productivity growth is crucial for Finland, and it is generated by companies with new initiatives and the commercialization of their innovations. The key to success is to combine insightful product and service ideas with growth markets,” says Nina Kopola, director general of Business Finland.

According to Kopola, companies that have received research, development, and innovation funding also invest equity more generously themselves. The RDI investments of the funded companies were more than double (16.4%) compared to the overall growth rate (5.9%) during 2021–2022. The growth also doubled in the 2020–2021 period.

Last year’s single largest amount of innovation funding, EUR 48.9 million, was granted to Nokia Solutions and Networks. The company’s leading company project, which involved 120 partners, came to its end. The companies’ combined investments in RDI activities in the 2020–2023 period totaled more than EUR 200 million.

One example of Business Finland’s new initiatives is the deep tech funding launched last year. The Deep Tech funding pilot promotes the utilization of research results in startups and speeds up their market entry. Nearly EUR 7 million in funding was granted to a total of 17 startups.

“Deep tech can strengthen the technological leadership of Europe and Finland and create new solutions to social problems, such as the challenges brought by the climate change and cyber threats. Deep tech startups have the potential to revolutionize entire industries.”

Customer companies’ exports have increased – the general export situation is demanding

The export development of Business Finland’s customer companies has been on the rise, as the exports of companies that received innovation funding in 2020 increased until the end of 2023.

“The startups funded previously, and the very top level of startups in particular have increased their exports to EUR 2 billion. Exports of our customers that are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have grown moderately since 2021. This amounts to about 25% of the total exports. Increasing high-added-value exports would be of utmost importance.

We encourage companies to enter new growth markets, because in many traditional markets the growth trend may even be negative,” says Risto Vuohelainen, director of Business Finland’s export promotion services.

SMEs have maintained a good export momentum. For large companies, the export prospects are currently more demanding. Business Finland’s customer exports have grown most in high-value-added categories, such as services, software, and high tech.

Through Business Finland’s systematic two-year export promotion projects, companies generated new sales of hundreds of millions of euros, and the projects accumulated business opportunities worth more than EUR 2 billion. The projects focused on areas such as low-carbon construction in Europe, port investments in the United States, and the digitalization of government services in South America. The projects involved 215 Finnish companies. They took advantage of 29 delegation visits to target markets and other services offered by the Team Finland network In various ways.

“Our entire global network of 38 offices works to ensure that companies would have the best possible starting point to grow their business in international markets,” Vuohelainen sums up.

More information

Timo Metsä-Tokila
Executive Director, Funding Service
Business Finland
tel. +358 40 750 2442

Risto Vuohelainen
COO and Executive Director, Global Growth Internationalization Services
tel. +358 40 546 1217

Miia Linnusmaa
tel. +358 50 5577 958