STARTUP

Research, development and piloting

Who can apply?

Tekes offers research and development funding for startup companies that have already tested the functionality of their product or service concept and aim to expand to the export markets. Tekes funding is available for startups registered in Finland.

What do we fund?

Tekes R&D funding enables a company to develop products or services, production methods and business models. The company can also test and demonstrate the operation of a new, innovative solution and evaluate the benefits together with its customers.

When?

  • The company wants to develop a new product or service and grow in its export markets.
  • The company wants to test the functioning of a solution close to the commercialisation phase, in an authentic environment.
  • The company needs customer feedback on the functioning of the product or service during the commercialisation phase.
  • The company plans to build completely new competencies that enable the differentiation of the new solution on the international market.
  • The company plans to collaborate with a research organisation in order to accelerate product development.

How to apply?

The application for funding is made by using the  Tekes online services. Before submitting your application, please contact us by presenting your idea via the Team Finland service form. This will help you find a suitable funding service for your situation and speed up the application process.

What can the funding be used for?

1 Develop the product or service

With Tekes funding, companies can renew their existing products or services, production methods and business models, or develop new ones. Tekes funds R&D through loans.

2 Test and demonstrate functionality through a pilot

Involving customers in development work is beneficial in all business sectors. With Tekes funding, a company can pilot the features of a new, innovative solution alongside customers and obtain feedback for further R&D. Piloting can consist of a quick trial, as is often the case in software development, or involve long development processes, as in the energy or processing industries. Piloting can also be carried out abroad. Piloting can involve:

  • The testing of a new innovative product, production method, process or technology in, for example, a production facility.
  • The development and testing of a new innovative operating model or system in a real operating environment, for example, in a city district, traffic, or as part of client companies' operations.
  • The development of a new innovative service and ensuring that it functions in the customer's operating environment and processes.

Tekes funds piloting through loans.

3 Creating new knowledge and competencies

Improve the competencies of your business and enhance the competitiveness of your products and services. Collaborate with universities and research organisations. Tekes uses grants to fund new, innovative research.

Loan or grant?


A Tekes loan is suitable for piloting and product development close to the commercialisation stage. Tekes provides grants for companies' research projects which focus on the creation of new competencies.

Funding levels

Loan for development and piloting

Loan funding from Tekes is advantageous for companies. At the moment, the interest rate is one per cent, and no collateral is required in most cases. If the project fails or its results cannot be commercially exploited, the loan may be partially converted into a grant.

The loan amount

For SMEs' development and piloting projects, Tekes grants a loan covering 50% or 70% of the project's total costs. As a rule, the loan period is seven or ten years, of which three or five years – even more if necessary – can be amortisation-free.

Repayment of the loan

At the beginning of the project, 30% of the loan can be granted for the project in advance. The rest of the Tekes funding is paid on the basis of the actual costs.

Grant for research and creation of new knowledge

Tekes grants are intended for R&D by companies that generates new knowledge and competencies, but not a finished product or service at this stage.

The amount of the grant

Tekes can award grants covering up to 50% of the total costs of SME research projects. For international joint projects, the funding can cover up to 65%.

Payment of grant

Tekes will pay the grant based on the reported actual costs.

Eligible costs

Costs approved by Tekes

The content and goals of a project determine what costs are accepted for it. Tekes will approve costs from the date when an application satisfying the related requirements was sent to Tekes.

In research and development projects, eligible cost categories can include

  • salaries
  • indirect personnel costs
  • overheads
  • travel expenses
  • costs of materials and supplies
  • machinery and equipment purchases
  • machinery and equipment depreciation costs/machinery equipment rentals
  • purchased services

Eligible costs for a piloting project can include:

  • costs of materials and supplies
  • design costs associated with the subject
  • commercialisation costs
  • costs associated with the use of premises during the project
  • R&D costs associated with the pilot or demonstration projects
  • leases or depreciation costs for land, buildings, machinery and equipment associated with the project

The recipient must inform Tekes without delay, or at the latest upon presentation of the final report, if it earns revenues during the piloting project or immediately after its completion from selling a prototype, a demonstration project or the results of trial production arising from the project. If such income is substantial, Tekes may not approve the reimbursement of costs derived from commercial operations.

Get in touch

Find the right funding service

Introduce your business plan via a secure online form. We will contact you within a week.

Team Finland Customer Service

Tel. +358 2950 20510
weekdays 9 am to 4 pm

Advice about Tekes and Team Finland services for companies seeking to grow in the export markets.

Tekes advisers

If you have received funding from Tekes in the past, you can also get in direct touch with your contact person at Tekes.