Call for applications for Feelings and Liideri – Business, Productivity and Joy at Work: People renewing business

People play a key role in the success of companies. The communities formed by company employees, supervisors, managers and customers create a business culture that can support or prevent the renewal of companies. A new understanding of the customer experience is needed to supplement business competence. We are looking for fresh views on how leading, developing and inspiring people and their communities can create successful business.
Application period: Tue 26.08.2014 - Mon 27.10.2014

In the joint application process for public funding of research projects in the Feelings programme and the Liideri programme, we are looking for multidisciplinary research projects networked with companies In this research application, we encourage participants to find new perspectives on renewing the leadership of people that combine expertise from different branches of science. We are not only looking for ideas that renew the internal organisational activities but for openings that provide a fresh perspective on the relationships that exist between companies, their customers, partners and other communities around them. We challenge applicants to boldly renew prevailing concepts of how people are seen, the principles that govern management, and deep-seated cultural structures.

Based on the applications received, a maximum of EUR 6 million will be allocated to public research projects. Parallel project packages involving companies and public research organisations will also be funded.

Content description for the call for applications

In this call for applications, we are interested in the different roles people can have in business and innovation activities, also in an international context: people as leaders, supervisors, employees, customers, end users, subscribers, enlightened citizens, members of a competence community, etc. We are interested in the community inspiration, creativity and work engagement of people and the diverse and multicultural networks formed by them, and how these can be successfully managed and developed.

We challenge applicants to take a bold, new approach to business and work methods, and to collaborative relationships with people inside their own organisation, customers and partners. Renewing the structures of Finnish business will require the creation of purposeful, people-oriented experimental and development activities in companies. Along with business competence, we need a new kind of client insight and expertise related to human communities.

At the core of the call for applications is a major change currently taking place in business and working life. Value chains are becoming more and more networked, also at the international level. Companies are reorganising their activities at a faster and faster pace. The importance of intangible factors as a source of company growth and innovations is increasing and this will require new operating methods and competence.

All business is moving online, at least to a certain extent. Social media is becoming an everyday tool for companies in terms of determining customer experiences and needs and for further development. The threshold to customer participation is becoming lower and there are more opportunities to make choices. In certain matters, the customer also has greater power. Work is becoming more virtual. Leadership is shared and in many companies teams function in a discretionary manner. Employees from several different companies may work at the same physical workplace. Gamification and playfulness are becoming more evident in business, for example, in start-ups.

In many cases, people and organisations continue to be led in a mechanical manner and according to the old production paradigm. In the long run, the viability of a company will require something more – an understanding of the issues, feelings and experiences that are meaningful to people, and the ability to integrate this understanding into the company's everyday operations: for example, in management practices, work methods, customer encounters. We need a diverse vision of people as a part of communities and networks, producing new ideas, and implementing, exploiting and using new innovations that create diverse value.

Application period and funding volume

The application process will be implemented in one phase. Applications must be submitted via the Tekes online application service.

The application period ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, 27 October 2014.

A programme selection is not made during the application phase. All applications for research funding submitted during the application period will be subjected to a joint assessment and no programme-specific funding allocations are offered. In the application form, select "Associated with another entity" and add "Feelings and Liideri".

The aim is to assess the applications and make funding decisions by the end of 2014.

Assessment criteria for projects

Public research networked with companies

In case of research organisations, Tekes funding share is generally 60% of the project's eligible costs. For large project packages involving close international cooperation, Tekes funding share can be 70% of eligible costs.

The aim of public research networked with companies is to achieve competence and results that can be used as a springboard for the companies' own research and development projects.

The precondition for funding is that the financial investment in the project by companies is at least 5% of the project's total costs Investment by parties potentially utilising the results (such as working hours) is beneficial to the project, but it cannot replace the required 5% partial funding.

Furthermore, Tekes is prepared to fund parallel projects of the companies in this theme area.

General Terms and Conditions for Public Research Funding at Tekes (pdf)

The following aspects will be emphasised when evaluating the research projects:

  • Applicability to the content of the call for applications and the goals of the programmes involved.
  • Currentness and challenge, a bold and novel approach to the theme of the call.
  • Multidisciplinary nature and the level of networking. A multidisciplinary approach can be carried out within a single research group or as cooperation between research groups. We encourage applicants to seek partners across different branches of science.
  • The research results must lend themselves to extensive utilisation and impact of the utilisation plan. A concrete plan for implementation of the research results, the mechanisms to be used in the transfer of competence, and for active communications of the results in all phases of the project is an advantage.
  • Parallel company projects are considered a plus.

An event to advise applicants will be held in Helsinki on Thursday 30 September at 12:15–4 pm: (in Finnish). This event is intended to review the theme of the call and answer questions. You can also book an appointment for one-on-one discussion with a Tekes expert and for networking with others who are interested in the same theme. Register now to secure a place: the event is for 100 participants only.

For further information on the call for applications, please contact

Minna Suutari
Programme Manager of the Feelings programme
minna.suutari (at)
tel. +358 2950 55830

Nuppu Rouhiainen
Programme Manager of the Liideri – Business, Productivity and Joy at Work programme
nuppu.rouhiainen (at)
tel. +358 2950 55949