Strategic research openings 1/2014

Tekes is asking for new proposals for strategic research openings. Strategic research openings are projects aspiring for breakthroughs, creating new high-level competences and aiming at the creation of significant new areas of growth in Finland.

Applications to strategic research openings are accepted for Tekes' strategy focus areas, which are considered important for the Finnish economy. No business participation is required.

Tekes has revised its funding for strategic research openings. The scope of the project has not been limited in advance, and projects are no longer divided into large and small projects.

Tekes can fund projects carried out by a research organisation operating in Finland.

Application deadline: February 28, 2014

The application should contain a presentation of a vision of

  • what kinds of new business can be created with the new knowledge and competence achieved during the project
  • how the research results can be utilised
  • the methods used in the project to achieve the aspired level of competence

The following criteria are used to evaluate the applications

Novelty: A vision of a future requirement for competence as well as the significance of the developed competence for the renewal of the economy. Novelty here refers to truly new perspectives, unique combinations of topics or novelty in itself. Applying existing competence to new areas of study is not sufficient.

Strategy: Strategy means that the opening has the potential of creating significant and lasting change in the Finnish economy.

Challenge: The vision must be challenging and it should require long-term development of competence. The implementation of the project will create competence that can be used to achieve goals that seem impossible at the moment.

Impact: The implementation of the vision would significantly and widely affect the renewal of the Finnish economy. The changes would probably happen over a long period of time – companies may become interested in the matter even during or after the project itself.

Feasibility: The vision is clear and concrete enough for its progress to be clearly mapped. The project's roadmap must include a description of the possible challenges of the operational environment (for example changes in legislation) that must be solved in order for the project to be successful. The roadmap should contain descriptions of all parties involved in the implementation of the vision.

Management and resources: The strategic research opening should have a good leader, committed organisational management and a team of competent experts.

Co-operation and scope: A good vision is often multidisciplinary; developing competence into expertise requires co-operation with international experts. The joint venture must include the best expertise available in the field. Description of the level of expertise worldwide as well as all partners must be included.

We encourage applicants to form the steering group of the strategic research opening from people who are the most central to the utilisation of the results. The project can include preparing for commercialisation. Tekes usually funds 60 % of the project's costs.

Application process

The application process begins with conversations with Tekes. The actual application should be submitted by February 28, 2014 through the online service on Tekes' website.

The application period of spring 2014 is the primary application period. Additionally, applications are accepted in September 2014.

Information for applicants

On January 28, 2014 at 12.30–16, Tekes organises an event where information is given to the applicants of the strategic research openings. For registration, please visit the event's website.

If you believe that you and your partner network have a significant topic that fulfils the above-mentioned criteria:

Please contact Tekes and prepare to present your topic.

How does your topic correspond to the given criteria?Prepare for a process where possible new perspectives can be suggested for your topic. Prepare to introduce your topic briefly to an international group of evaluators later in the spring.

Only the best ideas will be invited for this evaluation and further instructions will be given separately. The final scope and phasing of the projects being funded by Tekes will be defined in co-operation with Tekes' experts. The final screening will be very strict.

Tekes will organise an information event about the strategic research openings on 28th January in the afternoon. More details of the event will be published on the Tekes website shortly.

Contact persons

Preliminary conversations for project outlines:

Pekka Kahri, Director, tel. +358 50 5577 684
Kimmo Kanto, Director, tel. +358 50 5577 852
Ilona Lundström, Director, tel. +358 50 5577 678

Questions related to the practical funding process of the strategic research openings:

Jari Toivo, Director, tel. +358 50 5577 884
Tuomo Suortti, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 50 5577 855

Our e-mail addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)tekes.fi.