Call for research funding applications for BEAM – Business with Impact programme

Tekes and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' BEAM - Business with Impact – programme is launching a call for research proposals for innovations meeting the needs of developing countries and providing Finnish companies with new business opportunities in the growing markets of such countries. The innovations in question can involve technology, service, business or social innovations, for example.
Application period: Thu 10.12.2015 - Thu 31.03.2016

We are looking for multidisciplinary research projects involving networking with the private sector, which are being implemented within research organisations (universities, institutions of higher education, research institutes or universities of applied sciences). The application should identify and describe a challenge/problem facing developing countries and seek new solutions to it based on innovations which can be further developed and commercialised by Finnish companies. One of the requirements for funding is that the project should include at least two research units, a recognisable path to the practical uses of the research results, and should have participating businesses. For 2016, Tekes and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs have budgeted EUR 1.5 million for research projects participating in the BEAM programme.

The applications are not restricted to particular technologies. The target countries can be any of the developing countries listed as eligible for official development assistance by the OECD/DAC, excluding China.

International cooperation

Such networked projects should also involve tangible cooperation – of which a thorough description must be given in the application – with a university or research institute in a developing country. Other international cooperation will be viewed as an advantage. The application should also specify how cooperation with the developing country will serve to commercialise the research results and innovations in partnership with Finnish companies. If the project is international, Tekes can only fund the Finnish project participants.

Participation of businesses in the research project

We require that businesses interested in using the research results also participate in the financing of the projects. The project steering group must involve representatives of such businesses. We will consider it a positive factor if the businesses already participate in the preparation and application stage of the research project.

The research project must have funding from at least three businesses, one of which must be a small or medium-sized enterprise. Funding from businesses that will potentially use the research results must cover at least 10% of the project's total costs. If the project's total costs are EUR 300,000 or less, business R&D funding must be monetary. If the project's total costs surpass EUR 300,000, the companies must fund at least 5% of the project's total costs.
In addition, it is required that the companies provide work related to the project.
So-called in-kind is not regarded as self-funding. Further information about projects networked with companies.

The results of the project must be public. The results of the research project will provide the groundwork for the companies' own research and development work. The research project cannot include direct product development for the companies involved. However, the companies funding the project have the primary right to negotiate over the commercial exploitation of the results.

Tekes favours open access scientific publishing

Tekes is committed to the objectives and approaches of open access science and research. We aim to make publications and the non-confidential information resulting from public research readily available for further use. Open access publishing promotes the wider use of research results for research and commercial purposes.

We recommend open access publishing in public research projects by Tekes. The project research plan must include a publication plan which takes account of open access publishing. We recommend that you consult your own organisation's guidelines on Open Access publishing.

Evaluation of applications

Applications will be evaluated jointly by Tekes and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and funding decisions will be made by Tekes. Important evaluation factors:

  • the novelty value and challenging nature of the technology or competence to be developed
  • the impact of the project results on the development of business and on societies in Finland and overseas
  • the role of businesses in the realisation and steering of the project and the commercial exploitation of its results
  • the resources and level of expertise of those involved in the project
  • international cooperation

In addition to Tekes' standard evaluation, the impacts of the project proposal in developing countries will be evaluated. For this reason, a report on impacts in developing countries must be appended to the electronic application. The evaluation will also take account of other, competing funding applications.

Application process

Applications must be submitted through Tekes online service. Applicants should also include a project description in Finnish and English.

Companies may apply for funding throughout the programme.

Application schedule

  • The application period begins on 9 December 2015
  • Information event on 2 February 2016
  • The application period ends on 31 March 2016
  • Funding decisions on 15 May 2016

Information event on the programme and the application process on 2 February 2016
An information event concerning the BEAM application process will be held on 2 February 2016 in Tekes' premises. After the event, participants will have the opportunity to discuss their research idea with BEAM experts.

Links

For further information, please contact

Juha Miettinen (BEAM programme coordinator)
juha.miettinen(at)spinverse.com
Tel. +358 400 512 562

Christopher Palmberg
christopher.palmberg(at)tekes.fi
Tel. +358 50 5577 966

Markku Lämsä
markku.lamsa(at)tekes.fi
Tel. +358 50 5577 793