The mission of Tekes is to create sustained economic development and wellbeing in the environment. Tekes finances research, development, and innovation projects with the aim of blazing trails.
"We are looking for daring new openings, projects aimed at breakthroughs, radical renewal. Our goal is to help companies build new business activities out of strengths and new openings", says Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes.
"Companies seeking growth by becoming more international are our most important target group. The majority of Finnish growth companies that have been successful abroad are our clients. This is an indication of the accuracy of our financing", Soini says.
"Start-up companies are the seeds of growth, and large enterprises and research organisations are important cultivators of know-how and networkers of skilled people", he says, describing the different groups of clients.
Innovation funding with proven impact
In 2013 Tekes invested 577 million euros into projects of companies and research organisations. Of the 349 million euros invested in corporate projects, 67 per cent targeted small and medium-sized enterprises. In projects completed during the year, 1,270 products, services, or processes, and 1,030 patents or patent applications emerged.
Corporate comparisons showed the good accuracy of Tekes funding. In 2009-2012 the turnover of small and medium-sized companies financed by Tekes grew 20 percentage points more than in other equivalent companies. The increase in jobs was 17 percentage points more. The annual growth in exports was 20 per cent.
Growth in innovative companies of young people was five times as high as that of the companies that they were compared with. Annual growth was an average 150 per cent in 2006-2010. Tekes financing strengthened the planning and management of business activities, and the ability to attract investment from the private market. Tekes has financed 198 companies by a total of 127 million euros in 2007-2013.
The Innovation Mill and Idea circulation projects commercialise business ideas and technology released by large companies. These projects gave rise to 74 growth companies in a period of just over three years. Tekes has financed projects and companies that have emerged within them to the tune of 19 million euros. The companies have collected 15 million euros in risk capital.
Turnover in the Finnish gaming industry has increased more than eightfold from 2009 and is now 800 million euros. The amount of personnel has doubled in the same time. The sector now employs about 2 200 people. The long-term and systematic financing of Tekes has been a significant factor in the growth of the gaming industry. Success in the field is based on the powerful core skills, creativity, and innovativeness of companies, which cannot easily be taken out of the country.