BEAM is the first joint Team Finland programme of Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation – and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and, at the same time, a new kind of tool for development cooperation and business-oriented innovation.
The aim is to encourage enterprises, in cooperation with other actors, to develop innovations that improve well-being in poor countries while also giving rise to sustainable business in both Finland and developing countries.
"Solving development problems calls for sustainable solutions as well as cooperation. BEAM is a new possibility for finding innovations through development cooperation; innovations that bring benefits to both developing countries and Finns," says Minister for International Development Sirpa Paatero.
The programme has a total volume of EUR 50 million, about 50 per cent of which is financed by Tekes and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The other half of the financing comes from enterprises and other actors.
"The greatest economic growth currently takes place in developing countries and emerging markets. For this reason Finnish enterprises should actively seek new opportunities for business growth in these countries," says Director General Pekka Soini of Tekes.
It is hoped that the programme will attract especially large-scale ecosystem projects, which may include enterprises, research institutes, non-governmental organizations and other actors. The applicant for financing must be a Finnish actor, but a partner or, for instance, a subcontractor can be from a developing country. The central consideration is that cooperation can be a means for promoting social development and generating sustainable business.
Companies can apply for financing throughout the duration of the programme, i.e. 1 January 2015–30 September 2019, but one can come to discuss ideas now. Targeted applications will be arranged for universities and research institutes.
Programme Manager Pia Salokoski, Tekes
tel. +358 2950 55672, pia.salokoski(at)tekes.fi
Counsellor Pertti Ikonen, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
tel. +358 2953 50926, pertti.ikonen(at)formin.fi