Call for applications aimed at research organisations and companies – New business from digitalisation

Application period: Fri 15.01.2016 - Mon 09.05.2016

At whom is the call for proposals aimed?

Tekes "New business from digitalisation" call for applications is intended for multidisciplinary projects by research organisations, involving networking with the private sector. Tekes programmes have no separate application calls, but the related research needs are covered by three annual application rounds.

Decisions on projects for which funding is granted will be made in the period August to September 2016.

  1. We are now inviting applications from large-scale research projects, based on the research and competence needs of businesses. A total of 10% of the beneficiary funding for research projects must come from companies. Participation notices by the beneficiaries of the project and applications must be submitted to Tekes by 9 May 2016 at the latest. Tekes will make a maximum of EUR 8 million available for research organisations.
    Further information on research projects  

  2. We also encourage applications for joint research projects involving the private sector. Depending on the nature of the project, private sector projects will be funded based on grants or loans, alongside the research organisations in question. The call for applications will also support the implementation of the goals of the Government's expertise and education spearhead, in order to strengthen collaboration between universities and business life and promote the commercialisation of research.
    Further information on joint projects

1. What kind of research will we fund?

The aim of the call for applications is to accelerate the development of new digital business across traditional sectoral boundaries. This call for applications involves the Tekes funding of multi-disciplinary research based on the following themes in particular:

  • How to create value from data: use of Big Data, as well as the development of new smart and efficient analysis methods as a basis for digital business solutions and services. One priority is MyData, including data ownership, data sharing, exploitation and issues related to privacy.

  • IoT and the use of wireless technologies in various application areas of digitalisation, such as health technology, industrial production systems and intelligent transportation.  The research should take account of e.g. the energy efficiency and security of ICT solutions, system interoperability, as well as new business areas and models.

  • The utilisation of robotics, software robotics, intelligent machines and production systems in various application areas, from healthcare to industry, as well as research into the development and commercial applications of specialised robotics (e.g. satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and underwater robotics). The research must be aimed at resolving the challenges associated with new applications in terms of availability (robot/human cooperation, security), technologies (software, sensor technology, mechanics) and the business opportunity perspective.

  • Commercial exploitation of block chain technologies, excluding digital currency (Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies etc.) applications. A small number of strategic projects, which examine the suitability of block chain technologies other than applications related to digital currencies, in areas such as smart product and service platforms, may be funded based on this call for applications.

  • Transfer of expertise from EU-funded projects to Finnish companies. A considerable amount of new competencies and knowledge have been developed on a consortium-wide basis in projects involving the study or exploitation of digitalisation that are already completed or due for completion in 2016. Most such projects form part of the seventh EU Framework Programme, ARTEMIS JU, ENIAC JU and other EU-funded projects. Foreign and Finnish universities, research institutes and, to some extent, companies have widely published much of this information, or it is otherwise open (or negotiable) for exploitation by Finnish companies. Partners in such projects can apply for funding via this call for applications, if the application involves the further utilisation of know-how – resulting from an EU-funded project – within the Finnish economy.

In the case of projects related to the above-mentioned themes, we expect the applicant to have a strong multidisciplinary ability to contribute aspects such as the management of rights and expertise related to intellectual property in the digital business sector, the customer and organisational perspective, as well as new digital business openings and transformations of practices.

Project evaluation and the hallmarks of a good application:

  1. We fund projects that are challenging and inventive in terms of research – ones that create entirely new innovations in the market – within the field of the call for applications. The envisaged project results must have international novelty value.

  2. The projects must have been designed in collaboration with the private sector and the research plan must be structured around the joint research needs of groups of companies. Avoid resolving cases that are close to the product development activities of individual enterprises. The research challenge and business research needs in question must be clearly presented in a compact research plan.

  3. In addition to self-financing, research projects must include corporate financing accounting for at least 10% of the approved project costs, from more than two companies. Other beneficiaries (such as public sector actors) can also contribute funding to the project.

    Participation notices submitted by businesses will play an important part in the project evaluation process. Companies participating in projects must answer the following questions:
      • What are the most important expertise needs identified by the business that will ensure its ability to reinvent itself and make it competitive in this field internationally?
      • How will the outcomes of the research project increase the business’s expertise?
      • How will the business make use of the outcomes of the research project in practice?
      • Businesses must submit their project participation notifications to Tekes as appendices to the related application by 9 May 2016.

  4. A clear and versatile exploitation plan for the results must be presented in the project plan. We support the planning of projects that promote the growth and modernisation of medium-sized businesses’ international activities.

  5. The project must feature versatile expertise within its research team and credible resourcing.

  6. We do not provide funding for research that overlaps with the activities of the Strategic Research Council or the Academy of Finland.

  7. To guarantee an impartial and effective evaluation process, applications and supplementary accounts of company participation lodged after the deadline will not be included in the joint evaluation process – funding will not, therefore, be granted for late applications.


2. Funding for joint projects involving companies and research organisations

Companies and research organisations can engage in a joint research project and apply for funding for other projects in addition to the research themes mentioned in section 1. When the partner is a university or a research institute, Tekes requires that the research needs serving as the starting point for the project plan have been identified by the companies involved. The research organisation's project must support the business's innovation focus and the results must be made public and widely accessible. If there is intense competition for the research funding, priority will be given to joint projects since their business commitment is stronger from the perspective of the exploitation of the results.
Further information on joint projects

Project discussions and applying for funding

We will be delighted to discuss projects in the planning stage during the application period. In particular, applicants planning industry-driven, joint projects should contact a Tekes expert at the earliest possible stage.

Tekes will organise discussion opportunities on projects either for individual project groups, or for research organisations on a coordinated basis. We recommend that you facilitate the discussion by sending us a summary of your project in advance.

Please send a free-form, 1-2 page summary of the research project to the address digi(at) by 11 March 2016 at the latest. Tekes will agree on project discussions with those who send summaries, most of which will be held in March 2016.

Applications and business' participation notices must be submitted to Tekes by 11:59 p.m. on Mon 9 May 2016 via the online service. From the menu item "Is the application related to a Tekes programme or theme?" located in the basic information section of the application form, select Digihaku 2016.

To guarantee an impartial and effective evaluation process, applications and supplementary accounts of company participation lodged after the deadline will not be included in the joint evaluation process – funding will not, therefore, be granted for late applications. 

EU-funded  ICT applications

We recommend that you also investigate the suitability of your research in terms of the Horizon 2020 themes. ICT is comprehensively covered in the Horizon programme, for example in the following areas:

  • The Future Emerging Technologies theme forming part of the Excellent Sciences Pillar, particularly FET Open and FET Proactive.
  • The ICT theme focused on ICT technological development in the Industrial Leadership Pillar.
  • Themes in the Societal Challenges Pillar concerning the use of ICT as an enabler in areas such as health, the bioeconomy, energy efficiency and transport.

Further information on ICT in Horizon 2020 can be found here. From you can find information on participation and project preparation (including the funding of preparations) and the contact details of national contact persons (NCPs).

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.

From whom can I obtain further information?

Chief Adviser Marko Heikkinen (call in general)
Tel. +358 50 5577 773
marko.heikkinen (at)

Chief Adviser Kimmo Ahola (call in general)
Tel. +358 50 5577 756
kimmo.ahola (at)

Programme Manager Mika Klemettinen (5thGear Programme)
Tel. +358 50 5577 647
mika.klemettinen (at)

Programme Manager Tiina Nurmi (Teollinen internet Programme)
Tel. +358 50 5577 868
tiina.nurmi (at)

Programme Manager Nuppu Rouhiainen (Liideri Programme, management and business models)
Tel. +358 50 5577 949
nuppu.rouhiainen (at)

Programme Manager Sanna Piiroinen (Feelings Programme)
Tel. +358 50 5577 935
sanna.piiroinen (at)

Programme Manager Karin Wikman (Witty City Programme, H2020 SME Committee member)
Tel. +358 50 5577 723
karin.wikman (at)

Programme Manager Piia Moilanen (Arctic Seas Programme)
Tel. +358 50 5577 748
piia.moilanen (at)

Programme Manager Kari Kataja (Bits of Health Programme)
Tel. +358 50 5577 626
kari.kataja (at)

Director Virpi Mikkonen (call in general)
Tel. +358 50 5577 930
virpi.mikkonen (at)

EU Funding

Chief Adviser Jouko Hautamäki
National Contact Point
Tel. +358 2950 22038
jouko.hautamaki (at)

Adviser Jouko Salo
National Contact Point
Tel.+358 2950 36098
jouko.salo (at)

Senior Adviser Katja Ahola
ICT Committee Member
Tel. +358 50 5577 815
katja.ahola (at)