Funding for Indo–Finnish collaboration

Application period: 11.9.2013-24.1.2014

Technologies and solutions for health and well-being

Tekes and the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT), in partnership with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) will jointly fund Indo-Finnish R&D and innovation cooperation.

Funding is available for both industrial projects and projects of research organisations. Collaborative projects between industry and academia are encouraged. In case of academic research, projects that engage a technology developer and a technology end-user/first customer are strongly recommended.

The aim is to launch ambitious joint projects of a high international standard between Finnish and Indian organisations. Potential projects will be funded by Tekes in Finland, and by DBT in partnership with BIRAC in India.

The joint projects must meet the requirements of the funding organisations. In the Finnish part of the project, the general funding terms of Tekes will be applied, and in the Indian part of the project, the general funding terms of DBT/BIRAC will be applied.

Timetable of the call

Launch of the call: 11 Sept. 2013
Dead-line for project proposals: 24 January 2014
Funding decisions: latest in June 2014

Detailed information about the call and guidelines for applicants can be found through the following links:

What kind of projects will be funded?

The projects funded in this call are expected to recognise a real need and aim to solve a relevant problem in India or globally.

The projects must be Finnish-Indian joint projects with a common project plan and they need to build up Finnish-Indian partnerships in order to enhance benefits to come for both Indian and Finnish economic life and society. At least one organisation from Finland and one organisation from India must be involved as partners.

The projects are expected to be multidisciplinary, combining e.g. health technology or diagnostics expertise with bio-IT knowledge and mobile technologies. Understanding the user needs and how the solution will benefit the patient or the customer will be crucial.

Projects may focus on many different applications including but not restricted to e.g. the following:

  • technologies and solutions for health and well-being.
  • medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare technologies; digital and mobile solutions for these.
  • utilisation of big data for developing health innovations.
  • environmental monitoring with impact in health and well-being.

The projects may aim to develop affordable solutions for low-resource settings, e.g. Indian rural needs, or focus on higher-end products and services. Total solutions that innovatively take into account different challenges related to a problem will be favoured. Engaging end-users or customers in the projects is strongly encouraged.

Public research projects funded in this call by Tekes are expected to including close collaboration with companies or other type of organisations interested in commercially utilising the results. Co-funding from third parties is required, and will be a competitive advantage in the evaluation. As a guiding principle, the sum of financial and in-kind contribution should cover at least 10 % of the research project costs.

Company projects will be funded by Tekes according to its normal funding terms.

How to apply

Finnish and Indian partners apply for funding from their national funding organisations according to each funding organisations' practices.

Finnish applicants shall make their applications following Tekes' normal quidelines and using Tekes' online services. Note also Tekes' practices on funding researcher exchange.

Further information on Tekes' funding is available in Finnish or in English.

Finnish and Indian co-applicants will develop a joint project plan that will be sent to both Tekes and DBT together with the funding organisation -specific documents. See Guidelines for writing a joint project plan (docx).

Indian applicants apply for funding from DBT/BIRAC. The joint project plan alongwith the budget details will be submitted through E-mail at

Applicants are recommended to contact their national funding organisation before submitting applications. Please see Further information for contact information.

Review Process and Evaluation

All applications will be handled strictly confidentially.

Tekes will evaluate the applications using Tekes' normal in-house evaluation procedure, and DBT/BIRAC using their normal evaluation procedure with outside evaluators. To harmonise the processes, common evaluation questions will be used by both organisations. Based on both evaluation results, Tekes and DBT/BIRAC will form a consensus on the projects to be funded.

Evaluation criteria

The joint projects must meet the general requirements of the funding organisations.

The projects to be funded are chosen by evaluating them as a whole. The evaluation is based on the points listed in the Guidelines for writing a project plan (docx). Special emphasis will be on

  • relevance of the recognised problem and the proposed solution
  • novelty, quality and innovativeness of the project plan
  • impact of funding through utilisation of the results (intended business or other type of utilisation, impact on renewal and competitiveness of businesses)
  • technology, innovation or know-how to be developed
  • feasibility of the project plan
  • resources to be used
  • cooperation to be developed or utilised; value addition.
  • benefit created to the Finnish and Indian partners
  • impact on economic, societal and environmental wellbeing factors for both countries
Funding decisions

Tekes and DBT/BIRAC will, after having formed their mutual understanding on the projects to be funded, make their funding decisions according to their normal procedures.

Tekes and DBT/BIRAC will inform their grantees about the funding decisions according to their normal practices.

Administration of the funded projects

Funding granted by Tekes and DBT/BIRAC will be governed by the general terms and conditions of each funding organisation, respectively.

For information about Tekes' funding terms see: Useful information about Tekes' funding principles.

Intellectual property

Tekes- and DBT/BIRAC-funded participants to the projects shall agree upon the ownership, access rights and exploitation of the intellectual property generated during the cooperation. The agreements shall be made in written. The guidelines of the funding organisations should be followed when making the agreements.

In minimum a letter of intent between the collaborators should be included in the application stating the desire for cooperation and acknowledging that each participant has understood the general terms and conditions of the other project parties.

How to find partners?

Tekes and DBT/BIRAC are willing to help Finnish organisations find Indian partners and Indian organisations find Finnish partners.

Valuable information for partnering with Finnish organisations:

Valuable information for partnering with Indian organisations:

Biotechnology Landscape in India (pdf)
Diagnostics Opportunities in India – Guide for Finnish Companies (pdf)

Useful information about Finland and India
Useful information about Tekes' funding principles
Funding organisations in nutshell

Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India
DBT is one of the leading research organisations for biotechnology in India, and an important funding source for biotechnology. The mandate of DBT includes

  • Promote large scale use of Biotechnology
  • Support R&D and manufacturing in Biology
  • Responsibility for Autonomous Institutions
  • Promote University and Industry Interaction
  • Identify and Set up Centres of Excellence for R&D
  • Integrated Programme for Human Resource Development
  • To serve as Nodal Point for specific International Collaborations
  • Establishment of Infrastructure Facilities to support R&D and production
  • Evolve Bio Safety Guidelines, manufacture and application of cell based vaccines
  • Serve as nodal point for the collection and dissemination of information relating to biotechnology

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
BIRAC has been set up as Department of Biotechnology's interface agency, which serves as a single window for the emerging biotech industries. BIRAC is guided by an Independent Board of Directors comprising senior professionals, academicians, policy makers and industrialists.

As a Government of India enterprise, it endeavours to bring professionalism, transparency and efficiency into its functioning while providing support to catalyse the transformation of the emerging Indian bio-economy.

BIRAC's vision is to stimulate, foster and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry, particularly start ups and SME's, for creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society.

The mission is to facilitate and mentor the generation and translation of innovative ideas into biotech products and services by the industry, promote academia – industry collaboration, forge international linkages, encourage techno entrepreneurship and enable creation and sustainability of viable bio enterprises.

Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation
Tekes is the main public fund for R&D and innovation in Finland. Tekes' funding and services promote challenging and innovative R&D projects of companies, universities and research institutes. Tekes works with the top innovative companies and research units in Finland. Annually, Tekes finances some 1,500 business R&D projects, and almost 600 public research projects. Research, development and innovation funding is targeted to projects that create in the long-term the greatest benefits for the economy and society.

Tekes actively promotes R&D&I cooperation between Finland and India, and encourages Finnish enterprises develop their businesses in India. To facilitate Indo-Finnish cooperation, Tekes collaborates with key actors of the Indian innovation ecosystem. Currently, Tekes' India operations focus on the following areas: health and well-being, cleantech, application of ICT, and learning solutions.

As a member of the Team Finland network Tekes offers partners from abroad a gateway to the Finnish innovation ecosystem. Tekes has an office in New Delhi.

Additional opportunity: Funding from FiDiPro – Finland Distinguished Professor Programme

FiDiPro pages

Tekes encourages Finnish and Indian researchers to exploit the funding from the FiDiPro – the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme.

FiDiPro – the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme provides Finnish universities and research institutes with the opportunity to invite international top researchers to work in Finland for 2–5 years to carry out and contribute to the advancement of research.

FiDiPro Professor funding is intended for inviting international professor-level scientists to Finland. Applications for funding for FiDiPro Professors are submitted either to the Academy of Finland or to Tekes.

FiDiPro Fellow funding is designed to talented and experienced international researchers past their postdoctoral stage. Researchers are required to have 3–4 years' post doc experience after gaining their PhD. Applications for funding for FiDiPro Fellows are submitted to Tekes.

FiDiPro project funding may cover expenses such as salary and travel of the visiting top researcher and the costs of the research project.

Applications for FiDiPro funding are always submitted by a Finnish university or research institute, not by the international researcher him/herself. The application process takes place at two stages. The projects invited to proceed to the second stage are selected on the basis of the letters of intent (short proposals).

Guidelines for applying FiDiPro funding from Tekes

Further information about FiDiPro Programme

Senior Adviser
Hanna Rantala
Tel: +358 2950 55797
GSM: +358 50 5577 797
hanna.rantala (at)

Further information

Auli Pere
Chief Adviser, PhD
Programme Manager
Health and Well-being
Tel: +358 (0)2950 55799
GSM: +358 50 5577 799
auli.pere (at)

Harri Ojansuu
Senior Technology Adviser
Large Companies and Public Organisations
Tel: +358 40 837 4322
harri.ojansuu (at)

Shailja Gupta
International Cooperation
Department of Biotechnology
Ministry of Science and Technology
Tel: 91-11-24363748
shailja (at)