"SMEs funded by Tekes saw growth in turnover that was 18 percentage points greater than the average for SMEs in 2011–2014. Exports by SMEs in receipt of Tekes funding increased by two billion euros over the three years since the end of the projects in question. These are significant figures which indicate that we are selecting the best companies for funding," says Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes.
ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, has just completed a report on the development of employment in startups in receipt of Tekes funding in 2003–2005. The survey indicates that, while other startups have been marking time, their Tekes-funded equivalents had created 3,000 jobs by 2013 and are still taking on new staff.
"It's also worth noting that jobs created by Tekes funding are highly skilled," adds Soini. He urges us to reflect on where companies can gain a competitive edge.
"A company can achieve clear added value through the creative destruction of traditional business models via digitalisation, or by combining design, emotion, functionality and technology. Tekes can help through support, encouragement and risk sharing," Soini explains.
Funding focused on SMEs and startups
In 2015, Tekes provided EUR 575 million for company, university and research organisation projects. EUR 366 million of this was allocated to company projects, with 70 per cent going to SMEs. There was a clear increase in the share of funding granted to SMEs.
SMEs expect turnover of EUR 8 billion in the target year, from projects begun in 2015.
The funding of startups also increased. Tekes granted a total of EUR 140 million to 702 startups.
More direct results than previously were gained from projects ending in 2015. Such projects generated a total of 1,880 products, services or processes, 1,250 patents and 1,320 academic theses.