Tekes will enhance the use of research as a source for innovations from the beginning of next year by modernising its research funding.
The renewal is expected to create value for companies, researchers, society as well as for the funding activities of the future Business Finland.
Tekes has recognised a common issue: studies led by research organisations are not utilised enough by companies. Eventually, innovations fail to be created and all parties – researchers, companies and society – lose. Tekes aims to strengthen the societal influence of research and therefore modifies its research funding to increase network projects.
“With this change, we wish to advance equal cooperation and interaction between companies and researchers to support the creation of innovations. This will in turn reinforce the use of research within companies and amplify the societal influence of research. The new research funding is part of the future Business Finland’s service portfolio,” says Teija Lahti-Nuuttila, Director at Tekes.
From individual research projects towards joint projects by research organisations and companies
Tekes – or the soon to be Business Finland – will no longer support individual research projects by research organisations. Instead, the agency will offer sparring for companies and researchers to create network projects that fulfill business and market needs and will then provide financing for the development and execution of those plans. Another significant change is that the new research funding can be applied for without any submission deadlines.
The renewed service responds to OECD’s recommendations concerning Finland’s research and innovation activities. Finland was urged to increase interaction between universities, research institutes and companies and to advance the creation of radical innovations, promote cooperation between different sized companies and to increase the participation level of SMEs in ecosystems and networks.
“We have already tried out different types of research funding options at Tekes in our Challenge Finland competition and the results were positive. During the challenge, companies and researchers engaged in equal dialogue to direct studies and research towards areas and subjects that would open substantial new business opportunities for firms. One should not forget that cooperation among businesses and researchers and high-level research can happen simultaneously,” says Lahti-Nuuttila.
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