New business from research ideas
Funding is intended for research groups and researchers in research organisations, who want to build a new business based on their research and realise their idea by commercialising it. The researcher will also have the chance to develop his or her own commercialisation expertise.
Tekes funds projects by research organisations involving preparations for the commercialisation of an idea, such as innovation searches, the determination of customer value or other analyses, as well as projects involving applied research.
- A researcher or research team in the research organisation is seeking to progress towards the commercial exploitation of the research results.
- The applicant has sufficient rights to use the background material and the resulting research results in order to commercialise the information and expertise in question.
- After the project, the research organisation will be able to hand over the rights to the research results to the party in charge of commercialisation.
- The new business activity being created must be significant in scope. The application must include an assessment of the planned business's scope.
- The project involves that examination of various commercialisation options – the beneficiary of commercialisation must not be evident during the project.
How to apply for funding
Two calls for applications each year. The universities' and research organisations' own innovation services will help with the application and selection processes.
Funding applications must be submitted via the Tekes online service.
What can the funding be used for?
The funding is intended for the preparation of the commercialisation of the research idea. At least 40 percent of the project costs must be targeted at preparation of commercialisation.
How does the funding work?
Tekes can fund 70% of the total cost of projects which have high commercial potential and on which the basis for a new business activity can be built.
The project must have several commercialisation options. The actual commercialisation of the idea will occur either within the new company being formed, or as a new business activity in an existing company.
Evaluation of applications
Tekes's experts will evaluate the research project as a whole. The evaluation will also take account of other, competing funding applications.
Important evaluation factors:
- The novelty value and challenging nature of the technology or competence to be developed by the research project
- The project's impacts on the development of a major international business and on society
- The role of businesses in the realisation and steering of the project and the utilisation of its results
- The project resources, competence level and international cooperation The team's commercialisation skills tend to present the greatest challenge.
- The application must describe the expertise and previous references of the persons responsible for commercialisation.
What other costs can be included in the project?
- Costs related to preparations for commercialisation. At least 40% of the costs must be targeted at preparation of preparation of commercialisation. Expertise in preparation for commercialisation can also be purchased from an external service. The costs may be as follows:
- an evaluation of the research idea from the commercialisation perspective (Proof of Relevance)
- innovation searches
- determination of customer value
- competitor analyses
- intellectual property rights analyses
- experimental confirmation that the idea will work (Proof of Concept)
- funding model investigations
- business model investigations
- costs of commercialisation and entrepreneurship training.
- Applied research targeted at pre-defined market potential
Eligible costs have been further specified in the General Terms and Conditions of Funding (pdf).
Utilisation of the results
- The objective of the project is the utilisation of the research results in a new business.
- Utilisation generally requires the protection of IP through patenting, for example.
- The results will be made public after the completion of the research project. However, the announcement of the results must not jeopardise the founding of a business, for example by preventing patenting or making business secrets public.
- Any IP rights generated by the project will remain with the research organisation.
Steering and monitoring
- An accountable project leader, appointed by the beneficiary organisation, will be responsible for the scientific and research content of the project.
- A Steering Group will be appointed for the project, with the task of assisting with the implementation of the project through an advisory role.
- A Tekes representative will have the right to participate in Steering Group meetings. An invitation to the meeting and the related material must be submitted to Tekes in good time before the date of each meeting. Minutes must be taken at the meetings, which must be sent to the Tekes contact person in addition to the Steering Group members.
- A report must be submitted on the research project, via Tekes' online service, 2-3 times a year.
- If commercialisation does not progress as planned, the project will be suspended.