Call for research applications: Sustainable business – from expertise to solutions

Application period: Tue 27.10.2015 - Mon 29.02.2016

Tekes 'Sustainable Business' call for applications is directed at joint projects between companies and research organisations, as well as multidisciplinary, networked projects between research organisations and the business community, grouped around the themes of the bioeconomy and cleantech. The aim is to speed up the efficient utilisation of new knowledge and thereby boost the competitiveness of Finnish industry.

For whom?

1.  for joint projects between companies and research institutions

Business-driven combined projects with a common goal, which may be accompanied by parallel projects involving several companies. A project by a research organisation can be run in parallel with enterprise projects if it supports the enterprises' research topics and its results are applicable on a broad basis. Private sector applicants must comply with Tekes' general research funding criteria and the general criteria on the funding of private-sector research and development.

2. for research organisations

Interdisciplinary research projects by research organisations, involving the creation of new competencies and solutions meeting the identified research and innovation needs of companies. The aim is to engage in public-sector research projects of which broad and effective use can be made by the private sector.

What kind of research will we fund?

The projects should involve research promoting the renewal of the theme area in question, new innovations and a substantial competitive edge for businesses. Projects must be planned in close cooperation with the private sector, taking account of the recognised needs of companies within the theme area. 

We will fund projects aiming at sustainable solutions for the bioeconomy, circular economy and cleantech. Projects can include studies related to verifying the potential exploitation of the research results.

Topical themes include the utilisation of expertise on renewable raw materials in new solutions and in verifying the viability of concepts, new energy solutions, new solutions for the circular economy, the potential for digitalisation, new value creation and the new role of consumers within the theme area. We will be delighted to discuss current research needs and perspectives in e.g. a briefing on the call for applications and other Tekes events on the theme, or during the application planning phase.

Goal: efficient utilisation of the results

The projects must take particular account of the efficient exploitation of the results and the related new expertise in boosting the competitiveness of Finnish industry. Projects will be financed that generate solutions meeting the identified research needs of companies and which have an exploitation plan for boosting competitive, international business.

Projects based on cooperation

Projects should be planned in close cooperation with enterprises, while taking account of their views and needs.  When planning the beneficiary of a project, you should take note of the entire value network needed. Participation notices by businesses will be an important element in the project evaluation process. Tekes will assess the impact of the research project in applying expertise to the creation of new solutions and evaluate the potential for companies to make use of these innovations.

All businesses participating in projects must answer the following questions in their participation notices:

  • 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’ participation notices must be submitted to Tekes by 29 February 2016 at the latest.

In the case of cross-scientific public research projects, the financial contribution by businesses must amount to at least 10% of the project’s approved budget.

International co-operation in the projects is important. Strong international cooperation in projects fosters the capacity to expand the expertise and insights involved in research and international business activities.


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. 


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 kestavaa(a) by 17 December 2015 at the latest. Tekes will agree on project discussions with those who send summaries, most of which will be held in January 2016.

Send your full application to Tekes via the online service by Mon. 29 February 2016. Select "Kestävää2016" from the menu item "Is the application related to a Tekes programme or theme?" located in the basic information section of the application form. Funding decisions will be made in April/May 2016.  


Further details and events

A briefing event on the Sustainable Business call for applications➦ will be held in Helsinki on 16 November 2015. Several Tekes events related to the theme will be held during the autumn and winter.  See our page on Tekes events for further information.  




Kimmo Kanto        

+358 50 5577 852



Hanna Rantala

+358 50 5577 797