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Innovations generating new international business

In Co-Innovation joint projects, research projects by research organizations and R&D projects by companies are carried out simultaneously in close cooperation.
The joint projects promote high-quality research and accelerate the renewal and international growth of Finnish companies, as well as the building of competitive ecosystems.

Co-Innovation funding

The participants in a Co-Innovation joint project work together to generate new knowledge and innovations that enable the companies involved to develop significant new business activities. The participants in the joint project have a common goal and need to engage in collaboration projects and a plan to achieve their common goal.

The funding strengthens the expertise of the research organization and accelerates the utilization of research data in the companies' R&D activities and the development of new export products. Co-Innovation joint projects strengthen both domestic and international networks.

Co-Innovation joint project funding is granted to collaboration projects that have undergone the Co-Creation phase and projects that have been prepared directly without it.

Co-Innovation joint project may be formed by at least two cooperating companies. If one or more research organization is involved in the project, at least three companies must also have an own R&D project in the cooperation. At least two of these companies must apply for funding for their research and development project from Business Finland, and the projects of the companies must be eligible for the funding. The appropriate consortium size is usually significantly larger. Companies participating in the consortium without an R&D project of their own can finance the research or bring in other in-kind investments such as offering data, software, materials or equipment.

In a Co-Innovation joint project, the total costs of the research and business projects must be appropriately balanced in relation to each other. The greater the emphasis on applied research, the higher the share of business projects. For future-oriented high-risk joint projects, the share of research may be higher. No single project may exceed 70% of the costs of the joint project. In addition, the combined total costs of the research projects may not exceed 70%. The funding from Business Finland is competitive funding. The assessment also takes into account any other funding applications and the indirect effects of the joint project.

The results of the public research project must have broad applicability outside the Co-Innovation consortium.

What is required of a Co-Innovation joint project?
  • The joint project significantly promotes the international competitiveness of the companies involved and the renewal of the large companies involved in the consortium.
  • The potential of new export business generated by the joint project for the companies is high in relation to the required R&D investments.
  • The common goals of the joint project are ambitious, and the participants in the consortium have sufficient expertise and resources to achieve them.
  • The research conducted and the solutions produced with it have novelty value, market potential, credible commercialization plans, and social impact.
  • The research project has a high-quality dissemination plan for the results

Changes To Co-Innovation Funding In 2023

The funding for Co-Innovation joint projects has changed in as follows:

  • The export potential of the Co-Innovation project in relation to the required Business Finland funding is assessed based on the companies' R&D projects, and research funding is no longer taken into account.
  • The total costs of the research and company projects must be appropriately balanced in relation to each other. The greater the emphasis on applied research, the higher the share of company projects. The share of research may be higher in joint projects, which have high-level technological and business goals in the long run, and the results are utilized also outside the project consortium. Several risks are usually still involved in the commercialization of results.
  • No single project may exceed 70% of the total costs of the joint project. In addition, the combined total costs of the research projects may not exceed 70%.
  • Consortium may have a large share of SMEs. However, the consortium and the cooperation network must be able to credibly achieve the ambitious goals set for the joint project, and the joint project must have a significant impact on the international growth of the companies involved and the renewal of the large companies.
  •  In assessing the effectiveness of the Co-Innovation joint project, the consortium's cooperation plan and the research dissemination plan to provide the results outside the consortium will play a more important role than previously.
  • The amount and quality of international cooperation affects the level of funding for the research project. For a research project engaged in close international cooperation, the level of funding is 80%.

See instructions for applying for funding

How does Business Finland funding work?

Before you apply

Plan a project and define its goals. Ensure the sufficiency of self-financing.

Apply for funding

Submit your application through online services. Submit the additional information requested.

Approve the funding decision

Business Finland will assess your application and notify you of its decision. Read the decision and its terms and conditions, and approve the decision in online services.

Use the funding

Arrange project accounting. Notify Business Finland of any changes.

Report your project

Report your project's implementation and costs. Attach the additional information requested with your report.


Research and knowledge-dissemination organisation means an entity (such as universities or research institutes, technology transfer agencies, innovation intermediaries, research-oriented physical or virtual collaborative entities), irrespective of its legal status (organised under public or private law) or way of financing, whose primary goal is to independently conduct fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development or to widely disseminate the results of such activities by way of teaching, publication or knowledge transfer.

Where such entity also pursues economic activities the financing, the costs and the revenues of those economic activities must be accounted for separately. Undertakings that can exert a decisive influence upon such an entity, in the quality of, for example, shareholders or members, may not enjoy preferential access to the results generated by it.