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Companies can apply for Sustainable Growth Programme funding in autumn

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
26.5.2021 16.55 | Published in English on 28.5.2021 at 15.22
Press release
Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and government agencies under its purview will open calls for funding applications from companies under Finland’s Sustainable Growth Programme in autumn 2021. The funding will support energy transformation, circular economy and energy solutions in industry, and investments in research, development and innovation (RDI).

The Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland will support growth that is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable in line with the aims of the Government Programme. The Programme will boost competitiveness, investment, RDI and measures to raise skill levels. Recovery funding will promote the renewal of industrial structure and the competitive advantage of Finnish companies based on sustainable solutions.

“Finland’s Sustainable Growth Programme will accelerate economic revival and recovery after the coronavirus crisis. It also offers an opportunity to support the reform of economic and social structures in the longer term. The Programme enables private investments that help create jobs and sustainable growth in the future too,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Funding can be granted after the Council of the EU has adopted a decision on Finland’s Resilience and Recovery Plan and the Finnish Parliament has approved the budget for it. According to the preliminary timetable, the Council is expected to decide on the Plan during the summer of 2021. 

The Government submitted the year’s third supplementary budget proposal to Parliament on 27 May. The draft supplementary budget includes the first instalment of the Sustainable Growth Programme funding. The supplementary budget includes funding for RDI investments, circular economy, structural support for creative industries and sustainable tourism. 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Business Finland will grant most of the funding, but some will be granted by ELY Centres and Energy Authority. The Programme funding applies to years 2021–2026. More detailed information on the calls for applications will be provided later.

Investments in energy system and industrial energy solutions to enable deployment of low-carbon technologies

The Sustainable Growth Programme aims to make Finland a global leader in solutions related to the hydrogen and circular economy, high-value bioproducts and emission-free energy systems, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry and to speed up the transition to fossil-free transport and heating. Measures enabling the introduction of low-carbon solutions that use new technologies will help Finland meet these objectives.

From autumn 2021, funding applications will be accepted from companies on energy infrastructure, new energy technologies, low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and utilisation, as well as reduction of process emissions and direct electrification. A call for proposals is planned before the actual calls for applications. However, a national call for applications for the EU’s IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) on hydrogen will begin already in June. During the programme period funding will be divided as follows:

  • EUR 155 million has been reserved for energy infrastructure.
  • EUR 155 million has been reserved for new energy technologies.
  • EUR 150 million has been reserved for production of low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture and utilisation. 
  • EUR 60 million has been reserved for reducing process emissions and direct electrification of processes.

The Government also aims to open a call for funding applications that support a public infrastructure for distribution and refuelling of biogas, electricity and new refuelling technologies in transport. A total of EUR 20 million has been reserved for this purpose. 

Recycling of industrial waste and sidestreams to reduce the use of natural resources

A call for funding applications on the re-use and recycling of industrial waste and sidestreams, such as batteries and other key materials, is scheduled to open by autumn 2021. The funding will be allocated to pilot and demonstration facilities, the first commercial investments in facilities and related RDI activities.

The first funding decisions are set to be made already during 2021. These projects will receive EUR 110 million.

RDI funding to support low-carbon solutions and expertise

The RDI funding of the Sustainable Growth Programme will be allocated to projects supporting the green transition. Investment and reforms in research infrastructure promoting digitalisation will support the development of innovation activities and raise skill levels. 

During 2021, the Government plans to open a call for applications to promote leading company projects and to speed up key technologies and innovation activities by growth companies. The first funding decisions are set to be made already during 2021. According to preliminary plans, leading companies could take part in a two-stage competition already in summer 2021. 

  • In total, EUR 100 million has been reserved for leading company projects during the Programme period. 
  • RDI projects on key technologies that support the leading company projects will receive EUR 27 million.
  • EUR 25 million has been reserved for the development of innovation infrastructure projects.
  • Funding reserved for innovative growth companies amounts to EUR 20 million. 

Support for the renewal of creative industries to make the sector more competitive

In autumn 2021, the Government will launch a call for funding applications on development projects by creative and event industries in order to revitalise the sector and strengthen its international competitiveness. The first funding decisions are set to be made already during 2021. These projects will receive EUR 10 million.

Digitalisation and sustainable growth in tourism to be boosted

The intention is to open a call for funding applications totalling EUR 5 million on sustainable tourism and digitalisation towards the end of 2021. The funding aims to strengthen the cooperation between tourism operators and research organisations. 

In addition to this, Visit Finland will support sustainable tourism by EUR 15 million. 

Other calls for funding applications to open later

Business Finland will receive EUR 4 million for projects supporting the low-carbon economy, circular economy, digital renewal and exports of industrial services. The programme promoting health and wellbeing technologies and skills will receive an additional EUR 4 million in funding. 

Calls for applications on microelectronics (EUR 15 million) and development of 6G, artificial intelligence and quantum computing (EUR 10 million) will open later. Additional EUR 10 million will be allocated to a programme by the ELY Centres that helps small companies grow. 

The amount of funding for these measures may change based on the decision by the Council of the EU on Finland’s Resilience and Recovery Plan and the final amount of funding Finland will receive from the EU, which will be confirmed in 2022.

Inquiries:
Antti Siika-aho, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 29 504 7228
Mikko Vähä-Sipilä, Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7166
Sampsa Nissinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7189

 
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