Sustainable Growth Programme funding to companies from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and government agencies under its purview 

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 promotes the renewal of industrial structure and the competitive advantage of Finnish companies based on sustainable solutions. 

Finland’s Sustainable Growth Programme on the Ministry of Finance website

Timetable and funding decisions

Funding can be granted after the Council of the EU has approved Finland’s Resilience and Recovery Plan, which is part of the Sustainable Growth Programme. The Government submitted the Plan to the Commission on 27 May 2021. According to the preliminary timetable, the Council is expected to decide on the Plan during the summer.

Funding decisions also require that Parliament has approved the budget containing the funding. 

This website contains information on funding that companies can apply for from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and government agencies under its purview. Research organisations can also submit funding applications for some projects, whereas other public sector operators, such as cities, can apply for funding for projects related to innovation infrastructures and experimental environments. The funding organisations – Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Business Finland, ELY Centres and Energy Authority – will provide more detailed information on the calls for funding. 

The website will be updated when more information becomes available.

Business Finland and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland 

Funding applications on energy transformation and industrial energy solutions

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 carbon and direct electrification of processes. A call for proposals is planned before the actual calls for applications. 

Energy infrastructure

  • Focus area: Funding is available for investments related to energy transmission and distribution, in particular the construction of district heating infrastructure to recover waste heat. In addition, funding can be granted for investments in the main electrical grid, the introduction of new innovative technologies in distribution networks, and the transmission of low-carbon gases and hydrogen. 
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in autumn 2021
  • First funding decisions: early 2022 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 155 million
  • Granting authority: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and possibly Business Finland

New energy technologies

  • Focus area: Funding is available for investments in new energy technologies, such as offshore wind power, large-scale solar power, biogas, renewable transport fuels, geothermal heat and heat recovery.
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in autumn 2021
  • First funding decisions: early 2022 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 155 million
  • Granting authority: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and possibly Business Finland

Low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture and utilisation

  • Focus area: Funding is available for investments and innovations related to the production of clean hydrogen and the capture and utilisation of carbon dioxide.  
  • Timetable: National call for applications for the so-called hydrogen IPCEI started earlier this summer. Applications for projects other than those related to the IPCEI in autumn 2021.
  • First funding decisions: early 2022 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 150 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 11 June 2021: Business Finland to accept applications on hydrogen projects as part of Sustainable Growth Programme
 

Direct electrification and decarbonisation of industrial processes

  • Focus area: Funding is available for solutions that reduce carbon dioxide emissions in industry, such as electrification of processes, hybrid solutions and the utilisation of heat pump technology and waste heat.
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in autumn 2021
  • First funding decisions: early 2022 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 60 million
  • Granting authority: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and possibly Business Finland

Support for a public infrastructure for distribution and refuelling of biogas, electricity and new refuelling technologies in transport

  • Focus area: Replacing fossil fuels with the support of a public infrastructure for distribution and refuelling of biogas, electricity and new refuelling technologies in transport.
  • Timetable: to be determined later
  • First funding decisions: in 2022 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 20 million
  • Granting authority: Energy Authority

Investments promoting the reuse and recycling of key materials and industrial sidestreams

  • Focus area: Investment support for the circular economy will accelerate the reuse and recycling of industrial waste and sidestreams, such as materials from the bioeconomy and other key industrial sectors.  These include battery materials, plastic, textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, construction and demolition materials. The funding will be allocated to pilot and demonstration facilities, the first commercial investments in facilities and related RDI activities, and the introduction of new technology promoting reuse and recycling. 
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in autumn 2021
  • First funding decisions: late 2021 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 110 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Research, development and innovation (RDI) funding

A competition for leading companies started in June 2021. Later, funding applications will be accepted for the development of innovation infrastructure and key sectors of the future as well as for innovation projects by growth companies.  

Leading company funding

  • Focus area: The objective of the leading company funding is to significantly increase the RDI activities of companies in Finland and to create new jobs and ecosystems worth billions of euros aiming at new business.
  • Timetable: competition was launched on 2 June 2021, proposals for the first round must be submitted by September 1st 2021.
  • First funding decisions: late 2021 (estimate)
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 100 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Business Finland: Funding for leading companies and ecosystems – Competition 2021 is underway

Key sectors of the future

  • Focus area: Funding related to the key sectors of the future is available for the partnership projects of leading companies.
  • Timetable: Call 16.4.–30.9.2021 
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 27 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Business Finland: Partnership model funding call for companies and research organizations

Innovation infrastructures and experimental environments

  • Focus area: Innovation infrastructure development projects are one-off investments aimed at creating new kinds of environments for testing and developing products and services. 
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in 2022
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 25 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Innovation projects by growth companies

  • Focus area: Funding will be allocated to research and innovation projects by SMEs seeking growth through exports. 
  • Timetable: ongoing call for funding applications scheduled to start in autumn 2021
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 20 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Funding for renewal of creative industries

  • Focus area: Funding for the development, renewal and improved international competitiveness of creative industries. The first call for applications will focus on development projects in the audiovisual and event sectors. 
  • Timetable: Call for funding applications to start in autumn 2021
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 9 million
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Sustainable growth and digitalisation in the tourism sector

  • Focus area: Funding will be allocated to development and renewal of the tourism sector necessary for its recovery. Key issue is to use digital solutions, sustainable practices and knowledge of customers to improve competitiveness in international tourism markets that are undergoing change.  Funding will also be allocated to enhance cooperation between tourism operators and research organisations. 
  • Timetable: call for funding applications scheduled to start in late 2021
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 5 million 
  • Granting authority: Business Finland

Growth accelerator programme to develop international capabilities

  • Focus area: Funding for small companies, in particular, to develop international capabilities so that they can better respond to changes in the business environment caused by the coronavirus as well as increased business opportunities. Funding will promote the use of digital technology and operating methods in the business and international activities of small companies. 
  • Timetable: to be determined later, 2022
  • First funding decisions: to be determined later, 2022
  • Total planned funding for the focus area: EUR 10 million
  • Granting authority: ELY Centres

Other calls for funding to open later

During 2021 and 2022, more calls for funding will be launched for companies. More information about these calls will become available later. Companies will apply for funding from Business Finland.

  • Programme supporting low-carbon industry, circular economy, digital renewal and exports of industrial services, additional funding of EUR 4 million
  • Programme promoting health and wellbeing technologies and skills, additional funding of EUR 4 million
  • Microelectronics, EUR 15 million
  • 6G, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, EUR 10 million 

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.

The specific criteria for the calls for funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and government agencies under its purview will be published when the project calls are launched. The calls for funding are national and competitive. 

Funding will be provided through instruments similar to those currently in use. The funding criteria include specific requirements related to the use of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, such as compliance with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle, which means that the implementation of investments must not cause significant harm to environmental objectives. The manner in which special requirements are taken into account will be specified before the calls are opened.  

Inquiries:
Mikko Vähä-Sipilä, Director, tel. +358 29 504 7166, mikko.vaha-sipila(a)tem.fi
Juho Korteniemi Chief Specialist (energy), tel. +358 29 504 7054, juho.korteniemi(a)tem.fi
Jyrki Alkio Chief Specialist (industry), tel. +358 29 504 7103, jyrki.alkio(a)tem.fi
Sampsa Nissinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser (RDI and other business subsidies), tel. +358 29 504 7189, sampsa.nissinen(a)tem.fi
Timo Haapalehto Chief Specialist (RDI), tel. +358 29 504 7218, timo.haapalehto(a)tem.fi

Ministry of Finance: Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland
Business Finland and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland