Future Makers Funding Program 2018

Funding call for strategic research ideas

01.02.2018 to 15.04.2018

Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation open a joint funding call for strategic research ideas. In total, the foundations have reserved up to 3 million € for high-level research openings.

The foundations wish to encourage joint actions that focus on universities' strategic strengths and spark new growth - with the aim to encourage long-term cooperation between researchers and companies.

What kind of research ideas?

The aim is to initiate high-level, ambitious strategic research openings that combine internationally top-level science and industrial impact. Key focus areas for the call are building long-term sustainable renewal and competitiveness of the Finnish technology industry based on digitalization and new business models:

  • Artificial intelligence, platform economy, smart manufacturing, data-based materials science and technology, VR/AR

High-level research opening is:

  • Formulates a research question with substantial novelty
  • Multidisciplinary and builds an ecosystem
  • Based on an important challenge from the point of view of the Finnish Technology Industries and the Finnish society
  • Aiming for an international breakthrough 

How do I apply?

The funding call has two stages: 1) Call for ideas 1.2.-15.4.2018 and 2) Improving of ideas and final applications 5.6.-12.8.2018 (by invitation only based on stage 1)

To apply, please leave your idea-stage proposal through our on-line application form . Please note that the application form does not send confirmation e-mails even though the submission has succeeded.

There was a technical problem with the application form early morning on April 15th, 2018. We were able to fix it at 11.00. The call for ideas closes as informed on April 15th, 2018 at 23.59 o'clock.

The application form is in Finnish only - but you may fill in the form in English just as well. Below you can find the application form as word versions in Finnish and English - and these forms have the exact same questions as the online form. Please note however that you cannot return the pdf form, but you need to fill in the online form. You cannot save or change the online form after you submit your proposal (so please use the pdf/word version for preparing the proposal).

Please answer all questions in the application form. Also note that you cannot include any additional documents to your applications (e.g. research plan).

We organise info sessions jointly with universities.

Aalto University - March 16, 2018. Time: 9:00 - 10:30, Konemiehentie 2 (Computer Science building), Lecture hall T2
Lappeenranta University of Technology -
March 21, 2018. Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Oulu University -
March 20, 2018, Time: 12.00 - 13:00, Tellus Business Kitchen, Linnanmaan kampus
Tampere University of Technology -
March 23, 2018, Festia, FA113 (Pieni Sali 2)
University of Jyväskylä -
March 28, 2018. Time: 10:00 - 11:30

Questions and answers

Who can apply for funding?
The funding call is open to all Finnish universities. The applicant must be an organization. The project can also be carried out by several organizations (research groups and collaborators) and we encourage multidisciplinary collaboration, as well as joint projects between universities. Universities of applied sciences and research institutes can participate as partners to universities. In joint projects one organization will be the main applicant who will distribute the joint funding to other partners. Personal grants cannot be applied.

Should the application be addressed either to the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation or Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation?
No. All applications will be evaluated through a common process. The Boards of both foundations make independent funding decisions in September.

How much funding can be applied?
The call is for research projects. The applied funding can be of the order 100.000€ - 500.000€, in very high-level, ambitious projects even up to 1.000.000€. The funding need will be evaluated case by case and the preliminary budget created in the first applications stage will be re-evaluated in the second stage.

For which purposes can you apply funding? Is it necessary to involve companies in the projects?
The aim is to initiate high-level scientific research openings that are relevant to the future of Finnish industries and the society.  Especially interesting are ideas that are cross-sectoral and have ambitious targets. We encourage to look for partner-companies who could contribute to the project, but no company funding is required. According to the rules of the Centennial Foundation, results of the projects funded by the foundation are public and thus IP cannot be protected. The aim is to enhance long-term strategic co-operation between scientists and companies, and the societal impact of research. The funding is not suitable to research projects near commercialisation stage.

What kind of cost model is needed for application?
The foundations evaluate the applications case by case. As a cost model we recommend to use a so called flat rate model, where acceptable costs are:

  • Salary costs
  • Employer’s contributions costs (appr. 30-40%)
  • General costs max. 15% (calculated from total of salary and employer’s contributions costs)
  • Necessary purchase of materials and equipment to carry out the project
  • Travel costs
  • Purchased services

Is it possible to change the budget or cost division during the project?
Yes, as long as the changes are justified. The funding call is aimed at creating ambitious new research openings, so it is seen important that there’s certain flexibility to carry out the projects.

What is the duration of research projects?
1-3 years, depending on the case. The foundations also reserve an option for additional funding if the project achieves results with remarkable scientific value and can lead to highly potential new openings.

Is it possible to have international research partners? Yes it isIf part of the funding will be paid abroad to the international partner, the partnership must be justified and a inevitable part of the project.  Situations like this, will be evaluated case by case.

Contact for questions:

Dr Laura Juvonen
Managing Director
Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation
040 589 6263 | laura.juvonen@teknologiateollisuus.fi

Ms Marianna Jokila
Project Manager, Future Makers Program
040 592 6478 | marianna.jokila@teknologiateollisuus.fi