Future Makers Funding Program 2021

Funding call for strategic research ideas

15.02.2021 to 31.5.2021

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.

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. We wish to see research opening ideas that aim at building long-term sustainable renewal and new business models of the Finnish technology industry.

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.

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 15.2.-31.5.2021 and 2) Improving of ideas and final applications 6.9.-24.10.2021 (by invitation only based on stage 1)

To apply, please leave your idea-stage proposal through our on-line application system. Please register as an organization to the system.

Please answer all questions in the application form. At the idea phase, pay attention on how you present your overall research idea and the goals for the research. We wish to understand why this project should be conducted, what is unique about the idea, and who will be the partners on your proposal . Please note that you cannot include additional research plan or other separate attachments to your applications.

We organise 15 minute Teams meetings where the researchers can ask questions about the call.

Please book your meeting via e-mail:
Possible times are:
Friday 23.4.2021
Whole week 3. - 9.5.2021
Whole week 10. - 14.5.2021
Whole week 17. - 21.5.2021

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:

Mr Antti Aarnio
Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation
+358 40 503 6634 | antti.aarnio@teknologiateollisuus.fi

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