Taftie Chair 2011 :: CDTI
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Tekes funding focused on SMEs and strategic research

Small and medium-sized enterprises aiming at growth and internationalisation and Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation received an even larger share of Tekes funding in 2010. Tekes invested EUR 233 million in SME projects and nearly EUR 100 million in the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation.

“The creation of new growth companies was one of the focuses of Tekes activities and funding in 2010. Tekes increased its funding for small enterprises less than six years old to EUR 104 million,” says Dr Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, Director General of Tekes.

Tekes also looked for new enterprise ideas in the areas of commercialising research results, refining business ideas, and reviewing the project portfolios of large companies.

More than half of enterprise funding went to the service sector and over 40 per cent of all funding to non-technical content, such as business concepts, brands, design, work organisations, operating methods or management development.

A total of 61 per cent of enterprise project funding granted by Tekes was targeted at SMEs and 70 per cent at enterprises with a maximum of 500 employees.

Large companies channel their funding to SMEs and research organisations

Large companies used nearly all of the funding received from Tekes to finance public research or purchase research and subcontracting services from SMEs, universities and research institutions. Large companies are very important drivers in terms of networks. More than half of the benefits go to society and the national economy when the competence created is transferred from large companies to SMEs and research organisations as people move from one organisation to another and via cooperation and value networks.

During the past three years, Tekes has granted an average of EUR 58 million for research projects to enterprises with more than 500 employees. These enterprises subsequently channelled EUR 57 million of this sum to research organisations and SMEs. An average of just EUR 1 million has remained in the companies to cover their own expenses.

Nearly one million euros for Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation

Activities at the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK) expanded significantly and they launched new research programmes. Research organisations and enterprises cooperate closely in these programmes as they aim for major breakthroughs in research areas that are important to business life and society.

Tekes nearly doubled its funding for SHOK research programmes in 2010, which meant an increase to a total of EUR 99 million.

Completed projects resulted in products, services and competence

Monitoring of project results shows that approximately two-thirds of the projects produced results that corresponded to the plans. Projects that were completed in 2010 resulted in about 1,100 products, services or processes, nearly 600 patent applications and more than 600 academic theses. About 1,600 projects were completed.

“Studies show that innovation activities have had a significant impact on the national economy in that the rate of growth for Finnish industrial production, export and gross national product has been higher than the average in other OECD countries,” says Saarnivaara.

The improvement in the economical situation was also visible in a reduced number of bankruptcies. In 2010 there were 58 bankruptcies involving enterprises which had either received Tekes funding during the five years preceding the bankruptcy or which had a loan outstanding to Tekes at the time of bankruptcy.

Demand for funding remained steady

In 2010, Tekes made funding decisions totalling EUR 633 million, of which EUR 382 million was targeted at enterprises' research, development and innovation activities and EUR 251 million at research projects run by universities and research institutions. The commitments associated with the funding decisions were paid on the basis of project progress and actual costs.

Overall demand for funding remained steady.

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