Finland: Application round for development and innovation grants aimed at promoting circular economy solutions Now Open

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has opened a round of applications for development and innovation grants for the circular economy for 2019. The Government has reserved EUR 4 million in total for 2018-2019 in order to drive investment and development in the circular economy.

The grants encourage companies and other stakeholders to promote investments in circular economy as well as new activities based on circular economy principles enabled by such investments. The objective is to strengthen cooperation within the circular economy in order to create a better match between material flows and customer needs.

One of the key objectives is to find solutions to current challenges, such as the efficient use of plastics and other material in line with circular economy principles, and to facilitate processes that enable different kinds of circular economy solutions and bring various operators together.

Grants may be used for the introduction of new solutions, technologies or service models into business operations, launching new circular economy business models (e.g. services, platforms, sharing) or investments relating to their commercialisation.

Grants may be awarded to Finnish companies and other entities, associations, cooperatives, foundations or self-employed persons. The aim is to encourage companies and other actors to launch challenging joint projects and to incorporate circular economy thinking into their business strategies.

Investment and development subsidies are available for application on an on-going basis, without a specific application period.

Grants may be awarded to best projects for as long as appropriations are available. Grants can account for up to 25% of the expenditure eligible for aid in investment projects and up to 50% in other admissible projects.

The discretionary government transfers for circular economy investment and development projects is a de minimis aid. According to EU regulations, an enterprise may be granted de minimis aid up to EUR 200,000 over a period covering the current and two preceding tax years.

Investment and development grants are hoped to accelerate larger and more broad-based projects. To drive the competitiveness of Finnish economic operators, the investment aid provided for circular economy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and funding provided by Business Finland for various stages of business operations complement each other. 

Business Finland has launched the Bio and Circular Finland programme with the objective of making Finland a leader in circular economy. The circular economy projects which receive grants from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment are required to support the main objectives set for the Government’s key projects, which include sustainable growth of the economy and new job creation.

Sources:

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland

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