Companies as partners
Funding granted by the Research Council of Finland cannot be used for economic activity. Economic activity is defined as all activity where goods or services are offered on an open market regardless of whether profits are pursued or generated. Above all, it is a question of the activity, not the organisation’s legal form.
Economic operators may include companies, but also in some cases organisations, etc., if they engage in economic activities. Regardless of the legal form, the funding recipients must be financially viable, commit to the funding terms and conditions and take into account the prerequisites for good governance in all financial management.
However it is possible for economic operators to participate for example in the following ways:
- An economic operator may be eligible for funding under the Research Council of Finland’s funding terms and conditions, if the activity to be funded is not an economic activity and if the operator’s economic activity has been separated from the activity to be funded. In other words, in its accounting, the operator must separate its economic activities and its research and interaction activities in such a way that the funding is not used for economic activities.
- The second alternative is that the operator’s labour input is procured as an outsourced service within the framework of procurement legislation. In this case, it is worth reading the tendering rules of your own organisation well in advance when you are planning an application.
- The third alternative is that the operator participates as a collaborator for which funding is not applied for.
Which costs can be included in the budget
The maximum amount of funding to be applied from the Research Council of Finland is 300.000€ (or 450.000€ for consortia). Under the full cost model, our funding contribution covers a maximum of 70% of the total costs of a project.
The funding is granted under the Research Council of Finland’s general funding conditions supplemented with exceptions and specifications specific to this call:
project PI’s salary for a maximum of twelve months, excluding the project PIs of CoEs and Finnish Flagships
In this call, applicants can also apply for funding for the following direct costs of promoting research utilisation (provided they do not arise from economic activity):
- impact and interaction activities, such as development of new operational methods for research utilisation
- making research data freely available
- market or patent surveys, other equivalent proof-of-concept activities
- experimentation and pilot projects
- protection of IPRs (not maintenance fees)
- commercialisation preparation (not actual commercialisation or commercialisation activities that will benefit only one company).
According to the Research Council of Finland’s funding terms and conditions, the funding cannot be used for economic activity. How to include companies in the POC plans, please see the question above on Companies as partners.
Flagship directors authorise up to five applicants within the Flagship. The Flagship director prepares a document indicating the applicants within the Flagship; POC PI's attach the authorisation document into their application in the Online system. Authorisation by Flagship - Research Council of Finland (aka.fi)
In a consortium, all PIs need to be eligible. If the consortium is composed of PIs from a Flagship each PI will need to be included in the max. 5 applications per Flagship quota.
For Centres of Excellence:
All CoE directors and CoE subproject PIs are eligible to apply. A CoE subproject PI is a researcher who has received their own Academy CoE funding (with a separate funding decision number).
In a consortium, all PIs need to be eligible.
Salary of PI
Funding from the Research Council of Finland's Proof of Concept Funding cannot be used for salary costs for project PIs of CoEs and Finnish Flagships.
Qualifications on whose salaries can be included in the project budgets are found in the sections Special conditions and Funding to be applied for and funding period of the Proof of Concept call text:
- The funding is primarily intended towards the salaries of researchers who work full-time on the project and for other project costs.
- However, the salary costs of an applicant authorised by a flagship director, such as a postdoctoral researcher who heads the project, may be incorporated into the total project costs for a maximum of twelve months.
The materials of the POC Info webinar from June 12 can be accessed from this link