Usein kysytyt kysymykset (englanniksi)


The 2024 Proof of Concept (PoC) funding can be applied for by researchers (principal investigators) who have received Academy Project funding, including the 2018 Academy Project Funding for early-career researchers, and whose project has ended or will end between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2024. The Academy Project funding referred to in this PoC call is the bottom-up Academy Project funding instrument applied in the past autumn calls.

This call is not intended for:

  • PIs of any targeted or thematic projects funded by the Research Council of Finland
  • EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) or other thematic or programme calls, or any international calls
  • Academy Research Fellows and Academy Professors.

If your Academy Project funding is extended to end on 1 January 2025 or thereafter, you are not eligible to apply in this call.

PoC consortium eligibility criteria:

  • If you are a co-PI of an Academy Project consortium and your subproject ends between 1 Jan 2023–31 Dec 2024, you are eligible, even if other subprojects in your consortium do not end during the specified period.
  • You can form a PoC consortium with any other eligible co-PI; your PoC consortium application does not need to have the same PIs as the original Academy Project consortium on which the PoC application is based.
  • All co-PIs of a PoC consortium application need to meet the eligibility criteria of the 2024 PoC call.

Applying in this PoC call does not affect your eligibility in other calls of the Research Council of Finland. You are eligible even if you have:

  • applied for Academy Project funding in this year’s winter call
  • an ongoing Academy Project
  • an ongoing Research Council of Finland Proof of Concept project.

However, please note that the Research Council does not grant funding for the same purpose for which it has already granted funding. Your PoC application needs to utilise research results that originate from the Academy Project funding that makes you eligible in this call.

Please contact us at if you are uncertain about your eligibility.

Which costs can be included in the budget?

Individual projects may be granted a maximum of 300,000 euros and consortia a maximum of 450,000 euros in total. The funding period starts on 1 January 2025, and the project duration is two years.

The project’s funding follows the full cost model. The Research Council of Finland’s funding contribution to the costs of the research utilisation project is a maximum of 70%.

The Research Council of Finland’s general funding terms and conditions are applied in this call. Applicants can also apply for funding, for instance, for the following direct costs of promoting research utilisation:

  • costs of carrying out the research utilisation plan
  • costs of making research data available (open access)
  • 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. 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.

Note that all costs must be justified in the free-text field on the tab ‘Funding for the project’.

PI salary

As a rule, funding is not granted for the salary of the PI of the research utilisation project. The PI’s salary costs may only under certain limitations and on justifiable grounds be incorporated into the total project costs.

However, for duly justified reasons of a scientific nature or related to the implementation of the project, the PI may be granted a maximum of one year’s funding. These reasons may include working abroad, returning to Finland or transferring to another research organisation or a company in Finland.

The PI’s salary is entered under ‘Salary of principal investigator’ in the online services. In order for the salary costs to be eligible, the PI’s tasks must be clearly specified.

Are there any requirements for idea readiness?

The Research Council of Finland does not have its own technology or societal readiness level descriptions. We recommend using existing ones, such as the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) in Horizon Europe (by Enspire) or the Societal Readiness Levels (SRL) by Innovation Fund Denmark.

The projects funded under the Proof of Concept funding scheme are close to scientific research, but are further along the research utilisation path than scientific research.

PoC projects should be at a minimum readiness level of 2 when they start, and should aim to climb at least 1–2 levels by the end of the project, regardless of the project’s starting level.

Read also the instructions on how to write the research utilisation plan.

Call info materials

See the materials from the PoC call webinar on 18 April 2024.

Research results on which the PoC application is based

The PoC application form has a separate tab titled Research results utilised in the project. The maximum length of the text is 2,000 characters. This section should briefly describe what results the PoC project will utilise.

The reviewers of this call do not have access to your Academy Project application, so you need to convey the relevant information about the research results in your PoC application so that the reviewers are able to evaluate the utilisation potential of your research.

If the results have already appeared in a publication or been presented to your peers in a conference paper, you can give the reference to that output in this section and briefly explain the main findings to be utilised in the PoC application. The results do not need to be published yet. It is necessary that you explain how the results originate from the Academy Project.

You are also asked to fill in the Academy Project decision number.

Who will review my PoC application?

The applications will be reviewed by Finnish and international experts in research utilisation and the fields of the applications concerned. The members of the review panels experts will have a PhD degree as well as experience from other sectors of the society. If necessary, individual reviews may be requested to support the work of the panels.

It is advisable that you write your application so that a generalist will be able to evaluate it since the reviewers assigned to your application might not have the same scientific background as you, but might evaluate your application as a technology transfer, marketing, or societal impact expert.

Experts are invited to review the research utilisation potential and innovativeness as well as feasibility of the applications. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the research utilisation competence of the applicant(s) and the team members.

The review of applications follows a two-stage process. In the first stage, experts are asked to give at least two individual reviews on the application. Applications with an overall rating of 5 or 6 from at least one expert will proceed to the panel review stage. Applications that receive an overall rating of 5 or 6 from the review panel will be ranked.

See the review guidelines (PDF), the review questions and rating scale (PDF) as well as the review principles (PDF) that will be used in the review. The review guidelines and forms are only available in English.

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