Business Finland is the most important public funding agency for research funding in Finland, and is directed by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Since 2018, the organization consists of two entities: the government agency Innovaatiorahoituskeskus Business Finland and Business Finland Oy, a government-owned corporation controlled by the agency. According to the agency, its purpose "is to promote the competitiveness of Finnish industry and the service sector by assisting in the creation of world-class technology and technological know-how".
|Innovaatiorahoituskeskus Business Finland|
Business Finland Oy
|Parent agency||Ministry of Employment and the Economy|
The predecessor of the agency was Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Finnish: Innovaatiorahoituskeskus Tekes), while the predecessor of the corporation was Finpro Oy. Tekes was founded in 1983 through the President of Finland, Mauno Koivisto, who ratified the Act on the founding of Tekes. "Tekes" is derived from Tekniikan edistämiskeskus (Center for Advancement of Technology), also translated as National Technology Agency or Technology Development Centre. The Centre was founded primarily in response to an economic recession during the 1970s. At its formation in 1983, it employed twenty people. It began researching energy technology in 1995.
In 2009, Tekes invested €579 million in 2,177 projects, of which €343 million was directed to enterprise projects and €236 million to universities, polytechnics and public research institutes.
In 2018, the Sipilä government fused together Tekes and Finpro Oy, a government-owned corporation for promotion of export. The target was to streamline business services and make sure that the service chain isn't broken when a company proceeds from R&D to export.
Business Finland functions as a funding agency for research and technology development. Receivers of the funding are universities, polytechnics, research institutes such as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the European Space Agency, startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large corporations and public bodies. In enterprise projects, funding is given to transform research-stage ideas into viable businesses, and may combine direct unconditional funding with guaranteed loans conditional on the success of the resulting business.
The Agency is based in Helsinki. It is represented in fourteen regional Employment and Economic Development Centres (also known as the TE-keskus) throughout country. The agency also has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Tokyo, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, and the District of Columbia.