Tekes launched a new financing instrument this year, it's called the Innovation Voucher. Tekes has been financing Finnish tech companies, universities, and research institutes since 1983. They've made use of different financing tools over the years. So what's so new and great about the Innovation voucher?
Tekes has set ambitious objectives for the new instrument; the voucher will be the first step in applying for state funding and will be the easiest type of funding available. But at the same time the project is meant to be carried out without major investments from Tekes. Taking this into account Tekes has truly made the Voucher quite simple to use.
First, the only complicated part in applying for the voucher is that you need to use old Tekes customer portals (they aren't the most CX centered web services I've come across). But this is only due to trying to keep project costs down, so as taxpayers we can probably live with it.
Second, you can use the voucher for wide range of business/product development agendas. E.g. if you need to find out if your new product has a viable market or is the product itself is suitable for developing.
Third, since applying is already easy, the reporting is also made as light as possible. You only need to submit a small final report after the development project.
The objective of the voucher is to familiarize new businesses to Tekes funding. Maximum value of the voucher is 5000 € (0% vat). You can use them for a range of different ideas and development projects. E.g. for finding out new markets for your products, for testing and measuring services, for patents, trademarks, and intellectual property protection or for solving a problem related to a product or service. So it's a kind of a grant to explore new business ventures and product development.
But there are also some requirements for receiving an innovation voucher. You cannot receive a voucher if you're a big corporation, a private entrepreneur or a non-profit organization. Or you have tax dues, or your rating Alfa is worse than A, or you have received otherforms of Tekes support in this or the last year. In the end the voucher is a welcome newcomer to the field of government funding for companies.
That’s why at 3XO we've also listed ourselves as a service provider in the program and we're happy to help you with any questions regarding the funding and our services!