Innovation Fund promotes new growth-oriented business. Photo: Jussi Hellsten

Innovation Fund supports innovation and promotes new growth-oriented business – application is now open

The objective of the City of Helsinki Innovation Fund is to support innovation activities and the development of new services that promote growth-oriented business in the city. The call for applications is open again. If you are thinking about applying for funding for projects that will increase the knowledge and business base in Helsinki, you are welcome to attend the Innovation Fund’s application clinics in summer and autumn 2022. At the events, you will receive information and advice related to applying for support.

The purpose of the City of Helsinki Innovation Fund is to strengthen Helsinki’s knowledge base in cooperation with the region’s higher education institutions and business sector. The fund was established in 2002, and its support is granted on the basis of applications for development, innovation and pilot projects that will create a future business base and competitiveness in Helsinki. The projects to be funded must support the Helsinki City Strategy and be implemented in cooperation with the city, universities and the business sector. The aim is to support the development of business ecosystems and testbed opportunities in Helsinki.

Innovation Fund also provides funding to universities, companies and associations

Funding can also be granted to actors outside the Helsinki City Group, such as universities, companies and associations. In recent years, the Innovation Fund has financed, among other things, the launch of the Maria01 Startup Campus and the Forum Virium Helsinki Smart City project, which develops innovative solutions for Helsinki’s infill development areas. In addition, the Innovation Fund has funded the Startup Refugees project, which develops entrepreneurship opportunities for international experts, and the activities of the XR Center of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, which has launched experimentation and development opportunities for extended reality technologies. Currently, the Innovation Fund is also supporting two projects promoting female entrepreneurship: The Startup Shortcut’s Women’s Academy and the Tech Nordic Advocates’ Female Tech Founders project.

“The Innovation Fund enables a wide range of projects to be implemented together with the city in order to develop the region’s business base and knowledge base. We also want to increase the fund’s visibility and, above all, its effectiveness,” says Jussi Kulonpalo, Senior Specialist at the City of Helsinki.

The Innovation Fund continuously accepts applications. The City Council’s Economic Development Sub-committee handles project applications and decides on funding at its meetings four times a year. The deadlines for the autumn applications are 31 August and 7 October 2022. The operations of the fund are the responsibility of the Helsinki City Executive Office’s Economic Development Department.

See you at the Innovation Fund’s application clinic!

During the summer and autumn, three open application clinics will be organised to provide more information about applying for funding from the Innovation Fund. The clinics will be held as hybrid events in the City Hall’s Ratikka meeting room (Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13) as follows:

  • Friday, 17 June at 10:00–11:30
  • Friday, 12 August at 10:00–11:30
  • Friday, 30 September at 10:00–11:30

You can register for the application clinics by sending email to innovaatiorahasto@hel.fi

The rules of the Innovation Fund, detailed application instructions and application deadlines can be found here.