Experienced finance and project experts from the universities of applied sciences coordinate the design and implementation of circular economy projects. Identifying the right funding sources starts with project definition and putting together a project network. The project objectives and the implementers involved will determine where to apply for funding. If you are interested in collaborating and want to participate in joint projects, please feel free to contact a higher education institution in your area. Project funding will generally cover 50-80% of the project costs, so depending on the funding instrument and model, some own contribution may be required.
Business Finland provides funding for research, product development and business development needs of SMEs. There are different funding models, taking into account the needs of the company and the entrepreneur, and the target market. Research institutes and large companies are eligible for Business Finland funding for joint projects with SMEs.
Finnvera offers financing for business start-ups, investments and guarantees for international trade for large companies. Finnvera also supports growth companies by providing guarantees for bank loans.
Taaleri is a Nordic private equity fund focused on renewable energy and other alternative investments. Taaleri’s funds finance wind, solar, bioeconomy, real estate, etc. Taaleri seeks to achieve not only financial returns but also significant social and environmental benefits from its investments.
Horizon Europe funding will help fight climate change and meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. For the 2021-2027 programme period, Horizon Europe will provide around €95 billion in funding. Several calls for proposals will be launched during the programming period. Support will be targeted at businesses, research organisations and researchers. Projects funded under the programme are generally worth several million euros and are implemented as international collaborative projects. Projects funded under Horizon Europe include digital economy and technology, industry and space, eco-neutral and digitalised production, food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment, and promoting circular and bioeconomy.
The ERDF supports businesses, municipalities, local authorities, regional actors, universities, research institutes, associations and foundations. For the 2021-2027 programming period, the ERDF will allocate around €200 million to projects related to the circular economy. In principle, projects should be joint projects involving several actors. The regional associations will coordinate funding for research organisations, universities and associations. For businesses, the ELY centres coordinate the allocation of funding. ERDF funding can be applied for development and pilot projects on topics such as. product as a service concepts, sharing and joint use, repair and remanufacturing, resource efficiency and new approaches to sharing production capacity and side streams, recycling, sorting and sustainable logistics chains and related service concepts, smart materials management, innovative procurement models for public procurement, and nature-based solutions and nutrient cycling and recycling.
The Digital Europe programme funds digital capacity building and technology deployment. Grants are awarded to address technological investment needs and to boost Europe’s competitiveness by bringing digital solutions to life. The five key areas of funding are high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills and ensuring the widespread use of digital technologies in the economy and society. With around €7.6 billion in funding for the 2021-2027 program period, Digital Europe will fund businesses, public administrations, universities, research institutes and municipalities.
The InvestEU programme funds sustainable investment, innovation and job creation. Funding is provided through loan guarantees from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), among others. The programme supports the circular economy as part of the Sustainable Infrastructure strand. Over the period 2021 – 2027, around €26.2 billion will be allocated. The InvestEU programme will finance SMEs and public organisations.
The European Innovation Fund supports the development of technologies that meet the Paris Agreement objectives and boost Europe’s competitiveness. The fund’s resources come from auctions of emission allowances. The fund focuses on large flagship projects, innovative low-carbon solutions, as well as small-scale projects aiming at significant emission reductions. Over the 2020-2030 programming period, the Fund will allocate around €10 billion. The European Innovation Fund will finance businesses.
Finnish Industrial Investment (Tesi) focuses on venture capital, growth and industrial venture capital investments in minority stakes with private investments. Tesi also invests in promoting circular economy solutions. Tesi funding is available to Finnish companies.
The Climate Fund finances climate and digital investments of significant scale. The Climate Fund finances projects mainly through subordinated debt, special investment funds and other special financial instruments. The circular economy is one of the Fund’s key themes. The Climate Fund finances projects by private and public actors.
The LIFE programme funds projects relating to the environment, climate action and nature conservation that contribute to the EU’s environmental objectives. Projects can be, for example, pilot or demonstration projects involving the use of technology. For the programme period 2021 – 2027, the LIFE programme will provide around €5.4 billion in funding. There will be several calls for funding during the period. LIFE provides funding to businesses, municipalities, research institutes, organisations and public bodies. Project consortia are often made up of 3 to 7 members, but individual operators can also apply for funding.