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On 16 December 2021, the Ministry of the Environment opened a call for applications by which companies, municipalities, associations and other actors may receive funding for projects that promote carbon reduction in the built environment. The amount of funding available totals EUR 1 million and the deadline for the applications is 11 February 2022.

“A third of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by construction and buildings. This means that there is at least the same volume of climate solutions to be found. A fair amount of funding is available for impactful ideas and new openings, and we wish to invite everybody to participate in this joint effort,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Emma Kari.

This application process is part of the Low-carbon Built Environment Programme of the Ministry of the Environment and Business Finland, where a total of EUR 40 million will be invested in climate work related to the built environment between 2021 and 2023. Funding will be offered in seven application rounds.

The programme is funded from the EU recovery instrument. How the funds will be used nationally was outlined in the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland.

Ministry of the Environment hopes to receive diverse and innovative applications

The Ministry of the Environment grants funding for research, development and innovation projects that test and develop new means for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The project may concern e.g. the development of processes related to energy efficiency, construction materials, design and construction, or the development of the knowledge base and competence in the field.

The call for applications of the Ministry of the Environment is targeted to companies, municipalities, associations, research institutes or other organisations with good project ideas for developing a low-carbon built environment. The aim is that the results of the projects will be openly available for use.

The call for applications started on 16 December 2021 and the applications are to be submitted by 11 February 2022 at 16.15.

Wide interest in the first call for applications

The first application round launched by Business Finland in autumn 2021 attracted a great deal of interest in its target group, i.e. companies aiming for international growth and research organisations that support these.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the wide interest in this funding. By the deadline, we received about 60 applications, concerning a total of EUR 18 million in funding. Among the applicants there were both development projects of private companies and joint projects of groups of companies and research institutes. The topics were highly diverse, even though many ideas and projects are still in their early stages. A better half of the applications compete seriously for the funding with impactful low-carbon solutions,” says Virpi Mikkonen from Business Finland.

The funding available for the projects in 2021–2022 totals about EUR 17 million.

Next application rounds

The next deadline for applications for funding through Business Finland is 31 March 2022. The call for applications of the year 2023 will be opened in autumn 2022 and the decisions on funding will be made in the beginning of 2023. In 2023, Business Finland is estimated to have EUR 15 million in funding available for research, development and innovation activities. In addition to this, Business Finland will launch measures to promote exports and internationalisation during 2022.

The next call for applications of Ministry of the Environment is scheduled to open in early summer 2022.

Access to networks and partnerships, not just euros

Besides funding, the Low-carbon Built Environment Programme provides a platform for developing broad-based cooperation between operators in the sector and for sharing best lessons learned.

“Our aim is to create a common positive setting where the entire sector wants to be involved in developing and utilising new solutions that promote a low-carbon built environment for Finland and the export market,” says Teemu Lehtinen, CEO of KIRAHub, a non-profit organisation that promotes the sustainable digitalisation of the built environment, selected as the project manager of the programme.

Source: Ministry of the Environment

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