Helsinki, 24 March, 2006
Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes has launched two new technology programmes in line with its new mission statement in which the key role is played not so much by technological progress but by new innovations. The new programmes are Serve – Innovative Services, which deals with development challenges in the service sector, and Liito, the objective of which is to modernise business know-how.
The goal of the Liito technology programme is to promote the modernisation of companies' business operations and high-risk research and development projects, the purpose of which is to increase productivity. The programme targets companies that aim to enter the global market and seek strong progress and expansion as well as universities and research institutes engaged in business research. The programme is independent of all business sectors and especially welcomes collaborative projects that combine the varied know-how of corporate clusters, companies, universities and research institutions.
"The purpose of the programme is to improve the standard of research on the challenges faced by companies, and to make that research more useful to them," says Ilpo Ihanamäki, Programme Manager of Liito.
The objective of the Serve – Innovative Services technology programme is to improve the competitiveness of Finnish services and to promote the emergence of new, internationally successful service concepts and business models.
Serve focuses on b-to-b services, and services to trade and logistics and to manufacturing. It also looks for ways to reduce the pressure arising from productivity and cost-effectiveness demands on public services, applying, for example, customer-supplier models.
"Making innovation activities more systematic could significantly improve the low productivity of the service sector and make it more international. New, repeatable or reproducible service concepts and business models based on them are necessary to improve the productivity and quality of services. Innovative service concepts are critical also to the competitiveness of industry," say Tiina Tanninen-Ahonen, Service Innovation Director and Minna Suutari, Programme Manager, commenting on the underlying principles of the Serve programme.
The full extent of the Liito programme is EUR 78 million and of Serve some EUR 100 million. Half of the funding will come from Tekes and the rest from participating companies.