For SMEs, participating in an international project is often a safe and fruitful way of gaining experience in international markets and establishing necessary contacts. Various networks seek international partners for research and development work. These networks are coordinated by institutes of higher education, research institutes, branch networks or business umbrella organisations similar to chambers of commerce. A participating company can also receive funding for the expenses of an international project.
International research and development projects can include the following:
Developing products, services and processes
Developing concepts, methods and brands that support the business
Cooperation with an international partner (company, research centre, etc.)
Organised information exchange, technology transfers and purchasing industrial property rights
Researcher and expert mobility to/from Finland.
The EU provides funding for the research and development activities of companies through various programmes and projects. You can use the European small business portal (ec.europa.eu) to get more information on current projects. The EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (tekes.eu, in Finnish) is one of the most significant programmes that provide funding for research and innovation projects. The programme will use a total of €70.2 billion to fund European research and innovation projects between 2014 and 2020.
Project export refers to the cooperation between several companies to deliver a certain entity to the export market within a predetermined schedule. Several companies may be involved, but usually one company has the primary responsibility for seeing the project through. Large international events can also make it possible for a company to participate in various consortiums. The project may be a partial or turnkey delivery, or it may be connected to planning infrastructure or building or developing a large production machine or an industrial area, for example.