How to apply for funding

In our step-by-step guide, you'll find details on how to apply for and receive funding from us. Here you'll also find commonly used phrases that may be useful to you during the application process.

Applying for and receiving funding from Vinnova

When you apply for funding from Vinnova, you need to know what kind of projects we fund, and what we expect of the organisations we fund. You also need to have a good understanding of the terms and phrases we use, so you’ll find a glossary with useful terms at the bottom of this page.

  • Is Vinnova right for you?

    Vinnova funds research and innovation projects that can benefit society. We do so through various offers, which we call 'calls for proposals'.

    Vinnova funds research and innovation projects that can benefit society. We do so through various offers, which we call 'calls for proposals'.

    What Vinnova funds

    Vinnova funds research and innovation projects that may not become a reality without government support. This involves everything from climate-smart meat alternatives to seeing how robots can help the elderly. We also fund pilot studies for projects in research and innovation, and provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Please have a look at what we've funded to date to see what kind of projects we provide support for.

    Search among our funded projects

    Who can receive funding

    We can only give funding to organisations, and we often want several participants to cooperate in the project. Private individuals never receive funding from us, and neither do organisations with economic difficulties.

    How we fund projects

    Vinnova funds research and innovation through various calls for proposals. A call for proposals is a type of framework for what earmarked funding should be used for. In the call, we also specify what kinds of organisations can apply for that funding.

    Even if your project fits within the framework of the call, there's no guarantee that you'll receive funding. There's often tough competition and we can't provide funding to everyone who applies. If we decide to fund your project, we never go in as advisers or collaborative partners.

    We normally don't fund all costs

    We normally don't fund all of your costs. So you must be sure that you have other funding that can cover a part of the costs. What we fund depends on several things such as what you're going to do, the organisation's size and what kind of activities you carry out. The organisations in the project often receive funding of various sizes. How much each organisation receives is stated by the funding decision you receive from us.

    Rules for state aid

    For reasons of competition, there are rules for state aid. Among other things, the rules determine what we can fund and how much funding we can give.

    Rules for state aid

    What costs we can fund

    The costs that you can receive funding for are called 'eligible costs'. What expenses count as eligible costs depends on what you're doing in the project, but the cost must always appear in the organisation's accounts during the project period. Please read the call text to see what applies specifically to you.

    There are also additional requirements and conditions for our funding. We explain them in our guide on eligible costs and in our general terms and conditions, Section 6.1.

    Vinnovas guide to eligible costs (pdf) - only in Swedish

    Vinnova's general terms and conditions for grants, 2017 (pdf)

  • Applying for funding

    Regularly look for offers, or 'calls for proposals' as we also call them. Your chances of finding funding for your project are greater that way. If you find a call that you think is suitable, you'll need to submit an application electronically. Please read the call text carefully so that you don't miss anything that must be included in the application.

    Regularly look for offers, or 'calls for proposals' as we also call them. Your chances of finding funding for your project are greater that way. If you find a call that you think is suitable, you'll need to submit an application electronically. Please read the call text carefully so that you don't miss anything that must be included in the application.

    Find the right funding

    The first step to receiving funding is searching among our calls for proposals to see if any of them might suit your project. The calls have different objectives and are directed at different target groups. Each call contains a number of conditions that must be met so that we can assess if we'll fund the project.

    Find the right funding

    Things to consider before you apply

    It can take time to apply for funding. Because our calls often ask you to cooperate with other organisations, you need to plan time to find cooperative partners. You also need to have a dialogue with them about the project and various parts of the application.

    Our calls for proposals are only open to applications for a limited period of time. Once the application period expires, it's no longer possible to send in your application. So you need to start your application well in advance of submission.

    Once the application period has expired, you may only add details to the application if we request it.

    Please read the call text carefully

    Most applications include the same details, but the requirements in the calls and what attachments you should provide may vary. It's therefore important to read the entire call text carefully so that your application includes everything we ask for. Keep an extra eye out for these things:

    • Formal requirements: In every call, there are a number of formal requirements that must be met. Examples of formal requirements may be that the company may not be older than five years, that the project must have at least three participants or that the project manager has to be employed at the coordinator.
    • Evaluation criteria: This is what we base our evaluation on, so please make sure that you have described everything we ask for in your application.

    How to apply

    We only accept applications electronically through our application service: the eServices portal. An application usually consists of an application form and various appendices, but this depends on the call. We only evaluate applications that contain everything we've asked for, so please make sure you follow our instructions carefully.

    eServices portal

    How to complete an application - a step-by-step guide (only available in Swedish)

    Confidentiality in applications

    All registered applications become official documents. According to the principle of public access to official documents, the public has the right to request access to applications that we receive, including applications that are rejected or revoked.

    Before we release an application, we review it for confidential information. This means that our programme managers assess each individual case. We don't disclose information about inventions, research findings or business and operating conditions if we believe that anyone can suffer economic damage from it.

    When you apply, you can indicate that your application contains information that should be classified. This way, you help our programme managers in the assessment.

  • Vinnova evaluates and decides

    When we evaluate the applications that we receive, we look at how feasible the idea is, how much potential it has and what actors are involved to implement the project. We don't evaluate any applications that are incomplete or don't meet our formal requirements.

    When we evaluate the applications that we receive, we look at how feasible the idea is, how much potential it has and what actors are involved to implement the project. We don't evaluate any applications that are incomplete or don't meet our formal requirements.

    How we evaluate the applications

    Once we've received the applications, we review them and remove those applications that are incomplete or don't meet our requirements. The applications that are correct and complete are shared out between different evaluators. We often get help from especially appointed, external evaluators so that our efforts will be of as high quality as possible. All evaluators are knowledgeable in the particular area that the application concerns.

    Once the evaluators have gone through the applications, we have a meeting with the evaluators and Vinnova's programme managers. At the meeting, we discuss the applications, and the reviewers recommend which applications should be granted. In some cases, we call the applicants to an interview before we make a decision. After that, Vinnova makes a decision about who receives funding, and how much of the expenses we cover for each organisation.

    When the decision will be made

    How long the decision process takes depends on how many applicants there are. You can find information on when you can expect a decision under important dates in the call text. All funded projects are presented on our website.

    Assessment criteria

    When we review applications, we always look at three main criteria:

    • Potential: We analyse what effects and what value we can expect from the project, and what significance it will have for society if the project achieves its goals.
    • Actors: We assess the participants' ability to run the project, and achieve desired results and effects.
    • Feasibility: We look at how realistic and credible the project plan is, both to implement the project and to achieve desired results.

    What the criteria mean for each call is described in the call text.

    No guarantees for funding

    On average 30 per cent of all who apply receive funding, so the competition is tough. This means that you may be rejected although you meet all the criteria. The decision can't be appealed, but everyone who gets a rejection is welcome to apply again at the next application round or for a different call.

  • Running the project

    If we decide to fund your project, we'll email the funding decision to you. To receive funding from us, you need to execute the project as you've described and follow our terms and conditions. During the project period, you must also report to us how the project is going, and any potential changes you make to the project.

    If we decide to fund your project, we'll email the funding decision to you. To receive funding from us, you need to execute the project as you've described and follow our terms and conditions. During the project period, you must also report to us how the project is going, and any potential changes you make to the project.

    Funding decision

    In the funding decision you receive from us, there's information about who receives funding and how much each grant recipient receives. For every grant recipient, we give an amount and a maximum aid intensity. The amount is the funding you can receive as a maximum, regardless of how high your costs are. The maximum aid intensity is the percentage of your expenses that we can fund. If you have lower expenses than budgeted, it's most often the maximum aid intensity that determines the final grant amount. The amount can be lower than what's stated in the funding decision you receive from us.

    Vinnova often disburses funds in advance. If you have received more money than what you have a right to, you must pay back the extra amount.

    The funding decision also states the period during which we can finance your expenses and when you have to submit various reports.

    Our terms and conditions

    We have general terms and conditions that apply to all projects that we finance. For some calls and projects, we also have special terms and conditions that only apply to them.

    Among other things, our general terms and conditions state that you have to:

    • conduct the project according to the project description that you submitted in the application
    • set up a project agreement if you have several project participants
    • report your expenses and how the project is going
    • submit information about the project, even after it has ended.

    If you don't comply with the conditions, Vinnova has a right to discontinue the funding. You may then also be obliged to repay funding that we have already paid out.

    Vinnova's general terms and conditions for grants

    Please read our guide on eligible costs to understand what costs you're able to ask us to cover, and how they're calculated.

    Guide to eligible costs (pdf) - only in Swedish

    In our agreement guide, we describe what you should keep in mind when you set up a project agreement between the participants in the project.

    Project agreement guide (pdf) - only in Swedish

    The help you can get from Vinnova

    You must be able to run the project independently, but you're always welcome to get in touch with the programme manager at Vinnova if you have questions about the funding.

    Submitting reports regularly

    All projects submit reports to us about how the project is going, so we can see that you're conducting the project as you described in your application. If you demonstrate shortcomings in the reporting or in how you're running the project, we won't pay out.

    The project manager submits all reports in the eServices portal, and other project participants must ensure that the project manager has all the information they need to do so. How often you need to submit reports is stated by the funding decision, and we'll send an email to the project manager two weeks before the next report is due.

    How to submit reports

    The project manager has to submit all reports electronically in the eServices portal. Keep in mind that only the project manager has access to the project in the eServices portal after the funding decision has been made. You'll find information about when you must submit the various reports in the funding decision. Which reports are needed vary between different calls, but we often ask for these reports:

    Start report: Your first report that confirms that the project is ready to start. Among other things, the report should contain a bank giro or plusgiro number for disbursements and a project abstract. All project participants also have to submit a document that we call a Participant's Approval, where you commit to carry out the project as described in your application, following our terms and conditions.

    Guide for the Participant's Approval (pdf)

    Form for Participant's Approval, English version (pdf)

    Status report: A continuous reconciliation, most often submitted after six months, so that we can see how the project is going. Among other things, you should report how you're doing against the project description and submit an expense report for each participant. Please feel free to go into the eServices portal to see what the reports should contain.

    End of project report: A coherent report that should provide a collective view of how you executed the project and what the results were. Here, you also submit a total cost accounting.

    Follow-up report: A report for the calls where we want to follow up the project results on a longer term.

    We have to make sure that all reports come in before we pay out. If you need to add details to the report, please note that you'll receive the disbursement only after we have registered your added information.

    Notify us of any changes

    It's important that you inform us of changes during the project so that we can decide on continued funding. For example, you must notify us if you change project managers or if the project is delayed.

    Use the function Begäran om ändring (request a change) in the eServices portal.

    If anyone in the project has economic problems, it's important that you contact your programme manager immediately. Vinnova is not able pay out money to organisations with economic difficulties.

    The final grant may be lower

    Sometimes, the final grant may be lower than the maximum amount that is in the funding decision. This is because the right to funding is calculated for each participant, and we only finance a certain percentage of your expenses. If your expenses are lower, the grant will also be lower.

    If the actual expenses are lower than the budgeted expenses, you don't always have the right to the amount in the funding decision. In this case, it's the maximum aid intensity in the funding decision that determines how large the grant is for each participant, which means that you may need to pay money back to us.

    Vinnova examines the accounts

    Sometimes, Vinnova conducts audits on site, even up to ten years after the funding decision. You'll then need to help us to obtain the documentation that our auditors need to look at. You'll not receive any compensation for the time you spend on this.

  • Following up results

    Vinnova follows up the projects we fund, since we want to see what effects our investment has on society and for Sweden. We also want to see how we can develop our investments to do as much good as possible. We follow up projects both while they're under way and after they're completed.

    Vinnova follows up the projects we fund, since we want to see what effects our investment has on society and for Sweden. We also want to see how we can develop our investments to do as much good as possible. We follow up projects both while they're under way and after they're completed.

    We want to see results from our investment

    We usually follow up the projects we fund so that we can analyse our own operations and see what value our efforts have for society. We want to see both direct results and learn lessons from the execution of the project.

    To see direct results, we can, for example, measure new or improved products and services, new patents, publications, new jobs, changed behaviours or additional sales.

    We also follow up projects through evaluations and impact analyses. In longer projects, we sometimes do half-time reviews. In our programme conferences, we gather lessons learned and exchange experiences.

    Sometimes, we send out surveys to the participants in the projects we follow up. By answering questionnaires, you can help us make our offers better. When we develop our operations, more good ideas can become reality.

    Sometimes, the Government commissions us to follow up specific efforts.

    Read more about how we evaluate our work (coming soon)

    Good examples of results

    If you'd like to see examples of projects where we see benefits in society, the periodical Tidningen Innovation highlights especially successful projects.

    Tidningen Innovation (in Swedish)

    More about how we work with innovation

    How we promote innovation

    Results of our efforts

Terms and roles that are good to know

Participants

All organisations that cooperate in the project are called participants. The participants contribute to plan and implement the project, and share risks and results. The participants don't necessarily have to receive part of the funding, but they need to participate and have expenses in the project, and they're also included in the application.

A participant is always a legal entity. If anyone in the project takes in subcontractors or reference groups, they're not participants.

Participant's approval

A participant's approval is a document where each participant commits to do what's written in the application, and report the results to Vinnova. We request an approval from every participant. An authorised representative must sign the document, which you then scan. The scanned-in documents are to be appended to the start report, and the coordinator saves the original.

Coordinating participant (coordinator)

The coordinating participant, or coordinator, is the participant that's responsible for the contact with Vinnova. This means that the coordinator conveys information between the other participants and Vinnova. The coordinator is also responsible for making sure that all documents and reports are submitted to Vinnova.

The disbursements always go to the coordinator, who distributes the funding to the recipients. The project manager most often works in the organisation at the coordinator.

Project manager

The project manager is the person who's linked to the project in the eServices portal. In practice, the project manager does what the coordinator is responsible for such as submitting reports or reporting changes in the project.

Beneficiary

Beneficiaries are the participants that receive part of the funding. Some participants participate in the project without receiving part of the grant. They're therefore not beneficiaries. A beneficiary may never be a financier of another participant in the project.

Aid intensity

The aid intensity is Vinnova's funding expressed as a percentage of the beneficiary's eligble project costs. This is how we calculate the aid intensity:

Aid intensity (%) = Funding/eligible costs

The maximum aid intensity that the various participants may receive depends on the call, the organisation's circumstances and the rules for state aid. The support can therefore be of varying sizes for different participants. The maximum aid intensity is stated in the funding decision you receive from us.

Other financiers

Vinnova is a financier. In addition to Vinnova, there may also be other financiers. A grant recipient can't be a financier of another participant in the same project.

Own financing

Own financing is the portion of the expenses that are not covered by Vinnova's funding or other financiers.