Getting small and medium-sized companies involved

In 2023 Zero Emission Marine (ZEM) is shifting the focus more on partnering with companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We are planning many activities to reach out to different players in the ecosystem.

Last week on Thursday 19 January we hosted an event for SMEs in the Vaasa region. Together with Technology Centre Merinova Oy and Business Finland, we talked about ZEM and the ways how SMEs can get involved.

Larger companies paving the way to global markets

It’s no coincidence why Business Finland has named the instrument “Veturi”, which means “locomotive” in English. The idea is that global Finnish companies will lead the ecosystem pulling smaller players behind them.

At the event, Jarkko Piirto, Senior Funding Advisor at Business Finland talked about the Veturi instrument and the importance of leading companies.

“We believe that larger companies can pave the way for smaller companies to the global markets. Large companies usually have more advanced ways to enter global markets and therefore ecosystem projects are beneficial for all parties”, Jarkko says.

The reason why we want SMEs to get involved is that the challenges of green transition can not be solved alone. The journey towards Zero Emission Marine needs research, development, and innovation efforts from the entire ecosystem.

Increasing the innovation activities

One of the questions received during the event was what kind of criteria there are to receive funding from Business Finland. The simple answer is that there are no strict criteria as every project is different. The important thing is that all parties share the same vision of a Zero Emission Marine future, and the project idea is related to ZEM themes.

As the objective of Business Finland’s partnership funding is to increase innovation activities and the competitive advantage of Finnish companies in international markets, the important thing is of course that the innovation in question has foreseen potential in export markets.

Approaching with a low threshold is encouraged

Business Finland’s partnership model funding is arranged three times a year, in January, April, and September. As the January funding call has just closed, the next deadline to apply for funding is 13 April.

During the event, it was made clear that it’s good to approach ZEM management and Business Finland at an early stage when having an idea that could turn into a project. This way any questions or concerns can be addressed before sending in the application. When the preparation is done carefully, the funding decision can also be expected to take less time.

If you or your organisation might have an idea for a project, do not hesitate to reach out! The ZEM team at Wärtsilä is happy to have a meeting or arrange a workshop to discuss and develop your idea further. Also, Business Finland can be contacted with a low threshold. Below you can find details on how to get in touch.

Zero Emission Marine

Contact ZEM team by filling in this form on our website or send an email to zem.ecosystem@wartsila.com.

Business Finland

Contact Business Finland’s ZEM contact Tero Ijäs tero.ijas@businessfinland.fi