Oulun Energia logo

A girl examines a dandelion with a magnifying glass on the ground.
A girl examines a dandelion with a magnifying glass.

To ensure that promising innovations see more than the drawing board—with the Miljöö Innovation Grant, we are promoting projects that create a better world

The Miljöö Innovation Grant, which is in its second round of applications, is designed to promote projects that innovate and study the world for the better. Funding can be sought during August–September for research and development projects, and for the promotion of energy education—the common denominator is to pave the way toward a cleaner and greener future, regardless of the size of the project.

What kinds of innovations could we use to turn waste into a reusable resource? And how could waste heat from data centres be minimised and harnessed most efficiently for reclamation?
These are some of the questions we can solve to take steps towards a more sustainable world. The Miljöö Innovation Grant, which is in its second round of applications, is Oulun Energia’s gesture of goodwill for companies, teams, and individuals working on projects that promote a cleaner and greener future.

“We have been supporting research and development work for a long time, as our goal is to make the world a better place. We want to help projects aiming for the same goal with the low-threshold Miljöö Innovation Grant because the development of promising projects should not hinge on a lack of money,” describes Tarja Väyrynen, quality and environment director at Oulun Energia.

The grant will unblock projects’ bottlenecks

The Miljöö Innovation Grant, which has no restrictions on age or region, can be granted to projects that innovate and study our society in a more sustainable and cleaner direction, in the fields of carbon neutrality, the circular economy and bio-based products, smart energy solutions, environmental actions, and smart mobility, for example.

The amount of the innovation grant awarded varies from around a thousand euros to tens of thousands of euros, and there is as much variation in the projects that can receive the funding: The grant can be sought for research, product development, commercialisation, marketing, or, for example, financing a seminar trip.

Väyrynen, who is part of the panel of judges that considers the applications, states encouragingly that good projects always receive funding. The characteristics of a good project are clear target setting, meticulously drafted plans, and a well-founded estimate of the effectiveness of the outcome.

“We will not confine ourselves to any presumptions, but rather, will always view projects as projects. However, the money is the most significant if it solves a problem or a hindrance to the progress of a project. This is why it is important to be crystal clear about what the bottleneck of the project is that the money will solve.”



Circular economy innovations have a lot to offer

During the 2022 application round, the applications heavily centred on research and development projects that focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste heat minimisation.

For its innovativeness, the panel of judges especially remembers a project piloting the joint use of goods, and Väyrynen hopes to see more applications related to the circular economy this year as well.
The circular economy and the utilisation of waste as a resource play a key role in preserving natural resources.

“The circular economy is a foundation in our operations as well. Carbon dioxide emissions, degradation of biodiversity and over-consumption of resources are acute problems that the circular economy has a lot to offer to solve. It is clear that humanity cannot continue along this path for long.”

When we talk about the future, we have to talk about the younger generations. The funded projects want to make the world better for them, but also through them. One example of this is the grant awarded for the production of energy education materials for school children.

“Energy education starts at school, which is why projects related to school and education are of interest. For us, it is a question of values. The youth are growing up to be the experts of the future, and in the future they will be the ones to decide how to run this world,” Väyrynen emphasises.


Miljöö Innovation Grant

  • Application period: 1 August to 30 September 2023.
  • The application is open to applicants nationwide and there is no age limit.
  • Individuals, researchers, teams, communities, and companies can apply for the grant. We also see great potential in joint projects between companies and educational institutions.
  • The amount of each individual grant varies from about a thousand euros to tens of thousands of euros.
  • Grant themes: carbon neutrality, smart energy solutions and technologies, the circular economy and bio-based solutions, solutions that promote productivity and efficiency, new operating models and products, smart mobility, digitalisation and research, and the carrying capacity and sustainability of the environment.
  • The grant is awarded by a panel of judges formed of experts that will change every two years.
The logo of the eco-innovation support. The picture shows the city from a frog's perspective.

Let’s innovate the world for the better

Do you want more information about funding projects and innovations? Learn about the Miljöö Innovation Grant awarded by Oulun Energia and submit your application!

Learn more about the Miljöö Innovation Grant