The purpose of the fund is to promote and support innovative research, product development and expertise to benefit the environmental management sector, especially with regard to waste management, material recycling, the utilisation of waste, the treatment of hazardous waste, and the restoration of soil and waters in the Nordic countries.
For this purpose, the fund awards grants to research institutes, research teams and researchers. Grants from the fund are primarily awarded for full or partial funding of wide-scale research project entities. Grants can also be awarded to fund master’s and doctoral theses relevant to the purpose of the fund, to fund project entities of a preliminary nature in preparation for wider-scale projects, and to promote the publication of internationally significant research results.Important criteria in the evaluation of projects to be funded are the commercialisation potential of the research results and their use in the development of the environmental and waste management business in the Nordic countries.
The Board of Directors of Ekokem Corporation annually decides the total amount of grants to be announced within the scope of the assets in the Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are primarily granted to projects according to themes defined on a yearly basis and, secondarily, to other research projects of at least a high national standard serving the environmental sector.
The following types of grants can be awarded from the fund:
a) Research grant
A research grant can be awarded to a research group, researcher or research project for innovative research and product or process development supporting the environmental management sector, especially with regard to waste management, recycling, the utilisation of waste materials, the treatment of hazardous waste, and the restoration of soil and waters.
Priority is given to wide-scale research project entities that are of at least a high national standard and that are closely related to the theme defined for the annual application process. The criteria used in the evaluation of the projects to be funded include the validity of the research design and the novelty value of the project, the impact of the project on the development of the sector, the commercialisation potential of the research results, and the usability of the results in the development of the environmental and waste management sector in the Nordic countries.
b) Study grant
A study grant can be awarded for the writing or partial funding of a master’s or doctoral thesis or a corresponding thesis in the Nordic countries.
Priority is given to projects that support basic research related to the theme defined in the annual application process, that support the development of business in the environmental management sector, and that are related to a wider-scale project entity or that serve as a pre-study-type project the primary goal of which is to produce research data for the launch of a wider-scale project entity or a research programme.
The fund can also award grants to promote the publication of internationally significant research results.
The company's CEO can decide on grants awarded for the partial funding of jointly financed wider-scale research project entities and the manner they are published either conditionally so that the grant depends on the total funding of the project or on a different date after the rest of the funding has been confirmed, according to the CEO's discretion.
Grants cannot be awarded to business projects classified as secret or implemented directly for another company. Funding can be granted to business projects, if the research results are public and generally exploitable, and if they can be commercialised.
Grant recipients are obliged, under the terms and conditions of the grant, to report to Ekokem Corporation on their activities as agreed.
Upon invitation, grant recipients are obliged to present the results of the project at Ekokem Corporation's events at least once during or after the end of the project.
Grant recipients are obliged to deliver all the public reporting material of the project to the grant provider in the agreed reporting schedule.
Grant recipients are required to implement the project according to the schedule and content scope defined in the application. If there is a schedule deviation, the grant recipient must inform Ekokem of the delay immediately on its becoming apparent. If the content scope is deviated from, the grant recipient must submit a change application to the grant awarder before any changes in content are implemented. Any change applications are processed by a person authorised by the CEO to be responsible for the operations of the Scholarship Fund. Decisions to approve any significant changes are made by the CEO.
In wider-scale research project entities, Ekokem Corporation, in the capacity of a partial financier, is entitled to designate a representative to the steering group of the project. The organisation that implements the research project is obliged to allow Ekokem to participate in the steering group work in this manner, if Ekokem so requires.
A grant that has been awarded can be divided within the research project. Funding can consist of one or more personal research grants and partial funding granted to the research project. This procedure can be applied, when a wider-scale research project includes thesis-like sub-studies conducted with the aid of a personal grant.
As a rule, partial funding granted to a project is paid according to the main funder’s payment schedule, taking into account the Scholarship Fund’s share of the total costs of the project that are eligible for funding. A partial advance payment (30% or 50%, depending on the length of the project) and instalments tied to interim and final reports are applied to personal grants. The payment schedule of the project is defined before the project is launched, when the funding is granted, nevertheless in such a manner that no more than 50% of the funding is ever paid when the funding is granted and the last instalment, at least 25%, is paid after the final report has been approved.
A grant that has been awarded can be cancelled in full or in part, if the project cannot be implemented in the planned scope or if the implementation is substantially delayed from the planned schedule. Changes in content or schedule must always be approved by the awarder of the scholarship. On the decision of the Board of Directors of Ekokem Corporation, the part of the grant that has been paid in advance can be claimed back on weighty grounds, if the project is not implemented at all or if it differs substantially from the project plan.
In the case of wide-scale project entities, it is possible to grant funding from the Scholarship Fund of Ekokem Corporation for a period of several years, nevertheless in such a manner that the funding for the periods following the first year is granted conditionally and is tied to the implementation of the project according to the project plan. In such a case, the funding can, on the CEO's decision, either be reserved from that year's assets of the Scholarship Fund or an advance funding provision can be made for the coming years in the assets granted from the Scholarship Fund. Recurring funding can only be granted to long-term projects if the annually recurring funding was proposed in the project funding plan and was applied for in the first application.
The grants are primarily directed at the funding or partial funding of wide-scale research project entities according to themes defined on a yearly basis.The purpose of Ekokem’s environmental scholarship fund is to increase know-how and expertise related to environment and waste management in the Nordic countries.
The themes for 2017 are:
Application time runs from 11th October until 30th November 2016. Decision for the accepted scholarships will be made by Managing Director of Ekokem Group in February 2017. The funded projects and scholarships will be published in Ekokem scholarship seminar event in June 2017.
The fund can also grant scholarships for the funding of master’s and doctoral theses, preliminary investigation work and purposes that promote the publication of research results. Research projects of a high national standard outside the application themes serving the environmental industry may also apply for funding.
Between 1995 and 2015, a total of EUR 1.5 million in grants have been awarded from Ekokem’s environmental scholarship fund, which was founded in 1994 when Ekokem celebrated its 15th anniversary.