A government grant is a form of discretionary financing provided from central government funds to support activities and projects considered necessary for society.
The State Treasury is preparing new government grant online services for applicants and recipients of discretionary government grants and for government grant authorities. The State Treasury will also be responsible for the continuous development of the services and for providing support for all service users. Government grant authorities will be responsible for the terms and conditions for submitting applications and for awarding the grants.
The services are now under development and they are expected to replace, in full or in part, the existing services of the government grant authorities in the next few years. The extent of digitalisation among government grant authorities varies, and the provision of separate online services also generates costs. It is also easier for the applicants to view different types of grants and apply for them on a one-stop-shop basis.
The online services are being developed in a government grant development and digitalisation project managed by the Ministry of Finance. The State Treasury participates in the project as a service provider.
What are government grants?
A government grant is a form of discretionary financing provided from central government funds to support activities and projects considered necessary for society. A total of nearly EUR 4 billion in government grants is awarded each year in more than 300 calls for government grant applications.
Government grants are awarded by government grant authorities (all ministries and about 30 government agencies). Government grants are also awarded by regional state administrative authorities. Grants are awarded to associations, foundations, municipalities, joint municipal authorities, scientific institutes, research organisations, higher education institutions, companies and private persons.
Government grants and
central government transfers are two different things but they are grouped together under the concept ‘government aid’. Government grants can also be awarded as government subsidies. The Act on Discretionary Government Grants is a general statute containing provisions on government grant activities. Government grants are awarded as general grants or special grants.
Improving the administration of discretionary government grants
The development and digitalisation of government grant activities is a five-year project led by the Ministry of Finance. In the project, all central government actors will gradually change over to a new operating model for government grant activities and will start using shared online services supporting the model.
As part of the project, all concepts of government grant activities will be compiled into a single glossary. Developing the practices requires a common language. The glossary can be used as a support tool in the design of online services and to make them easier to understand.
Developing government grant activities and the new operating model
- will make government grant activities more effective
- will make government grant activities more open and transparent
- will speed up the process of applying for and awarding government grants
- will enhance cooperation between government grant authorities and government grant applicants.
With the new operating model, more information on the societal impacts of government grants can be collected and this information be used to support decision-making and the prioritising of the grants.
For more information, visit
Ministry of Finance >
Glossary of government grant terms (in Finnish) >
Towards a smoother, more effective system for administering discretionary government grants Outline for government grant authorities
and government grant applicants
State Treasury as a service provider
The Ministry of Finance has decided that the State Treasury will act as the authority responsible for government grant online services, for developing and maintaining the services and for user support.
Government grant services comprise three online services:
The online services will make applying for and awarding the grants easier and they also make it easier for government grant authorities to gradually change over to the new operating model.
The introduction of the new services will require changes in the Act on Discretionary Government Grants and the Act on the State Treasury.
Government proposal to Parliament for acts amending the Act on Discretionary Government Grants and the Act on the State Treasury (in Finnish) >
The role of the State Treasury as a government grant authority awarding government grants will remain unchanged. The State Treasury does not take a stance on the terms and conditions of the government grants awarded by other government grant authorities or the process of awarding them. The definition and tasks of a government grant authority and the competence of individual ministries in government grant matters in their own sectors will remain unchanged.
Frequently asked questions about government grant activities
For answers to frequently asked questions about government grant activities, visit the Ministry of Finance website:
Legislation on government grant services
Applyforgrants.fi is an online service bringing together the notices for calls published by government grant authorities. You can browse through the notices without logging in. If you are applying for a government grant, you must log into the service using Suomi.fi e-Identification to complete the application.
In the service, you can
- browse through and filter open calls for government grant applications,
- complete application forms,
- monitor the processing of your application,
- accept the grant decision.
The first pilot version of the service will be made available in September 2021. Initially, only the notices for calls for general grants awarded by the Fire Protection Fund (PSR) can be viewed in the service. The applications for the grants must be submitted in accordance with PSR’s own application procedure. Completing the application and the application process will be tested in the Applyforgrants.fi service in spring 2022.
Exploregrants.fi is an open repository of government grant activities where anybody can view details of government grant applications and decisions. It provides an up-to-date overall picture of government grants and their use.
In the service, you can check
- the sums awarded as government grants,
- and the purposes for which the grants have been awarded.
The service is still at concept stage. It will be launched after Applyforgrants.fi has been made more extensively available and the details of the first grant decisions can be retrieved from the service.
Using Managegrants.fi government grant authorities can publish notices for calls and process applications for government grants.
In the service, a government grant authority can
- enter the notices for calls and publish them,
- receive applications,
- process applications,
- send the government grant decisions and the decisions on the payment of government grants.
The service is under preparation. Government grant authorities will launch the service in piloting stages.