Questions and answers
Estimated reading time 4 min

Questions and answers: Call for pilot projects on data sharing applications

Sitra has launched a call for funding projects and is looking for partners to find out what kind of data sharing use cases would benefit from the principles underpinning the European Gaia-X initiative. We want to explore what it means in practice to build an interoperable solution based on these principles. Here, we answer questions that were sent to us by the deadline in the first round of applications.


Denny Wong

Specialist, Gaia-X Finland

Denisa Mäki

Project Coordinator, Gaia-X Finland


1. What is the maximum funding available to one organisation? 

Participating consortiums can apply for co-funding amounts of either Eur 50,000 or Eur 150,000. The lead organisation is responsible for the split of this amount between the organisations in the consortium, typically based on the level of contributed effort, resources, or others. The sum will be distributed among the applicant consortium members on the basis of the budget submitted by the consortium.

Sitra will fund each member of the applicant consortium separately and will conclude a separate agreement with each one. However, if a member of the applicant consortium taking part in the call for funding has received de minimis aid at an amount that does not permit additional aid during the current and two preceding tax years, Sitra may reject the funding application by the applicant consortium.

2. What is the format of the application form? 

Interested consortiums are invited to complete an online application form (Webropol). You can find this here

3. What is the minimum or the maximum number of partners in a consortium? 

The minimum number of partners in a consortium is two and the maximum number is seven.

4. Are there any specific industries you will consider with more interest or priority? 

The call for proposals is open to all industries or sectors.

5. Can the funding be used for expenses such as software costs, salaries, subcontracting? 

Yes. As part of the application process, we require that you submit a budget plan that lists and describes the different expenses needed to implement your project. Please see the funding project’s monitoring and cost annex. The annex defines the costs that can be covered by Sitras’s funding. 

6. Can public organisations (such as hospitals) participate in the call? Or join a consortium? 

Yes, the call is not limited to private organisations only. Public organisations, institutions, or other forms of legal entities are encouraged to apply, as long as proposals are relevant to the project. Applicant consortiums can include companies, ecosystem co-ordinators and/or research institutions. Applicant consortiums must always include companies that use and share data in their business and a minimum of one Finnish company. 

7. Are companies expected to give up part of their equity to participate in the call? 

No, we do not expect companies to grant any equity to us in order to participate. 

8. Can early-stage startups (as yet unregistered) join a consortium? 

Early-stage startups are welcome to join consortiums, but all consortium members need to be legal entities at the time the proposal is submitted. This means that all companies and actors mentioned in the proposal need to be registered. 

9. Can ecosystems or organisations that received other funding from Finnish or EU entities participate in the call? 

Yes, an ecosystem or organisation that has prior or current funding from Finnish or EU entities is encouraged to apply, as long as the de minimis aid requirements are fulfilled. See point 3 of the terms and conditions.

10. Must all participating companies share data? Could there be a technical partner that provides the technology but not sharing data? 

All participating companies are not expected to own or share data within the project. However, the role and contribution of each participant to the project should be clearly described and justified. 

11. Can companies outside the EU join the consortium?  

Consortiums may include companies outside the EU as long as there is a minimum of one Finnish company in the consortium. 

12. Where can I find more information about the 12 guiding principles? 

The 12 guiding principles are listed in the terms and conditions and a more comprehensive description of these is in this article.

13. Would in-kind work time (labour) be accepted as one of the co-funding components? 

Yes, in-kind work or labour from the participating companies is considered one of the co-funding contributions. 

14. What are the evaluation criteria? And how would the proposals be ranked? 

All proposals will be evaluated based on three aspects. There will be a project specific review (for example on whether the project creates real business value, and whether the problem is clear, and so on) and a strategic review (on whether the project contributes to a fairer data economy or whether it has potential for growth internationally). Finally, the contribution to the development and learning around Gaia-X will be evaluated. For more detailed information please see in point 6 of the terms and conditions.

15. What are the payment milestones for the transfer of the funding? Any up front payment? 

The payment milestones are typically done in two to four parts depending on a mutually agreed milestone set during the contractual phase.  

This document will be updated if needed.

What's this about?