The aim of the Icelandic-Finnish Cultural Foundation is to promote relations and cultural exchange between Finland and Iceland and to increase the countries’ mutual awareness and knowledge.
The Foundation provides grants to support projects in different spheres of society and cultural life. Grants are awarded to individuals, organisations and associations.
Grants are awarded, for instance, for co-operation in the fields of art and culture, scientific research (especially humanities and social sciences), study trips by student and pupil groups, and for learning more about either country’s cultural, social and economic conditions. In addition, the Foundation has projects of its own.
The Icelandic-Finnish Cultural Foundation was founded in 1975 by the State of Finland, and its capital is EUR 1.3 million (2022). Since 2008, the State of Iceland has contributed to the Foundation’s grants and scholarships.
The Board of the Foundation consists of four members (two from each country) and two deputy members. The Board is nominated by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
The Foundation’s Board consists of Mayor Pekka Timonen, University Instructor Sari Päivärinne (2024-2026), Senior Adviser Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir and Artist Magnús Logi Kristinsson (2023-2025) as members. Deputy members are Author, Pastor Tapio Koivukari and Consultant Baldur Þórir Guðmundsson.
CEO Gunvor Kronman is the Foundation’s Secretary General. The Foundation’s secretariat is located in the Hanaholmen Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre.
For what purpose can I apply for a grant?
The Foundation prioritises projects that aim to:
• promote the cultural exchange between the two countries and develop the cultural life in those;
• increase interest in the Finnish language in Iceland and in the Icelandic language in Finland;
• increase people’s awareness of the common history of the two countries and that of the social development that has taken place since then;
• deal with future challenges and possibilities related to the industry, social development and cultural life of the two countries.
For what kind of projects can I apply for a grant?
The Foundation prioritises projects that:
• further develop the current collaboration and are seeking new areas/networks/target groups for bilateral exchange in the future;
• are carried out in those Finnish/Icelandic regions where the awareness of the countries or relations between the countries are quite low;
• create something that is new and that has not been carried out before, offer a new perspective and introduce new information and the latest scientific developments from Finland/Iceland and from Finnish-Icelandic relations;
• have the opportunity to continue and develop;
• increase interest in Finland in Icelandic public debate, and vice versa.
What grants are not awarded for?
Projects must have a clear bilateral goal. If this goal is not clear from the application, the application will be rejected. Grants are not awarded for projects that have been started or completed before a decision is made by the Foundation. As a main rule, grants are not awarded for the following purposes:
• technical equipment, material expenses, repair work, construction, monuments or similar;
• administrative expenses or salaries that are not directly related to the execution of the project;
• secondary, higher education or other studies covered by a general study grant;
• exchange studies, internship or student exchange;
• sports events
• participation in recidency programmes.
Download the application guidelines (in Swedish).
Please see also previously awarded grants under “Awarded Grants”.
Payment of grants
The grantee submits an electronic requisition form via the application system. The grant is to be used within the time period stated in the Board’s decision and a possible extension or an amendment in usage must be applied for in writing.
Apply for a grant here.