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Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero and Chairman of the Finnish Technology Advisory Board Risto Siilasmaa:
Finland aims for technology leadership – approves objectives for technology policy for this decade

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 21.4.2022 12.32
Column

Technology and digitalisation are an integral part of our society and our daily lives. We have grown dependent on technology in many ways. The global challenges that humanity faces are only solvable through the invention and rapid scaling of new technological solutions, but new technologies are not enough. We also need to adapt our processes, governance models and practices to optimally leverage technology for the benefit of our society and people.

On 31 March 2022, the Government of Finland approved a resolution on technology policy based on the work of the Finnish Technology Advisory Board. It was the first time that a national goal and objectives were defined for Finland's technology policy. The resolution set the common purpose that in 2030, Finland will be the most successful and best-known country in the world that generates wellbeing from the research, development and utilisation of technology. In addition, four objectives were set:

  1. Finland will be one of the most competitive nations in the world and the world's best place for technology companies. 
     
  2. Finland will be home to many of the world's best-known and most attractive concentrations of technology education, research, skills, and investments. 

    These two objectives are intertwined, because top professionals, excellence in R&D, and high-quality education sustain a vibrant business environment and vice versa. To create the best environment for technology companies to innovate and prosper, we need to enable a frictionless entrepreneurial process, continue to improve our world-class universities, and attract talent from all over the world to ensure that our people continue to be happier than anywhere else.
     
  3. Finland will have the world’s most favourable public sector towards technology and innovation, which will provide the basis for the well-being of individuals and undertakings. 

    We need to rewrite part of our legislation to utilise technology optimally. We need to encourage automation, enable seamless cooperation across different branches of government, retrain our leaders to understand technology better, focus on coordination of technology utilisation within the public sector and continue improving our governance culture to build the world's best services for our citizens. As one example, Finland aims to implement legislation governing digital identity by the end of this year. It is also essential to take the distinct needs of different groups of citizens into account to ensure digitalisation enhances accessibility of public services.
     
  4. Finland will benefit extensively from boldly developing and applying technologies that respond to global challenges.

    Digitalisation and data exploitation create new ways to address global challenges such as climate change. Due to the aim to become climate neutral by 2035, Finland has cutting-edge research and world-class innovations in many fields to tackle global challenges. For example, the growing need for green solutions globally provides excellent opportunities for Finland to make its mark on the world. We need to invest in a better world.

If one does not know where one is going, one will definitely end up in the wrong place. We now know where we want to be in terms of developing technology as well as applying it. We believe this will enable us to further develop our welfare society while continuing to create unmatched entrepreneurial opportunities.

Sirpa Paatero
Minister of Local Government
@sirpa_paatero

Risto Siilasmaa
Chairman of the Finnish Technology Advisory Board
@rsiilasmaa

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