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Government adopts multiannual plan for research and development funding – plan aims for more ambitious R&D activities and stronger cooperation

Government Communications Department
Publication date 13.6.2024 11.17
Press release 294/2024

The multiannual plan for the use of central government research and development funding focuses on strengthening cooperation between businesses and other R&D actors and encouraging businesses to step up their R&D activities in Finland. The plan also aims to improve the conditions for ambitious research that produces new skills and knowledge, to strengthen research and technology infrastructures and to promote international R&D cooperation. The plan will guide the use of R&D funding over the coming years. The Government adopted the plan in its plenary session on 13 June.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s Government is committed to the national target of increasing Finland’s research and development expenditure to four per cent of GDP by 2030. The Government aims to accelerate sustainable economic growth with around EUR 1 billion in additional investments in the R&D activities of higher education institutions, research organisations and businesses. Research, development and innovation (RDI) plays a crucial role in generating new knowledge and competence, increasing productivity, transforming business and industry and creating prosperity.

In line with the Act on Research and Development Funding in 2024–2030 (1092/2022), the Government shall adopt a plan for the use of central government research and development funding once every electoral term. Based on earlier parliamentary work, the Government is committed to increasing central government R&D funding to 1.2 per cent of GDP by 2030.

“Although Finland is facing a difficult economic situation, we have decided to allocate what little room for manoeuvre we have to research and development. This is an important choice, as it will give Finland the conditions for growth based on a high level of competence. In the future, we want Finland to be one of the most attractive places in the world to create new things, conduct research and bring about commercial innovations,” says Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

Developing the R&D system comprehensively and over the long term

The plan highlights the importance of developing the R&D system in a comprehensive manner. Central government R&D investments must be long-term in order to mobilise private investments. Investing in cooperation between higher education institutions, public research organisations and businesses also plays an important role. The plan aims to re-establish cooperation as a key strength of Finland’s R&D environment.

“Finland’s whole R&D system needs a comprehensive reform. The historic increase in funding for research and product development means we can’t keep doing things the way we always have. The only way we can achieve our ambitious goals is through determined work to be a global leader. This will require not only ambitious efforts by businesses but also stronger conditions for research at higher education institutions and advanced scientific expertise,” says Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala.

Transforming society and business life and creating high added value innovations

The plan was prepared in a broad-based, participatory process. Now that the plan has been adopted, the Research and Innovation Council, led by the Prime Minister, will begin the work to identify strategic choices for R&D. The council also coordinates the work to monitor the effectiveness of R&D funding.

“Significant growth in businesses’ R&D activities is crucial for achieving our four per cent target. The purpose of the central government’s R&D investments is to leverage the growth of private R&D expenditure. Funding will be allocated to those companies that are most capable of innovating and utilising R&D in international business, but also to groundbreaking R&D activities farther away from the market. The aim is to transform business life, increase the productivity of companies and create high added value innovations,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman.

Inquiries: Henrik Vuornos, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 50 408 44 22 and Johanna Moisio, Secretary-General of the Research and Innovation Council, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 625. Email addresses are in the format [email protected]