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Research and innovation policy outline for 2015-2020 adopted

Government Communications Department 5.11.2014 16.04
Press release 485/2014

In its meeting on 5 November, the Research and Innovation Policy Council, chaired by Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, adopted an outline for Finland's research and innovation policy and the related actions and funding. The aim is to improve Finland's competitiveness, citizens’ well-being, and the state of the environment by strengthening the quality and effectiveness of research and innovation (R&I) activities.

The document presents a national research and innovation policy reform programme which is to stimulate the development of structures and measures of the national innovation system. This programme consists of six main themes, supported by the recommended funding solutions.

The main development targets are to: 1) implement a radical reform of the higher education system, 2) promote the use of R&I results and their impacts, and 3) strengthen new sources of growth, intangible assets and entrepreneurship.

The other key development actions aim at: 4) improving the overall knowledge base and promoting selected cutting-edge skills, 5) reforming the public sector and increasing cross-ministerial cooperation and 6) allocating funding efficiently. To promote these priorities, the Council document puts forward a set of related outlines with concrete proposals for action.

R&I funding is to be increased to better meet intensifying international competition. At the same time, the funding must be allocated in a manner that enhances the economy, employment and the knowledge base in Finland. This is an important signal from the State and indicates commitment to the development of a knowledge and skills-based society. The recent downward trend of R&D expenditure will be reversed.

To implement the reform programme, the Council recommends that the State's research and development funding be annually increased by 2 per cent in real terms during the period 2015–2020. In real terms, this would mean an increase of EUR 210 million (i.e. over EUR 400 million in current prices) by the end of the decade from the 2015 level. The funding will be used to support high quality R&I, dismantle inefficient structures within the innovation system, encourage experimentation and improve the utilisation of R&I results. The aim is to find new sources of growth, foster national competitive advantages and create internationally attractive centres of expertise.

The Research and Innovation Policy Council will monitor the implementation of the given recommendations. In autumn 2015, the Council will submit its assessment of the situation and make proposals for necessary further measures.

Reformative Finland: Research and innovation policy guidelines for 2015–2020 is now available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture (in Finnish only, the document is being translated into English).

Inquiries: Kai Husso, Chief Planning Officer, tel. +358 295 063 683, Ministry of Employment and the Economy Tuomas Parkkari, Chief Planning Officer, tel. +358 295 330 244, Ministry of Education and Culture

The Research and Innovation Policy Council advises the Government and ministries in important matters concerning research, technology and their utilisation and evaluation. The Council is responsible for directing and coordinating research and innovation policy and for preparing related plans and proposals. The Council draws up a policy outline once during each government term.

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