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OECD: Finland needs a new national vision for research and innovation policy

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Education and Culture
Publication date 8.2.2017 16.15
Press release

The Finnish research and innovation system should be developed as a whole in cooperation with different stakeholders. Attention should be paid to reinforcing the overall governance of the system and enhancing interaction between the research and business community.

Public funding should be allocated for R&D and innovation activities of enterprises and for centres-of-excellence in the research and higher education sectors. Furthermore, new models for public-private partnerships should be developed. These are the main conclusions presented in the OECD draft review of research and innovation policy in Finland.

These are the main conclusions presented in the OECD draft review of research and innovation policy in Finland.

-The views of the OECD are a valuable for our work in renewing the Finnish research and innovation system. The preliminary results of the review will be utilised when we are preparing concrete proposals to support growth and renewal for the Government's midterm review, says Director-General Ilona Lundström from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.  

- strong competence base is a requirement for the sustainability and bloom of all sectors of society. This and the other development themes highlighted in the OECD draft report did not come as a surprise to us. Several of the measures suggested in the preliminary recommendations are already under way – for example the Research and Innovation Council’s work for a new national vision has already been launched, describes Director-General Tapio Kosunen from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Finland must be able to restore its capacity for productivity growth and international competitiveness

OECD considers that it is important for Finland to enhance economic diversification and invest in higher value-added industries. The draft report also states that Finland should enhance firm-level productivity, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, and enable them to grow and compete globally.

According to the OECD, Finland needs new high-technology export sectors and innovative entrepreneurship. The traditional industries must also be revitalised in order to foster their capability to compete globally. The high level of expertise and new technologies must be utilised more effectively than before in order to produce innovations that could boost market growth.

The draft report also encourages Finland to further internationalise its innovation system and R&D activities and to organise its research resources into stronger entities. The reform of the higher education sector should be continued in a determined manner. New centre-of-excellence and competence-centre arrangements should be used to encourage both academia-initiated and industrially-oriented research and collaborative schemes between these two.

The final review report will be published in June 2017.

Antti Valle, Industrial Counsellor, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 295 060 140
Erja Heikkinen, Counsellor for Science Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 330 101

Background information on the OECD Review of Innovation Policy

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture commissioned the OECD to assess the research and innovation policy in Finland to receive an internationally respected and independent review of the current state of the Finnish research and innovation system and the related development needs.

In the summer 2016, the reviewers interviewed a large number of representatives of the Finnish business life, higher education institutions, research institutes and public administration. On 8 February, the OECD review team introduced its preliminary findings and recommendations and consulted the stakeholders in an event organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Research and Innovation Council discussed the preliminary findings of the country review in its meeting of 8 February.

In addition to the country review, Finland has commissioned separate microeconometric and macroeconometric meta-analyses concerning the impacts of R&D investments. The macro-level survey drawn up by the OECD will be published during spring 2017. The micro-level survey was conducted by Etlatieto Oy and it was published on 1 December 2016.

Read more about the micro-level survey: Survey of the impact of private R&D operations and the related public funding

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