The perspective of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on innovation policy emphasises reinvention, competitiveness and long-term financing
Finland aims to be highly competitive at developing new technologies and innovations, quick at adopting them and the best at applying them. Innovation activities provide wellbeing and solutions to global challenges. The outlook review by officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment proposes several innovation policy development measures for the next parliamentary term.
“By international comparison, Finland has fallen alarmingly behind in terms of research, development and innovation investments. We need to increase these investments to a target level of 4 per cent of GDP by 2030. Investments would then amount to 9.3 billion euro; an increase of three billion from the current level,” says Permanent Secretary Jari Gustafsson.
“R&D investments and innovation funding should primarily be targeted at themes and growth industries that are linked to technology breakthroughs and challenges in society. Close partnerships between research, business and industry, private companies and public sector organisations are needed,” Director-General Ilona Lundström emphasises.
Multiannual strategic programmes could serve as a key vehicle for innovation policy, with companies, public sector organisations and other players committing to their implementation. Other key measures could include modifying the structure and practices of the Research and Innovation Council to create a new Growth and Excellence Council.
Other areas in need of development include digital value creation, utilisation of intellectual property, and more efficient commercialisation of research results. Digitalisation is challenging innovation policy and the means to achieve it. In the future, we will need clear rules on the use of data that offer consistency to companies, society and users. Use of data as a source of innovation can be promoted through legislation, contracts, and self-regulation in various industries.
“Successful innovation policy consists of many elements, but people and innovative communities will always remain at the core. We must make sure Finnish people possess the right skills and competences, but we must also tap into the international talent available in terms of labour immigration and foreign students already in the country,” Lundström points out.
Jari Gustafsson, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7400
Ilona Lundström, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7186