International cooperation

Finland must make its research and innovation activities (R&I) more international so that it can successfully respond to the challenges arising from competition on expertise at global level. This would support growth in Finland and help us to strengthen multilateral and bilateral cooperation with our most important partner countries. More internationalisation would also allow Finland to play a greater role in the world community and make it easier for us to contribute to the solution of cross-border problems affecting us all.

International R&I cooperation is often based on agreements and on membership in the European Union and in European and international organisations.

EU research and innovation policy

The purpose of the EU research and innovation policy is to support the development of the competitiveness of the European Union and its industries and to promote research that is considered essential from the perspective of other EU policies.

As a rule, the role of the European Union is limited to providing R&I funding and better operating conditions and to introducing measures supporting transnational cooperation. The EU-funded R&I activities are in the form of multi-year framework programmes. Horizon 2020, the eight framework programme for research and innovation covers the period 2014-2020.

The decisions concerning the programme are jointly made by the EU Competitiveness Council and the European Parliament. Finland is playing an active role in the development of EU research and innovation policy, aiming to safeguard its national interests, while at the same time strengthening European competitiveness.

The Finnish positions on the EU research and innovation policy are formulated in accordance with the Government’s joint coordination procedure. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture have the main responsibility for the monitoring and preparation of EU research and innovation matters and the preparation of Finnish positions.

In the European Parliament, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) is the body with the main responsibility for the research and innovation policy.

Through its membership in the European Union, Finland can also play a global role and seek global partnerships. Under the leadership of the European Commission, the EU is engaged in a dialogue with third countries aimed at strengthening broader international R&I cooperation in accordance with the political objectives of the EU. The European Union has a number of international, bilateral and multilateral agreements with third countries that cover the development of research and technology.

Further information:

Timo Haapalehto - timo.haapalehto(at)
Hanna Vuorinen - hanna.vuorinen(at)