R&D is a key component of innovation activities
Research and development
Research and development is central to innovation activities. The concept of innovation activities, however, is much broader than simply R&D.
Investments made by companies in R&D activities (pdf) help create innovations, improve competitiveness and thus promote economic growth and social welfare.
Finland’s investments in R&D activities (pdf) are the second highest in relation to GDP among OECD countries. The share of investments made by companies in R&D activities in Finland is extremely high, approximately 70%, compared to other countries. However, R&D investments are distributed very unevenly among different industrial branches. In Finland they are concentrated mainly within the electronics industry.
R&D activities should be developed as follows:
- The level of R&D funding should be increased to four percent of GDP. The annual growth of public R&D funding should be at least seven percent. Additional resources should be targeted selectively.
- SME’s should be activated more to undertake development activities. At the same time more attention should be paid to branches that traditionally have not been strong in R&D activities.
- Public R&D funding should focus more on development activities related to other areas than just technology.
Building Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovations
A new instrument for innovation policies in Finland involves the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovations. These Centres are being created for areas of expertise that are vital for the future of business and society.
The activities of these Centres are based on co-operation between companies, universities, research institutes and funding organisations. New and existing R&D resources are targeted at these activities in a new way, on a larger scale and on a more long-term basis.