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INTERNATIONALISATION OF FINNISH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Finland will ensure her success on a global scale by strengthening the knowledge and competence base, investing in high-quality education and research, developing production and corporate structures, enhancing international marketing and business competence, and enhancing innovativeness and the utilisation of knowledge. Finland’s research strategy is built on the present strengths and the need to create new ones through systematic and continuous development of knowledge, competence, education, research, and innovation. The underlying principle in extensive international co-operation is high quality and relevance. The objective of the strategy is to: - support Finland’s own development and competitiveness and increased responsibility for responding to global problems and challenges - support sustainable development of the economy and the environment, as well as promote employment, well-being, social cohesion and cultural diversity - enhance the integration of the Finnish innovation system with international science, technology development and innovation - combine global, European and national perspectives in a balanced manner in the development of research activities and innovation system - promote internationalisation within Finland and participation in the different forms of international research co-operation: official and informal, multilateral and bilateral - increase the number of high-competence jobs and the volume of research in Finland. Finland’s position as a knowledge-based society and a reliable and recognised partner will be strengthened. Finland’s strategic choices in support of these objectives include: - continuous developing innovation environments with a view to high-quality research and innovation - strengthening the international competitiveness of the business enterprise sector and improving the preconditions for co-operation particularly with the world’s leading R&D centres - increasing the attractiveness of Finland for foreign investments, world-class infrastructures, foreign and multinational enterprises, new business activities, and foreign experts, researchers and students - actively strengthening research co-operation in the Northern regions and the Baltic Sea region - influencing the direction and objectives of research within the EU in a systematic and target-oriented manner - promoting the position of research and increases in research funding in the EU - ensuring that: - the primary goal of EU research is to support the realisation of the Lisbon strategy - EU research funding is always targeted at European added value - EU actions promote multilateral networking, co-operation, as well as the creation, dissemination, application and implementation of new knowledge - EU increases and diversifies its co-operation with third parties (countries, organisations) - promoting business enterprise participation in European R&D co-operation and the utilisation of its results
- strengthening the position and funding of high-quality basic research in Europe. Essential means for achieving the objectives include: - increasing public research funding on a long term basis, continuously investing in education, and strengthening and diversifying our knowledge base and infrastructure - alleviating the fragmentation of the research system with a view to creating and developing research units that are large enough for international co-operation - exercising prioritisation, specialisation and selectivity at all the levels of the system, as well as strengthening the strategic decision-making and developing measures in support of these - systematically developing an internationally competitive, high-quality knowledge base and Finland’s strengths to improve the preconditions for co-operation with leading global partners - including internationalisation-related aspects in all decision-making concerning education, science, technology and innovation - promoting networking within R&D and innovation in Finland and internationally both within research fields and between them - the government and other public sector agencies adopting a proactive role in promoting internationalisation, particularly in the preparation of measures associated with EU research and innovation policies and other international affairs - intensifying co-operation between the public and private sectors with regard to the enhancement and utilisation of internationalisation and the strengthening of infrastructures - improving the ability to anticipate changes and new phenomena and the opportunities opened up by these - integrating foresight activities into decision-making and strategic steering of research and innovation policies - removing obstacles to and restrictions in international co-operation and mobility, through amendments to legislation where necessary, and reformulating recruitment policies and developing researcher careers.
International developments in science, technology and economy
Finland’s long-term commitment to developing her knowledge base has been a crucial factor for our success in international competition. Today Finland is an integral part of the global economy, a knowledge- and research-intensive country specialised in high technology. The opening of economies and societies and the development and expansion of traffic and communications networks have boosted global interaction. International, national and local developments are more closely interlinked and market relationships are more profound: international trade is growing, capital is increasingly mobile and competition for crucial production factors is becoming more intense. Most OECD and EU countries are currently making determined efforts to invest in science and improve the prerequisites for research activities. R&D investments have also increased in rapidly developing, emerging economies. The trend has been reinforced by the increased importance of science and new knowledge for economic and social development. Science and research have always been international, but in recent years international activities have further grown and become more diversified. In Europe, this has been affected by EU Framework Programmes for research and technological development and other actions aimed at creating the European Research Area. National financiers have also taken joint initiatives and implemented joint programmes. This has made it possible to study issues which formerly were out of the reach of a single country’s or a single player’s resources. Investments and technological development have significantly enhanced the role of major international research institutions (e.g. CERN, EMBL, ESO) and infrastructures (such as networks and data banks) as promoters of research prerequisites and quality. Thus progress in internationalisation has boosted the mobility of researchers. Mobility promotes the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and know-how, and there is competition for talented researchers. Countries are concurrently taking measures to increase the international mobility of their own researchers and to attract foreign researchers. The social dimension of global development and the aspiration to reinforce sustainable development are essential elements in the ongoing transition. Science and technology help to find solutions to global challenges, such as climate change, the preservation of biodiversity and sufficiency of food. The identification of problems and internationalisation of societal functions have highlighted the role of supranational organisations (such as the UN and its special organisations, OECD and its Global Science Forum). At the same time, co-operation has found new forms and priorities. The globalisation of science, technology and economy has changed long-standing positions between countries and groups of countries. The internationalisation of business, the redistribution of work and production, and many political changes alongside these have brought out the significance of simultaneous competition and co-operation. The economy is more dynamic and more susceptible to change than before. The change in production structures is manifested as a transition from capital-intensive industrial production to more knowledge-intensive production and services. Businesses compete by means of productivity and flexibility: technological development is rapid and product life
cycles shorter. Success in the market entails the creation and quick adoption of new knowledge and an ability to combine knowledge from various sources. These require extensive competence, the creation of which in turn requires substantial investment in R&D. Finland is increasingly dependent on the development of other regions. The position of Europe, the US and Japan as the centres of the global economy is affected by the increased economic, scientific and technological weight of rapidly growing economies (such as China, India, the ASEAN countries, Russia, Mexico and Brazil). In Europe, the new EU Member States are changing competitive positions and co-operation arrangements. These countries have attracted much direct investment, also from Finland. In order to improve competitiveness and profitability, businesses are moving production facilities and outsourcing service operations to low-cost countries, which have low taxation, sufficient level of education and skills and the necessary infrastructure. The set-up may change due to the development impulses this gives to the countries. With the support of new capital and increasing business activity and competence, the emerging economies will be able to produce their own innovations and change the competitive situation also in R&D-intensive sectors. One response to this challenge is investment in R&D and business activities based on an even higher level of knowledge and know-how. The leading S&T centres and the locations of major market areas largely set the direction and pace of the internationalisation process. Overseas investments by Finnish businesses have also increased in recent years. In parallel with Europe, Finnish organisations have made determined efforts to develop S&T and funding co-operation particularly with the research centres and funding organisations in North America and Asia. Co-operation with these regions is expected to provide clear added value. Globalisation and internationalisation create new opportunities for action and impact. They open new channels and mechanisms for multilateral economic, scientific and technological development, and increase cultural awareness and interaction. In this way, globalisation and internationalisation can also promote favourable social development. Realising these opportunities requires active initiatives in international forums, openness and a clear strategic, global view of the goals and implementation of R&D. Finland has all the prerequisites for succeeding in the global competition. The Finnish education, research and innovation systems are of a high standard, characterised by openness and close co-operation. R&D intensity and the levels of education and competence among the Finnish labour force are high by international standards. However, the economic and intellectual resources are limited: knowledge and competence are scarce in many fields. Because most new knowledge is produced abroad, it is essential that Finns are active international players and participate in the creation and distribution of knowledge. Table 1 provides a more detailed view on the development of Finnish R&D and the prerequisites, challenges and threats for success in a global environment.
Table 1. Internationalisation of Finland’s R&D activities: SWOT analysis.
- Finland has become an active partner in international cooperation quite recently but rapidly: currently, a very high rate of participation in the activities of international organisations - Science, technology and innovation policy has been implemented on a long term basis; investment in R&D is regarded as important - Well-functioning education, research and innovation systems - Openness, intensive co-operation and competitiveness of the innovation system - A high share of competitive R&D funding - A high level of education among the population - Brain-drain relatively small - A high share of women among researchers and PhDs by international standards - A well-functioning graduate school system - A large number of researchers and their share of the employed high - Research volume, quality and impact at a good international level - Active international patenting - Finland has a good reputation: reliable, safe - Large-scale participation in EU research programmes by R&D organisations - Research and knowledge-intensive business has remained in Finland - Good co-operation between business enterprises and public research - Business enterprise R&D have rapidly increased from the mid 1990s onwards - Finnish enterprises are internationally networked.
Opportunities (and means)
- The effective and efficient national innovation environment boosts competitiveness - Enhancing the knowledge base and R&D environment attracts new foreign investments and intellectual resources (international excellence) to the country and improves Finland’s position as an attractive region for business operations - Looking for competence where it is best: global and diverse international co- operation, going beyond the EU - Compensating for the small size and geographical remoteness with active, strategically sound co-operation policy - Prioritised pooling of limited, fragmented resources - Open-minded and sufficient support for creativity and innovation - Enhancing foresight activities and their linkage with decision-making and strategic steering - Implementing and productising social innovations - Enhancing positions in international co-operation institutions and R&D organisations - Improving the organisational and functional structure of the innovation system and the division of tasks; internationalising activities and organisations within the system - Developing business and marketing competence - Increasing the number of foreign researchers and students - Creating a favourable business environment and promoting entrepreneurship - Supporting the creation and growth of businesses that focus on R&D and exploitation of leading-edge expertise
- A small domestic market area and population - Economy strongly dependent on global and EU trends - Remote from global market centres, geographically distant from the centres of Europe - A small language area and severe climate - A relatively low level of internationalisation by European standards - Limited economic and intellectual resources: a low volume of knowledge and competence in many fields, the cutting-edge of scientific research in the hands of a select few - Problems with venture capital (amount, availability, matching of demand and supply) - Deficiencies in marketing and business competence and knowledge and innovation management - Few spin-off businesses from universities and research institutions - Fragmented research activities: resources allocated to a large number of small units - A small number of foreign students and researchers - The number of foreign highly-educated experts and their share of the labour force are small - Businesses (including R&D-intensive operations) are moving abroad - Instability of business R&D spending in recent years - The inflow of foreign direct investments is low (in relation to GDP); a negative balance of investment.
- International economic recession and continuous decline in Europe - Finland does not attract foreign direct investments, R&D investments, researchers and students - Finland less active in the EU and global R&D cooperation - The operational foundations of the EU become weaker: more internal conflicts, less commitment and co-operation - National interests are overemphasised in international cooperation - Focus still missing: participation in too many projects with scarce resources - International co-operation is steering national decisions too much and consumes resources - The links between research, economic development, employment, well-being and innovations become weaker - Diminishing age groups and aging population undermines the balance of the public economy and the room for economic manoeuvre - The regulatory framework does not support the transfer of research results from R&D organisations to businesses and the commercialisation of results - Availability of competence in the labour market is insufficient: education does not meet labour market needs - The number of new R&D-intensive businesses declines - The favourable development of public R&D funding stagnates - Business R&D expenditure starts to decline - Businesses increasingly move their operations abroad - Brain drain increases: high competence moves abroad.
Strategic policy guidelines
General principles The significance of science and technology as a cornerstone of knowledge societies and a source of economic growth and competitiveness has increased. Research has become an important target field for policy activities. In addition to the traditional science and technology policy objectives, activities more deliberately promote the development of other policy sectors. The ultimate objective is balanced sustainable development in social, economic, cultural and ecological terms. Growing productivity, employment and social cohesion are key factors for the development of well-being. Increasing the number of highskills jobs and the volume of research within Finland are considered important targets. International scientific and technological co-operation is gaining more importance in the attainment of the targets. Successful co-operation requires the ability to react to changes and continuous improvement of innovation dynamics. Globalisation will pose new challenges to both developed and developing countries. Science and technology have important roles in the search for feasible solutions to global challenges and problems. Apart from the new opportunities, various global threats are unfortunately also growing. Bearing responsibility for preventing such threats requires participation in relevant R&D in accordance with the available intellectual and material resources. The strategic objective of internationalisation is to support Finland’s own development and competitiveness and ability to bear its share of responsibility for responding to global problems and challenges. It is particularly important for Finland to internationalise its R&D for three reasons. These are a) the globalisation of science and technology, b) increasing volume and expansion of research at the EU level as part of the Lisbon strategy and c) the need to strengthen Finnish knowledge through international scientific and technological co-operation in Finland and abroad. The global, European and national views must be combined in a balanced manner in research activities and the development of the innovation system. A high standard of knowledge is a prerequisite for the development of co-operation with leading international centres. International scientific and technological co-operation is not an end in itself. It is a vital means for creating and acquiring new scientific and technological knowledge for Finland and its co-operation partners. International co-operation is not a separate function. It needs to be made an integral part of Finnish R&D and their development. Domestic and internationally conducted R&D are subject to the same requirements of quality and relevance. The preparation of national actions must take account of their impact on the entire field of co-operation and see to it that domestic R&D and innovation are internationally competitive. Development of co-operation with leading global partners requires that Finland has a high standard of knowledge and know-how. This is why it is indispensable to take systematic action to develop a world-class national
knowledge base, to identify new areas of strength and to anticipate new opportunities. Table 2 lists the key points explaining the crucial role of international scientific and technological co-operation for the creation and utilisation of new knowledge, technology and know-how. Table 2. International scientific and technological co-operation helps to:
- gain rapid access to international research results - pool resources in research for which no individual country has sufficient financial and intellectual capital (such as the implementation of major research programmes and the creation and maintenance of major international infrastructures) - manage and share risks and costs - gain multilateral benefits, which can be scientific, technological, economic, social and/or cultural and which in environmental terms are sustainable and safeguard diversity - combine national knowledge areas and low-resource units into larger, internationally networked entities - lessen the fragmentation of research and form a common view of research problems, approaches and objectives - improve the quality and international compatibility of research - promote extensive utilisation of research results - create internationally attractive, creative research and innovation environments - improve the visibility and international recognition of research - improve the quality and increase the volume of researcher education - attract new competence, investments and R&D-intensive businesses - promote research and the creation of innovations in favourable environments, such as multidisciplinary and multicultural networks.
Internationalisation takes place both within Finland and abroad. Accordingly, strategic policies must also be assessed from both angles of view. It is possible to look at internationalisation as co-operation carried out by Finnish researchers, institutions and businesses abroad and as co-operation carried out by foreign players in Finland. A third form of co-operation is international research conducted in several countries at the same time. The enhancement and other promotion of international scientific and technological co-operation concern all levels and all players within the research system, as well as all forms of co-operation: official and informal, multilateral and bilateral co-operation. International co-operation requires resources. This calls for similar selective consideration as the commitment of research resources in general. However, measures taken to promote co-operation are not universal so that all actions would be equally applicable to all levels or fields. The means and forms of co-operation must be selected in accordance with the aims of the players. Choices must also be made at the strategic level. The quality and relevance of the co-operation must be emphasised in all resource allocation. These choices are accommodated by the existing institutional set-up and no new organisations are required. What the development of international cooperation needs is new financing arrangements and new resources, as well as a review of the general principles and procedures in the development of research.
Strategic choices In efforts to support Finland’s own development and competitiveness, as well as its contribution to solving global problems and challenges, ‘Finland’s own development and competitiveness’ must be understood broadly. It covers cultural, economic and social development, as well as the well-being of citizens and the environment. Competitiveness is a crucial criterion for choices in the enterprise sector in particular, but conditions conducive to competitiveness are created in co-operation between the public and private sectors. All fields of research are included in the development of international scientific and technological co-operation. Correspondingly, international co-operation must be promoted both in basic and applied research and in technological development. The competitiveness aspect emphasises the need to increase and enhance public-private partnerships in international contexts. The choice of co-operation targets and areas requires an active approach and initiative. The choices must be based on common objectives and national priorities. It is not in the interest of Finland to follow others and mainly participate in co-operation targets chosen elsewhere. Finland has preferred flexible, informal S&T co-operation over collaboration based on official agreements, unless such an agreement is a precondition for co-operation. There is no reason to change this view, because collaborative relationships and networks created by researchers and R&D organisations are crucial mechanisms for producing, transferring and utilising new knowledge. A good example of this is international co-operation carried out by academies of science and researcher associations. However, official international co-operation in the form of various organisations and major research infrastructures has continuously expanded. For this reason, it has proved necessary to develop principles and procedures of evaluation, i.e. a national infrastructure policy, for national decision-making. The internationalisation of Finnish R&D includes separate procedural instructions to be followed in the assessment and preparation of large scientific infrastructure projects in Finland. Development of facilities When the objective is to make international scientific and technological co-operation an integral part of Finnish research, the development of facilities for collaboration has to respond to the same challenges that the Finnish research and innovation system is facing in general. A high standard of research, education and innovation in Finland also provides the best capacity for international co-operation and its utilisation. A high standard is an important means for maintaining and developing the quality and relevance of national operations. Meeting these challenges will lead to favourable, self-enforcing development. The general development of facilities has to be in line with the continuous change of the business and social structures and the competitive pressures on improving innovation dynamics. This requires continuous development of the education and innovation systems. A crucial prerequisite is that Finland’s
innovation environments and research infrastructures are of an internationally high standard and competitive. This provides for full-fledged co-operation with the leading centres and experts of science and technology and the preservation and reinforcement of high-level research and leading-edge expertise in Finland. In line with the strategies, the aim is to continuously find and identify new opportunities for co-operation and new competencies at the global level. In relative terms, Finland makes large investments in research, technological development and innovation. The national strategy is to develop society based on knowledge and competence. However, in absolute terms, investments are small on the international scale. Finland has not formulated any specific policy as to the extent to which the full use of the opening opportunities requires pooling resources in a selective way into larger entities than before. Neither has it been sufficiently deliberated what kind of preparatory and decisionmaking mechanisms are needed to both make justified choices and create intellectual and financial resources for their practical implementation in a flexible manner. An anticipatory and selective approach enables the active development of both domestic operations and international co-operation. Large investments in the development of education and research must continue in order to enhance and diversify the knowledge base. Improvement of Finland’s scientific and technological competitiveness and co-operation calls for clear prioritisations, international profiling of research organisations and businesses, as well as the development of selective decision-making. We need to create internationally more visible and attractive high-quality research units, R&D clusters and programmes. In this way it is possible to strengthen the fields of research and technology important to Finland and create new national competence. Strategic choices need to be supported by systematic input into anticipating the development of S&T and, more widely, economic, social and cultural development. High-standard internationally attractive innovation environments are essential in efforts to develop our own activities and increase its attractiveness abroad. Key factors for increasing these include more attractive researcher careers, equipment of high international standard, and other high-level research infrastructures. Finland participates in large infrastructures abroad, but has not been active in acquiring or building these in Finland. Development challenges also require new funding and international financing cooperation. Finland has to invest in the advancement of researcher careers, the internationalisation of researcher education and its recruitment basis, and the removal of obstacles to foreign researchers. The development of Finnish research and innovation also requires deliberate input into research infrastructures of international scale. The outcome of the investments must be carefully assessed at regular intervals. The international attractiveness of Finland and its science and technology depend not only on quality and the visibility based on it but also on competent marketing of co-operation opportunities and international business competence. Finland’s public and private sectors must join forces in their development.
Scientific and technological co-operation at the global level
Finland’s strengths, that is, the education and research system, a competent labour force and well-working infrastructures are self-created to a large extent. Under the circumstances of globalisation, these strengths must be more deliberately developed by means of international co-operation. At the same time, it is important to reinforce the civil society and social capital. On the other hand, the importance of networks and co-operation channels of a high standard is increasingly emphasised in international interplay. This is a particularly significant challenge for small countries like Finland. Scientific, technological and business interests extend everywhere in the world, including leading regions and strongly emerging centres and market areas outside Europe. It is very important that Finland remains a competitive location particularly for operations that create and apply new knowledge. Finland must be able to utilise and manage globally operating value chains and combine knowledge and know-how from around the world. The United States clearly remains the largest producer and commercial utiliser of new knowledge: its R&D volume is 50 per cent larger than that of the EU. The lead in the production and utilisation of new knowledge is even greater. Japan’s research expenditure alone is more than half the EU aggregate, and almost double compared to Germany, the largest R&D country in the EU. Rapidly developing countries in Asia in particular are gaining on or even surpassing Europe. Global co-operation, co-operation with our neighbours and European co-operation are developing in parallel. In order for global scientific and technological co-operation to be successful, it must be focused on regions and research fields that are of particular importance to Finland or in which Finland has high-level competence or development potential. The transfer of knowledge and technology must also be promoted through joint programmes and projects, as well as the mobility of work force. Knowledge stock that grows through co-operation based on high quality and relevance, and the ability to efficiently utilise it, are the best factors for promoting facilities for development. Europe’s success in the global competition is particularly important for Finland’s long-term options. Finnish businesses and research organisations will have to co-operate with the key organisations of the leading countries in S&T much more actively than in the past. Global opportunities and threats affect both developed and developing countries. One of the main challenges is to enhance the ability of societies to take care of its citizens’ health and scope for action. The issue is mainly concerned with actions that reduce inequality between and within countries, efficiently supported by correctly steered co-operation in education and research. A more equitable distribution of the benefits of globalisation also serves Finland’s interest. A high standard of education, research and technological and social innovation are the fundamental factors for Finland’s participation in responding
to global challenges and problems within international co-operation organisations. The same factors apply in S&T co-operation with developing countries geared to find solutions that best support development in these countries. The requirements of co-operation and competition at the global level are a crucial starting point for the development of R&D and innovation. Development of activities and quality assurance based purely on a national viewpoint are not sufficient to ensure success in international competition. Finnish researchers, research financiers and businesses must find their place in the international operating environment and develop their strategic competence and facilities for co-operation in a global context. Finland will ensure its success on a global scale by continuing to persistently and systematically develop its strengths and creating new competence in the long term. We have to be actively involved in international forums and present our strengths and facilities for co-operation more visibly. The actors of the national innovation system must combine forces to support extensive, strategically directed joint initiatives. This will increase Finland’s visibility, recognition and attractiveness as a partner. Different actors have different needs, objectives and expectations for R&D co-operation. Depending on the discipline and the object of research, the partners are located in different parts of the world. Similarly, businesses can focus on different geographical regions depending on the branch, the market and the objects of development. This means that alongside EU co-operation, Finland needs versatile co-operation with players outside the EU area. Also in these cases, informal co-operation is preferred over co-operation based on official agreements, unless an agreement is a general prerequisite for cooperation. In addition to national actions, co-operation must be developed through the EU, particularly towards leading countries outside Europe. When engaging in co-operation, Finland must ensure that the knowledge, know-how and experiences gained by Finnish players abroad are disseminated in Finland as extensively as possible. This must be taken into account in the international activities of universities, research institutions and business enterprises, and in projects and structures that support international networking of research and innovation environments. 4 EU and other European scientific and technological co-operation
The most important organisation for research co-operation in Europe is the European Union. In accordance with the Treaty, the objective is to enhance the S&T base of the industry, support its international competitiveness and promote research otherwise necessary for the Union. The treaty on the EU constitution was signed at a conference of government representatives in 2004. According to the Treaty, the scope of objectives set by the EU for R&D would be substantially extended. The Treaty emphasises the European Research Area (ERA) where researchers, scientific knowledge and technology can move freely. EC legislation on competition and industrial policies is an essential basis for the financing of
innovation. The legislation is particularly aimed at preventing any distortions in trade between the Member States. The importance of research policy within the EU has increased substantially, and it was identified as a key element in the implementation of the Lisbon strategy adopted in the spring of 2000. The strategy was supplemented two years later at the Barcelona European Council, which set a target of increasing the average level of investment in R&D to three per cent of GDP in the EU. Business enterprises should cover two thirds of investments. The development of the ERA is decisive for the development of the EU research policy. The objective of the ERA is to create a functional internal market for research within Europe. The rationale behind the ERA is that by combining the R&D resources of the Member States, the EU can generate a larger innovation effect and improve productivity and competitiveness. A basic prerequisite is that the EU countries commit themselves – in accordance with their authority in R&D – to developing their national innovation systems and mutual co-operation, as well as increasing research funding in accordance with the Lisbon and Barcelona targets to create the ERA. The targets, focus and distribution of financing for research funded by the EU are specified in the Framework Programmes. In order to develop the ERA, part of the Framework Programme funds will be allocated to promote co-operation between the Member States at the research programme level and to support structural renewal of European co-operation. The aim is to encourage Member States to open their public research funding for international competition with a view to improving the quality of research and increase networking, mobility and competition. EU research funding has also opened new opportunities for international co-operation for Finnish sectoral research. The significance of sectoral research as part of the research system has clearly increased. However, successful involvement in the ERA requires research institutions to develop competence based on leading-edge research and combine competence scattered in small units into larger entities. Finland aims to influence the direction and objectives of research within the EU in a systematic and target-oriented manner. Finland supports operations that reinforce the position of research and technology development and increase resources devoted to R&D within the EU. Finland aims to ensure that EU research supports the realisation of the Lisbon strategy. EU actions must increase multilateral co-operation. In order to increase the quality and impact of research and reinforce international cooperation extending outside the EU, co-operation between the EU and third parties (countries, organisations) must be intensified and diversified. The focus of the Framework Programme funding has to be on research and technological development. However, at the same time, new forms and structures of co-operation need to be developed and networks between national research programmes established. Research and technological development funded by the EU must always be targeted at creating European added value. The principal rule is that EU funding should support projects that cannot be implemented nationally.
Opening up national programmes and national funding is one method of promoting international co-operation and the development of the ERA. It is necessary, however, to move forward with caution in this matter: joint principles, procedures, recommendations and criteria need to be created and implemented. It is necessary to gain experience in gradual, case-specific opening of programmes and financing. The functionality of the procedures and the European and national added value created by opening must be assessed. Finland expects similar opening in other Member States on a reciprocal basis. In order to create the ERA and ensure fruitful research and innovation co-operation, it is important to promote the participation of businesses in the utilisation of European R&D cooperation and its results. This calls for a balance that has to be found between the Union’s competition and industrial policies with regard to co-operation between the public and private sectors. New channels of participation important to business enterprises are European Technology Platforms. It is important that Finnish business enterprises participate in the creation and activities of all Technology Platforms significant to Finland. Platforms should be established in all areas important for Finnish businesses. Close and intensive interaction between Technology Platforms and national research and technology programmes is necessary. In order to improve European research and technological competitiveness, basic research needs to be included in the scope of EU funding more intensively than before. Funding must comprehensively cover different disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. The projects must be open to the entire European researcher community. Finland considers it important to strengthen the position of high-quality basic research in Europe. In order to strengthen both basic research and European competitiveness, Finland favours increases in basic research funding at the EU level. Research funded by the EU, including basic research, must promote international cross-border co-operation. Extensive and diverse European research co-operation is also implemented outside the structures of the EU. There are many significant organisations in the fields of applied technological research and empirical basic research, such as CERN, ESA, ESO and EMBL. These focus mostly on the development and operation of major infrastructures in specific fields. They develop significant new technologies, and the application of these in other fields must be enhanced. National authorities and funds that provide research funding have their own co-operation organisations, such as the European Science Foundation ESF and Eureka. The objective of Eureka is to promote co-operation between businesses in applied research, product development, and marketing-related actions for new products. In addition to improving research opportunities, participation in international research organisations and projects may also provide a variety of benefits, such as the development of technology and applied research, technology transfer, procurement and product
development in industry, and social development. International organisations offer substantial career opportunities for researchers and experts. Better synergy between the EU Framework Programme and the above-mentioned organisations has been discussed in association with the ERA. There are other significant forms of funding also within the EU. It would be justified to allocate more funding from the EU structural funds and the European Investment Bank to research, technology development and extensive utilisation of the results. The aspiration to take care of the division of tasks and co-ordination between different cooperation schemes at the European level is to be endorsed. However, the option of establishing intergovernmental organisations independent of the EU must be kept open. It should be ensured that R&D funded by the EU and the work of other relevant European organisations and programmes will strategically complement each other and support each other’s objectives. The opportunities provided by international organisations and projects, as well as other European co-operation arrangements must be better exploited through collaboration between different government sectors and public and private organisations. There are good preconditions for co-operation between Finland and the new EU Member States both in basic research and in applied technological research and product development. Finland aims to strengthen and diversify co-operation with the new Member States. 5 Regional scientific and technological co-operation in Northern Europe
Alongside activities at the global level and within Europe, Finland must invest in R&D cooperation with the neighbouring areas. The activities cover bilateral and multilateral research co-operation between the Nordic countries, within Northern regions and the Baltic Sea region, as well as co-operation with Russia. The informal, direct research co-operation carried out in the Nordic countries is more intense and versatile than official co-operation steered by authorities. The volume of Nordic S&T co-operation based on official agreements is low. Furthermore, the administration of Nordic public research co-operation is fragmented. It is carried out both by official Nordic co-operation bodies and by scientific committees and national science and technology administrations. Currently, Nordic R&D co-operation is being developed actively. The co-operation structure will be enhanced both in innovation and research policies by means of new organisations (NICe and NordForsk). The objective of the reforms is to support the creation of the Nordic Research and Innovation Area NORIA. NICe aims to strengthen Nordic co-operation and co-ordination in the fields of technology, industrial and innovation policies. The objective of NordForsk is to support co-operation in the fields of scientific research and science policy.
It is necessary to continue developing Nordic R&D co-operation based on common interests and national priorities. This makes it possible to create needs-based, sustainable co-operation that produces Nordic added value. Cooperation has to be carried out in a way that promotes integration of research and innovation. Good examples of added value through Nordic co-operation include the graduate schools and centres of excellence. In further development, cooperation should be seen more clearly as part of more extensive research cooperation carried out in the Baltic Sea region and other international contexts. The membership of the Baltic countries and Poland in the EU has enhanced opportunities for co-operation between them and the Nordic countries also at the EU level. This will strengthen the preconditions for co-operation within the entire Baltic Sea region. Cooperation around the Baltic Sea also opens up new opportunities for co-operation with Russia through the EU and at regional and bilateral level. The significance of the Northern Dimension of the EU can also substantially increase. Finland will continue to act with a view to increasing the significance of the Northern Dimension in the EU. Important research partners in the Northern regions also include other circumpolar countries and research organisations. Co-operation with Russia needs to be developed on a long-term basis. It should be promoted both bilaterally and through the Baltic Sea co-operation and the EU. Interaction must be diversified by supporting the mobility of researchers, carrying out multilateral research projects and enhancing the transfer of knowledge and technology between the countries. 6 Development needs within Finland
As research and innovation are becoming more international, Finland’s science and technology are developing in interaction with partners of a high standard operating in different parts of the world. Finland is able to provide businesses with innovation environments that attract foreign investments. The development and renewal of intellectual resources is supported by the international attractiveness of Finnish research and education. In order to achieve these targets, we need to react to challenges and take determined measures. The objectives and development needs make concrete demands on domestic actors and activities: Alongside general development of research and international co-operation, the need to prioritise and intensively internationalise key areas is clearly evident. This should take place through co-operation between the public and private sectors. Important public organisations in this field include the Academy of Finland, the National Technology Agency (Tekes) and the National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra). In addition to strengthened horizontal co-operation, Finland should develop interaction between political decision-makers and expert bodies.
Finland’s current fields of strength and centres of excellence will continue to be investment targets. The priorities will be set on a long-term basis if necessary, but still for a fixed period. By developing foresight activities as part of international co-operation, we can identify promising fields and units that may turn into new strengths. Finland needs to be active in international S&T co-operation in order to ensure favourable development in co-operation in fields that are important to Finland. All stakeholders in the research and innovation system – ministries, financiers, universities, research institutions and other organisations – must establish specific profiles of their own. Finnish research is still quite fragmented, and there is a clear need for establishing larger entities, particularly across disciplinary boundaries and for developing infrastructures. It is important to maintain broad knowledge base, but we have to be able to assess its feasibility. This viewpoint must be included in the performance management and steering of public research organisations. The same applies to the promotion of multidisciplinary approach both in Finland and in international cooperation. National research and technology programmes must engage in efficient international networking according to the objectives of each programme. New investments in research and knowledge must be allocated to the most important targets in order to ensure that the priorities are realised. In Finland, international S&T co-operation has often been considered to mean internationalisation abroad and participation in joint programmes or projects through research conducted in Finland. Internationalisation within Finland has not received similar attention, nor has sufficient effort been made to eliminate obstacles to it. The high standard of Finnish research provides a good basis for extensive internationalisation within Finland. In fields traditionally publishing in Finnish and Swedish, it is also possible to make research efficiently available for international use. This is necessary, for example, for wider recognition and international visibility of Finnish culture and society abroad. Foreign direct investments should be increased. Particular attention should be paid to the legislative base and to measures to attract more investments that are based on leading-edge knowledge, research and innovations and generate new businesses. National co-operation and networking must be improved in order to reinforce internationalisation. The agencies supporting internationalisation (Finpro, Invest in Finland, Tekes, the Academy of Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre, Finnish cultural and scientific institutes, etc.) have to put more effort, each according to its remit, into promoting international co-operation (both within Finland and abroad). The school system must ensure that more young people acquire versatile language proficiency. Finnish researchers, research administration and R&D organisations have to improve their capabilities for international S&T cooperation by means of systematic in-service training and by supporting secondments abroad.
The foremost measures associated with domestic internationalisation of S&T concern the internationalisation of education and the removal of obstacles to foreign recruitment. Organisations have to review their personnel and recruitment policies. The objective is to improve the abilities and mechanisms of all the actors in the innovation system to receive foreign experts, researchers and students. The supply of international (foreign-language) education needs to be increased. In knowledge-based society and labour market, foreign students should be seen as an opportunity. The terms governing foreign researchers’ and experts’ work in Finland and the basic services geared to help them to settle down in Finland must be improved. More foreign senior researchers should be recruited to demanding R&D posts. The public and private sectors have to cooperate to attract best experts to Finnish R&D on a larger scale. 7 Administration and finances of international S&T co-operation
The strategic development of internationalisation and international S&T co-operation does not require new organisations or new administrative arrangements. The objectives can be achieved with the current structures through the development of collaboration and procedures. The foremost development needs relate to internationalisation in Finland, which also entails legislative measures. The removal of obstacles to and restrictions of international co-operation and mobility calls for legislative measures jointly prepared by the ministries concerned. These measures are needed in matters relating to immigration and work permits, the internationalisation of universities and their educational services, payments by foreigners, and taxation. Other crucial measures include improving co-operation among Finnish actors, making input into public-private partnerships with a view to developing international co-operation, and increasing and diversifying education that serves internationalisation. Domestic measures support not only internationalisation within Finland but also the development of all international S&T co-operation. The objectives are demanding in terms of economic and human resources. It is not possible to present an overall estimate of the appropriations and other resources required for the implementation of the measures. This is another reason why all organisations involved in international S&T co-operation need to have their own, comprehensive internationalisation plan, including cost estimates. The ministries responsible for financial planning must ensure that the resources required for internationalisation are appropriately made available.
Follow-up of co-operation and impact assessment
International R&D co-operation is not an end in itself; it is a key means for creating and acquiring new scientific and technological knowledge. Therefore, the monitoring of advances in co-operation must not be limited to input factors and their allocation between different co-operation partners and bodies or fields, albeit important as such. The actual aim is to find out to what extent co-operation has been able to augment the knowledge stock available in Finland and to what extent it has been successfully exploited. At the general level, it is possible to differentiate the impact of co-operation on Finnish S&T and the impact on society at large, e.g. employment, the economy and entrepreneurship or regional development. Reliable impact assessment is difficult. In this context, units conducting S&T studies and the public expert organisations, the Academy of Finland and Tekes, have a specific development task. Such assessments have to take the multi-faceted nature of international co-operation into account: new knowledge and technology made available through international collaboration is also produced in Finland. The Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland will follow the development of internationalisation of Finnish S&T and will issue its assessment on it by the end of 2006.