Research & Development

One of the key elements in Finland's success story has been long-term investments in research and development which is now starting to bear fruit. Finnish R&D is of very high quality due to effective networks between research organizations and companies. Especially in the ICT field companies have developed countless innovations in close cooperation with universities and research institutions. Of all the countries in the world Finland ranks second when it comes to money invested in R&D in relation to GDP (3.55 %) – only Israel has bigger figures.

The money invested in R&D has over tripled since the mid-90s. In 2012, enterprises, universities and research institutions used EUR 7.1 billion into R&D. Over 70 % of the total spending was done by various businesses and the rest in the public sector, universities and polytechnics. In the private sector, most of the R&D investments were done by large companies. Studies show a clear correlation between R&D investments and productivity.

Most of the investments in R&D are self-financed by the companies and 6 % is mostly financed by Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and other public research funding. Electronics sector has been the most active investor in R&D and it accounted for over half of the total R&D expenditure. The second biggest actor in the field is metal and engineering sector followed by ADP, consulting and chemical industries.

Finnish R&D is organized through projects which normally last 3-5 years. The projects are open to interested foreign participants. International networking, cooperation, partnership and knowledge-sharing provide a lot of possibilities between foreign and Finnish R&D enterprises and research institutions.