Working Group on RDI – what and why?
Finland’s competitiveness and wellbeing are built on competence, research and innovation. Research and innovation play a crucial role in increasing productivity, renewing business and industry and creating wellbeing. Research and innovation also create solutions to major challenges in society. Investments in research, product development and innovations have been declining in Finland for some time, even though the importance of R&D investments is widely recognised. When it comes to R&D intensity, Finland has fallen behind the leading countries in Europe and the rest of the world.
In April 2021, Prime Minister Marin’s Government decided to appoint a parliamentary working group to explore ways to increase public funding for research and development over the long term. The group submitted its final report on 17 December 2021. In the report, all of the parliamentary groups committed to the target of raising research and development expenditure to four per cent of GDP by 2030 and to increasing central government research and development funding as needed in order to meet the target. In order to increase R&D funding, the working group proposed enacting an act on R&D funding that would set the level of state R&D expenditure so that the target can be achieved. The working group also proposed drawing up a statutory plan for R&D funding extending beyond the spending limits period that would strengthen commitment to the development of R&D funding and specify the use and content of the funding. In addition, the working group proposed introducing a permanent and more extensive tax incentive for R&D activities.
In April 2022, the Government appointed a new Parliamentary Working Group on Research, Development and Innovation for 2022 to continue the work of the previous working group. The tasks of the 2022 RDI working group will be to draw up the above-mentioned plan for R&D funding extending beyond the spending limits period, to oversee the drafting of the act on R&D funding and to monitor the implementation of the policies initiated by the previous working group (including the R&D tax incentive, measures to ensure the availability of experts and possible fund-based solutions for increasing and targeting R&D funding).
The term of the new working group extends from 11 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.