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 declined in Finland, and Finland has fallen behind the leading countries in Europe and the rest of the world.
Finland aims to increase its research and development expenditure to four per cent of GDP by 2030 in line with the Government Programme and the National Roadmap for Research, Development and Innovation.
The Research and Innovation Council set the same target during the previous electoral term in 2017. In 2019, R&D intensity was 2.8 per cent and the public sector’s share of R&D funding was 30 per cent. Reaching the target by 2030 would mean additional investments of nearly EUR 600 million per year on average. Of this, private funding would amount to around EUR 400 million and public sector funding to around EUR 200 million if the public sector’s share of R&D funding remained the same.
To achieve this target, we need a shared view and missions, more ambitious RDI activities, and significant investments by both the public and the private sector. Achieving the target will not be possible without a substantial growth in investments made by the private sector.
In April 2021, Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government decided to set up a parliamentary working group to advance Finland’s RDI objectives. Appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office, the working group will operate from 18 June to 31 December 2021.
The working group will explore ways to commit to increasing R&D funding in the public sector until the end of the decade. Options include long-term planning through the budgeting process, multi-annual budgeting or establishing an off-budget fund. The working group will comprehensively assess the impact of each option on R&D funding, the deficit in the public sector, indebtedness in the public sector, the budgetary power of Parliament and the volume of RDI activities carried out by businesses.