Research and Innovation System

The spider graph below provides a synthetic picture of the strengths and weaknesses in the Finnish R&I system. Reading clockwise, the graph provides information on human resources, scientific production, technology valorisation and innovation. The average annual growth rates from 2000 to the latest available year are given in brackets under each indicator.


Finland has overall a strong innovation performance and outperforms its reference group in terms of highly-skilled human resources, public and private investment in R&D and patent applications. However, the share of new doctoral graduates was lower in Finland than in the reference group in 2011. The main weakness of the Finnish innovation system lies in its low level of internationalisation (affecting both the public and private sectors): Finland performs below the EU average on inward BERD, share of foreign doctoral students and participation in EU excellence driven funding programmes. Another relative weakness lays in non-R&D related innovation, in particular the share of SME’s introducing marketing and organisational innovations, where Finland also remains slightly below the EU average.

The on-going restructuring of the ICT sector is both a challenge and an opportunity for Finnish SMEs, as much of future innovation and growth depend on them. In 2011, the share of Finnish SMEs introducing product and process innovations was about at the same level with that of the reference group whereas the share of SMEs introducing marketing and organisational innovations was slightly lower than even the EU average. The graph does not fully take into account the on-going structural reforms that are expected to affect in particular the number of business sector researchers and business R&D intensity. In addition, the effect that the expected loss of R&D jobs in the private sector and the subsequent capacity to attract foreign researchers will have on linkages in the R&I system is unknown..