Scientific and Technological Strengths

The maps below illustrate six key science and technology areas where Finland has real strengths in a European context. The maps are based on the numbers of scientific publications and patents produced by authors and inventors based in the regions.


Finland has well performing hot-spot clusters in the following broad sectors: ICT (incl. services), environment (in particular environmental technology), materials (construction technology, metallurgy, nanosciences and new production technologies), energy, security, food and agriculture. Most regions in South and South-West Finland are performing well in all of these fields whereas other regions, especially in Northern Finland, are well represented in ICT, environmental technologies, materials and security. Apart from the above clusters, Finland has intensive patenting in machine tools, health, medical technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies. In terms of technological specialisation world-wide, Finland stands out in the ICT and security fields whereas its scientific specialisation is dominated by the following fields: ICT, food and agriculture, environment and construction.

In terms of scientific quality (as measured by highly-cited publications), Finnish research excels in nine fields including food and agriculture, security, environment and energy. It is also relevant to consider the matching between science and technology (mainly business-driven) in two of the fields where Finland has major technological strengths, ICT and security: in ICT, scientific and technological specialisations are converging whereas in the security field science quality and technological specialisation are already in line. Overall, a relatively clear correspondence is visible between scientific output and technological specialisation. However, the innovation base should be broadened to take full advantage of scientific quality. In this regard Finland would benefit from a diversification strategy.