OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy

1993-4211 (online)
1993-4203 (print)
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The OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy offer a comprehensive assessment of the innovation system of individual OECD countries and partner economies, focusing on the role of government. They provide concrete recommendations on how to improve policies that affect innovation performance, including R&D policies. Each review identifies good practices from which other countries can learn.

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OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Finland 2017

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09 June 2017
9789264276369 (PDF) ;9789264276345(print)

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Although Finland achieved a widely acclaimed transformation to become a leading knowledge-based economy in the late 20th century, the 2009 recession and disruptive change contributing to a deep restructuring of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry and the downsizing of traditional sectors have weighed on the economy, productivity growth and international competitiveness. Numerous policy reforms have since been undertaken, and public and private investment, especially in applied R&D, has been cut back. Strengthening and lifting Finland’s innovation system out of a period of uncertainty requires a coherent and unified new vision for science, technology and innovation (STI), renewed investment and policy instruments. This vision should be oriented towards renewal tackling societal challenges and developing new knowledge-based competitive advantages at global scale. Success calls for better co-ordination and co-operation among policy actors and national and regional-levels, and further internationalisation.

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  • Foreword

    The OECD Review of Finland’s Innovation Policy is part of a series of OECD country reviews of innovation policy (www.oecd.org/sti/innovation/reviews). It was requested by the authorities of Finland, represented by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and supported jointly by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Dr. Olli Rehn, and the Minister of Education and Culture, Ms Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. The review was carried out by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation under the auspices of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP).

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Finland’s economic and social development has been one of the great successes of the second half of the 20th century. Supported by continued investment in education, research and innovation, Finland achieved a widely acclaimed transition from a largely resource-based to a leading knowledge-based economy shifting towards high-technology manufacturing and knowledge-based services.

  • Overall assessment and recommendations

    This chapter presents an overall assessment of Finland’s innovation system and policy, reflecting key findings of the review. It identifies strengths and weaknesses of the innovation system and key tasks of the innovation policy, and develops specific policy recommendations.

  • Macroeconomic and framework conditions for innovation in Finland

    This chapter discusses macroeconomic and framework conditions in Finland and their repercussions on innovation performance and future growth. It starts with a brief description of the recent macroeconomic context, with a special emphasis on the major economic challenges Finland is facing today, followed by an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the country’s framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • Innovation capabilities and performance in Finland

    This chapter reviews the state of innovation capabilities, linkages across innovation actors and performance outcomes of the Finnish innovation system. It compares Finland’s innovation capacities to other OECD countries and highlights areas for improvement and better use of capabilities.

  • The role of public research institutions in the Finnish innovation system

    This chapter discusses public research institutions – encompassing higher education institutions and public research institutes – highlighting the evolution of their respective roles in the Finnish innovation system. It reviews the reforms that have taken place in both types of institutions, and how these reforms and changes to public research institutions’ governance and funding mechanisms shape their research and innovation activities. It also discusses how these recent changes might impact on the performance and development of Finland’s research and innovation system, bearing in mind that many of them have been adopted and implemented only very recently.

  • Business sector innovation challenges in Finland

    This chapter discusses the main economic and innovation challenges that the Finnish business sector is encountering today. It analyses the main features of the Finnish industry, its economic structure and business demographics, and their recent evolution, as well as current trends in terms of firm productivity and different types of business investment in innovation. The analysis reflects on the ability of Finnish businesses to engage in more radical innovation, and current efforts to strengthen small and mediumsized enterprises’ involvement in R&D and innovation. The chapter further discusses what new economic competences for global markets and value-chain integration are required to facilitate access to (global and public) markets. In concludes by examining industry-science collaboration and how growth of young innovative firms and start-ups can be effectively enabled.

  • Innovation policy and governance in Finland

    This chapter examines public sector activities that have a bearing on the Finnish innovation system. It begins with an overview of the historical evolution of science, technology and innovation policy in Finland. It then examines the main policy actors and governance arrangements. Finally, it reviews current policies in light of the observations made in the preceding chapters and concludes by identifying areas in need of policy attention.

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