International scientific cooperation
The vision of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government Programme is that Finland is an open and international country, rich in languages and cultures. Finland’s competitiveness is built on high expertise, sustainable development and open-minded innovations based on experimentation and digitalisation.
Objectives for the government term in the priority area of knowledge and education are:
- Learning environments have been modernised and the opportunities offered by digitalization and new pedagogical approaches are grasped in learning
- The number of young people who have dropped out of education or working life has fallen. The drop-out rate in education has declined.
- Dialogue between educational institutions and working life is more active.
- The quality and effectiveness of research and innovation have begun to improve.
- Education and research have become more international and obstacles to education exports have
International cooperation helps strengthen the quality and effectiveness of research in Finland. Finland works in collaboration with key international research organs and organisations and participates actively in European research and development collaboration. Finnish researchers and research organisations have performed well in the EU’s research and development framework programmes. Finland is contributing to the effort to develop a European Research Area by actively participating in the networking of national research programmes.
The Ministry of Education and Culture brings together stakeholders and enters into cooperation arrangements with ministries and actors with the aim to contribute through its action to the internationalization of universities and other stakeholders. High education and science have an important role in many of the ministry´s cooperation documents and agreements.
EU science policy cooperation
The EU plans to create a European Research Area (ERA) that is equipped to conduct research so that scientific research can be used to further improve employment and competitiveness in Europe. Progress in the European Research Area is being monitored using country-specific progress reports.
The EU uses the framework programmes to finance research and development in the Member States. Horizon 2020 is a 7-year programme consisting of three pillars: excellent science, competitive industries and societal challenges. It will be used to finance European research and innovation projects for a total of EUR 70.2 billion between 2014 and 2020.
In Finland, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy prepares and coordinates matters relating to EU research policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry of Education and Culture’s mandate covers issues related to basic research, researcher training and mobility, research infrastructure, relations between science and society and research collaboration with non-EU countries.
The European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) is a strategic policy advisory committee that provides timely strategic input to the Council, the Commission and Member States on research and innovation issues that are relevant to the development of the European Research Area (ERA). The rest of the ’ERA groups’ are:
- High Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC)
- Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC)
- ERA Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility (SGHRM)
- ERAC Working Group on Knowledge Transfer (ERAC-KT)
European Strategy Forum
on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)
EU Research and Innovation Programmes (EUTI), which operates in connection with the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) provides information on the EU research and innovation programmes, assists those who apply for the programmes and coordinates the national network of contact people.
International research organisations and networks
International research organisations build large research equipment which no one country could afford alone and put them at the disposal of researchers. Apart from highly advanced research, these organisations perform noteworthy work in technological development.
Finland participates in the work of many international research organisations, including:
- European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL
- European Space Agency ESA
- European Southern Observatory ESO
- European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF
- Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research FAIR
European organisations promoting cooperation and networking between national research systems include:
- European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST
- European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures ESFRI
Global science forums include organisations subordinate to UNESCO and OECD committees and working groups. R&D cooperation with countries neighbouring Finland comprises Nordic cooperation, which is now also expanding to the Baltic states, arctic research and cooperation with Russia. NordForsk promotes cooperation among the Nordic countries.
The Ministry of Education and Culture brings stakeholders together to joint discussions and action relating to cooperation with the selected priority nations (Brazil, India, China, Russia and the United States) as stated in the Government Programme.