Science and research

Atomimalli. KUVA: Gorilla

Science policy improves the ability of organisations to conduct and support research.

Research generates knowledge and skills that benefit many parties in society, among them companies, communities, public organisations and political decision-makers.

Universities conduct free research, pursue learning in the sciences and in the arts and, on that basis, provide the highest level of education in Finland. Universities spend about one third of their funding on research and compete for public research funding, the majority of which comes from the Academy of Finland, Business Finland and the European Union.

The higher education provided in universities of applied sciences enables students to acquire specialist professions that respond to the changing needs of the world of work. Universities of applied sciences pursue applied research and development that, in addition to supporting the education they provide, serve both labour market goals and regional development. The European Union’s Structural Funds programmes, along with government transfers and grants, constitute the most significant source of financing of research, development and innovation in universities of applied sciences. Some funds also come from the Academy of Finland and Business Finland.

Research staff and careers

It is important to monitor how graduate school students advance in their careers in higher education institutions, research institutes and other sectors of society, as this helps in anticipating the number of students who will pursue a doctorate as well as in developing the content of doctoral degrees. This data is made available by Statistics Finland and in Vipunen – Education Statistics Finland, which is the education administration’s reporting portal.

Developing the research and innovation system

The ministries jointly develop the policy measures that shape the research and innovation system.

The Research and Innovation Council, led by the Prime Minister, supports the Government in the development and coordination of a long-term science, technology and innovation policy (RDI policy). The Council both monitors how the conditions are developing in the RDI sector and takes initiatives related to RDI policies.

Openness in research

Globally, improving the openness of science and research is an important way to both promote research and increase the impact of science in society. In practice, research outcomes are quickly made available to the research community and to the general public, which saves resources, promotes high quality research and improves the usability of research data in society.

Open science and research can give new insights and expand people’s opportunities to participate in scientific research. However, this cannot happen without extensive access to publications, data, methods, knowledge and support services that are both produced and needed in research.

National Research Information Hub

The National Research Information Hub is maintained by CSC – IT Centre for Science, a partially state-owned non-profit company with tasks specifically assigned by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Information Hub seeks to provide a single platform bringing together metadata on publications, research datasets and infrastructures, scientists, projects and research groups. As the Hub utilises the existing systems of public research organisations, it will reduce the administrative burden and improve the availability and accessibility of information.

With digitalised research and open science, the number of different research outputs will increase. Their easy management requires a uniform specification and seamless processing of research metadata. Such data is used in research activities and administrative processes related to research, such as in information retrieval, funding applications and reporting, publishing, compilation of statistics and other dissemination of research data.

Research infrastructure

Research infrastructure refers to instruments, equipment, materials and services that enable high-quality research activities. Research infrastructure can be centralised, decentralised or virtual and made available remotely. A committee appointed by the Academy of Finland is responsible for preparing and implementing Finland’s Strategy and Roadmap for Research Infrastructures. The roadmap deals with national-level research infrastructures and Finland’s participation in international projects.

Development programme for data management and computing

Together with research and innovation bodies, the Ministry of Education and Culture is carrying out Data and Computing 2021 (DL2021), a programme for developing research infrastructure and computing between 2017 and 2021. The development programme will invest around EUR 35 million in data management and computing infrastructures and related services.

CSC’s data centre in Kajaani will host a pan-European high-performance supercomputer for research purposes. The decision to host the supercomputer in Kajaani was made by the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking - EuroHPC, a joint undertaking of the EU Member States and the Commission. This international investment coordinated by Finland will make the Finnish data centre in Kajaani not only one of the leading centres in Europe, but also globally.

Contact information

Erja Heikkinen, Deputy Director General 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan sekä lukiokoulutuksen osasto (KTLO), Tiedepolitiikan vastuualue ( TIEVA ) 0295330101