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Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities
Report: Finland needs successful innovation systems

Government Communications Department 15.2.2017 14.15 | Published in English on 15.2.2017 at 14.33
Press release 70/2017

A report published on 15 February relates that in the public sector, there is great significance in the structuring and development of business and innovation systems. It is recommended in particular in the report that partial renewal is applied towards ecosystem services with respect to business services.

The “Innovation Ecosystems as Strengtheners of Business Life and Research Collaboration” report examines ecosystems, i.e. the development and inner dynamics of ecosystems based on mutual dependencies. The rapid growth in the amount of information and its accessibility along with the development of communications technology and globalisation of value networks have transformed innovation operations. The processing of ideas into products and services is implemented more and more frequently by innumerable actors working in collaboration and interaction.

The report supports the viewpoint that highly functional business and innovation ecosystems have been and continue to be developed in Finland. According to the authors of the report, the support of ecosystems nevertheless requires an increase in ecosystem thinking from the public sector as well as a capacity for renewal on both the state and regional level.

Ecosystems cannot be controlled directly by the public sector, but the latter has an important role as developer. In practice, ecosystem policy means not only looking after a well-functioning general operating environment (such as education, research, financing and infrastructure) but also the targeting of efforts by innovation field actors in the direction of significant social challenges.

The authors of the report indeed propose that the most important task of the public sector is to implement and support strategic priority choices in cooperation with actors in business life, universities, and other actors in the innovation field. This way a small country like Finland would be able to focus most effectively on its business and innovation operations and be capable of managing with limited resources in global competition. Innovation operations and business life must find those small market areas in which they are pioneers.

According to the results of the report, business services should especially undertake renewal in the form of ecosystem-based business services. The growth path and regional renewal currently in progress offers an apt opportunity for the inspection of the entire business service system, where the needs of innovation ecosystems are emphasised with respect to maintaining interaction and funding that transcends regional boundaries. In the development of ecosystems, cooperation platforms are required that enable collaboration, the exchange of information, and the formation of a common vision from the actors concerned (business, universities, research facilities and the public sector).

The case study objects in the report have been four ecosystems critical to the national economy (forestry sector, digital sector, health sector and cleanTech). The examinations and reviews carried out help in understanding the internal development dynamics of the ecosystem field as well as the significance of local conditions for success. In building ecosystems, it should also be possible, in addition to the individual needs of business enterprises, to take into consideration the development of a more extensive ecosystem, flexible services, the ability to renew, and the building of confidence between the various actors.

The report was completed by Ramboll Management Consulting Oy, 4Front Oy, Urban Mill and VPSolutio and was implemented as part of the government’s implementation of the 2015 report and research plan. The output from the report is being utilised as part of the business policy work seminar (New modes of cooperation and tools in business life and research) in Helsinki, 09/03/2017.

Report: Innovation Ecosystems as Strengtheners of Business Life and Research Collaboration (Report in Finnish)

More information about the government Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities is available at tietokayttoon.fi

For more information, contact:

Henrik Pekkala, Project Manager, Ramboll Management Consulting Oy, tel.: +358 40 5355 638, firstname.surname(at)ramboll.com

Pirjo Kutinlahti, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel.: +358 29 50 48260, pirjo.kutinlahti(at)tem.fi