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Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities
Report: Significant benefits for Finland from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 15.2.2018 16.43 | Published in English on 16.2.2018 at 15.39
Press release 73/2018

For a research and innovation intensive country such as Finland, EU funding has created opportunities to strengthen international collaboration, supplement national funding and bring in their benefits back to the Finnish society, business and industry.

The eight framework programme of the EU, Horizon 2020, has been a very significant new opening since its launch in 2014. The amount of funding available was increased considerably to around EUR 80 billion, which is a 1.5-fold increase on the previous framework programme. Funding has been channelled to developing breakthrough technologies and generating new responses to pressing social challenges. Horizon 2020 has also introduced a new funding instrument, the SME instrument, for small- and medium-sized companies.

Finnish participants in Horizon 2020 have gained significant benefits: Projects have generated new technologies, products and services and thereby created new jobs, according to a recent survey published by the project “How can the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation increase the economic and societal impact of RDI funding in Finland?”

Altogether 70 per cent of the respondents agreed that the funded projects would not have been possible without the funding. For companies, the economic net effect of Horizon 2020 has been positive and on par with the national RDI funding. The greatest direct economic effects on business growth and added value were detected in companies that had received funding from different sources. The survey also indicated that in the future in addition to pushing the best researchers and companies forward, the building of partnerships and ecosystems should continue.

“Especially growing SMEs have discovered the funding available through Horizon 2020 and used it to accelerate their innovation activities. The number of participating SMEs has doubled since the previous seventh framework programme,” says Director-General Ilona Lundström from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The survey shows that Finnish participants have actively sought to join Horizon 2020. Finnish participants have received funding for some EUR 580 million, which is 2.2 per cent of the total budget for Horizon 2020, thus exceeding Finland’s funding share of the framework programme.

“All in all, Finnish participants have been pleased with the Horizon 2020 projects and report having received significant benefits for their innovation and business activities. Better preparation of applications and projects could generate even more positive effects,” says head of the project Senior Expert Kalle A. Piirainen.

The project “How can the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation increase the economic and societal impact of RDI funding in Finland?” is part of the implementation of the 2017 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research.

Further information on the Government’s Analysis, Assessment and Research Activities is available on the website


Kalle A. Piirainen, Senior Expert, Adjunct Professor, 4FRONT Oy, tel. +358 40 583 8348, kalle.piirainen(at)

Jonna Lehtinen-Salo, Development Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 2950 60210