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Academy of Finland report:

State of Finnish scientific research remains stable

08.10.12

The state of Finnish scientific research has remained relatively stable. This is one of the main findings of the report The State of Scientific Research in Finland 2012 published by the Academy of Finland. Finland’s continued success highly depends on the Finnish institutes of higher education and research institutes; they must further develop the recruitment of both students and researchers. The report pays special attention to the recruitment of postdoctoral researchers and early-career professors. According to the Academy’s analysis, successful recruitment is an efficient way of reinforcing the international element of the Finnish research system.

Public R&D funding in Finland accounts for some 1 per cent of GDP in 2012. Public funding is clearly the most important source of funding in terms of scientific research and its societal impacts, as the private business sector’s R&D investments are mainly directed to development activities. The report highlights scientific research, the pursuit of new knowledge and the versatile development of the knowledge base as key factors for Finland’s future success. Long-term research renews our intellectual capital and is a prerequisite for technological development and innovation. Basic research plays a key role even in solving unforeseeable grand challenges facing humankind and society.

According to Academy President Heikki Mannila, Finnish universities, research institutes and research funding agencies are now expected to make increasingly far-sighted choices. “This may also mean having to let go of some things,” Mannila says.

As to the number of publications and citations, Finnish science is of good standard. In 2008–2010, Finnish researchers produced a total of 15,674 scientific publications. This figure is 6 per cent higher than in the mid-2000s. The number of citations has remained stable. Between 2008 and 2010, Finnish researchers were cited 6 per cent more than researchers around the world on average. The proportion of the highest-quality research can be analysed by studying all publications that are ranked among the roughly 10 per cent of the most cited publications in the world. The proportion of Finnish publications of the world’s top publications in 2008–2010 was roughly as high as the world average.

The report The State of Scientific Research in Finland 2012 has been edited by Leena Treuthardt and Anu Nuutinen. A total of 366 researchers from Finnish universities and research institutes have contributed to compiling the report. The report analyses the impact of the Finnish research system, the discipline-specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and the state of scientific research in selected research fields that address the grand challenges facing humankind and society. The report also includes a number of recommendations.

The English-language report will be released in December 2012 and it will be available as a PDF download on the Academy’s website at www.aka.fi/tieteentila2012 > English.


More information:
• Academy President Heikki Mannila, tel. +358 29 533 5001
• Director of Strategy Leena Treuthardt, tel. +358 29 533 5121

Academy of Finland Communications
Director of Communications Maj-Lis Tanner
tel. +358 29 533 5114

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