The 2016 review recommends the following:
There is a mutually reinforcing relationship between top-level research, high-quality education and the broader impact of research. This must be taken into account in research and innovation policy.
- Science has both intrinsic value and significant societal impact.
- Universities and other research organisations must support, monitor and evaluate the broader impact of research in all its forms.
- The broader impact of research arises through multiple routes: through proficient people, cooperation and interaction, and through the transfer of research results. The various routes of impact and roles of science in society must be taken into account in the promotion of impact beyond academia.
The research-based profiling of higher education institutions must be continued.
- Finnish higher education institutions are currently reinforcing their research profiles, and there are promising examples of efficient distribution of work and collaboration as well as of new initiatives arising from the profiling areas. Progress in the increased profiling of research institutes as part of the development of research environments has also been encouraging.
- What matters is the sufficient concentration and level of expertise in a certain theme or phenomenon – not the size of the university or unit.
- Stronger profiling also supports the development of new initiatives and promotes the impact of research beyond academia.
The outcome is delivered by people: recruitment and researcher training.
- Recruiting skilled researchers, teachers and students is the most important decision universities and research institutes make.
- Instead of quantitative indicators, recruitment should focus more extensively on scientific quality, regenerative capacity and impact.
- Particular care must be taken to develop researcher training so that it provides a good foundation for demanding and wide-ranging research and specialist tasks in various sectors of society. The training should also emphasise researchers’ ability to orient themselves into new areas and generate new knowledge and know-how. Universities must actively develop the contents of researcher training also in collaboration with other employers.