The Finnish Government has submitted its report on the General Government Fiscal Plan to Parliament. As part of reallocations made in the mid-term policy review, the budget authority for strategic research funding will be permanently reduced by 25 million euros compared to the previous spending limits decision. The Academy of Finland’s budget authority for research project funding will decrease by 10 million euros from 2023.
The Academy’s budget authority will also decrease due to the reduction in estimated proceeds from gambling and the end of the fixed-term compensation for reduced proceeds in 2024. The reduction in estimated gambling proceeds poses a very significant additional threat to research funding, and a rapid solution to this problem is needed.
The Academy of Finland’s funding is primarily allocated to universities and research institutes. The cuts have a direct impact on research carried out in these organisations.
Professor Johanna Myllyharju, Chair of the Academy of Finland Board, said: “This is a very unfortunate trend. It will significantly undermine confidence in that there are long-term conditions for internationally high-quality research in Finland. These cuts in research funding should not be implemented.”
Myllyharju added: “Cutting research funding will contribute to growing brain drain from Finland and eat away at Finland’s international attractiveness as a country of high-level expertise. This erosion of the cornerstone of Finnish research would be incomprehensible at a time when the development objective for R&D has been set high and when science plays an important role in coping with the serious global crisis at hand.”
The aim stated in the Government Programme is to raise investments in research, development and innovation activities to a level equalling 4% of GDP. The cuts now announced are a turn in quite the opposite direction.
Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland, said: “The cuts are very regrettable. Long-term funding for research is of paramount importance. Cutting research funding also means cuts to education, as university teaching is based on research, and university research staff also perform teaching tasks.” Mannila added: “We are also particularly concerned about the impact of reduced gambling proceeds on research funding. This impact may be very significant.”
The Academy will communicate any changes at the earliest possible stage.
- Heikki Mannila and Johanna Myllyharju: Government Fiscal Plan cripples funding for high-quality research and undermines education and training
- Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 001, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Johanna Myllyharju, Chair of the Academy Board, tel. +358 294 485 740, johanna.myllyharju(at)oulu.fi
Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen, Director of Communications
tel. +358 295 335 118