Finland’s roadmap for research infrastructures 2021–2024 published

5 Oct 2022

The roadmap for national research infrastructures in Finland is a list of research infrastructure services of strategic importance for Finland’s research, education and innovation (RDI) that will be needed over the next 10–15 years. The new roadmap for 2021–2024 describes for the first time the national and international research infrastructure landscape that is important from Finland’s perspective. The previous national roadmap was published in 2014.

According to data from roadmap applications, the 29 research infrastructures selected for the roadmap received 1 billion euros in funding between 2015 and 2019. Research organisations accounted for 64 per cent and the Academy of Finland for 9 per cent of that funding. The total estimated funding needed by the roadmap research infrastructures in 2020–2030 comes to 2.7 billion euros.

The roadmap for 2021–2024 is part of the measures outlined in Finland’s National Roadmap for Research, Development and Innovation and supports the new partnership model. The partnership model promotes cooperation between RDI actors and encourages investments in RDI.

The roadmap is also one of the measured mentioned in the Strategy for National Research Infrastructures in Finland 2020–2030. The vision stated in the strategy is that high-class research infrastructure services increase the impact and international attraction of the Finnish research, education and innovation system.

The roadmap emphasises that the ownership, financial responsibilities and development plans of each research infrastructure shall be clear and genuinely support the everyday work in order to ensure high-quality research infrastructure activities. This will bring the best possible benefits from investments in research infrastructures throughout their lifecycles.

Development of research infrastructures involves significant choices and investments

Today, Finland’s research infrastructure landscape is diverse and has been formed largely based on the needs of high-quality research. Research infrastructures have a long lifecycle. Sufficient resources are therefore needed to construct, upgrade, use and dismantle them, throughout their lifecycles. Resources should be allocated to the construction and operation of the highest-quality and most effective research infrastructures in order to maximise the benefits of the available funding.

The task of the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee is to monitor and develop national and international research infrastructure activities in Finland. The Committee’s role in this development is primarily to identify and select the best research infrastructures. On 11 December 2020, the Committee granted roadmap status to 29 high-level research infrastructures.

Although the objective of each research infrastructure is to support R&D activities in its field, research infrastructures and their development work also share common features, such as digitalisation and data issues, and the effects on the green transition. These aspects were also taken into account when selecting research infrastructures for the new roadmap.

Riitta Maijala, Chair of the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee, said: “The roadmap is an important contribution not only to the development of joint long-term planning of the research, education and innovation system but also to the development of dynamic technology and funding solutions”.

The FIRI Committee has outlined that most of the funding in FIRI calls to be opened based on the 2021–2024 roadmap will be earmarked for roadmap research infrastructures.

The next FIRI funding call opens in spring 2023. Preliminary information on the FIRI funding call will be posted on the Academy’s website and other channels in early 2023.

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