Sustainable development

Sustainable development is a continuous and guided social transformation process that takes place globally, regionally and locally with the aim of securing opportunities for a good life for present and future generations.

In 2015, UN member states agreed on global goals and targets for sustainable development in the form of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims at eradicating extreme poverty and promoting a sustainable development in which the environment, the economy and human beings are taken into account in equal measure. Finland implements the global agenda through, for example, ‘Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development’, an instrument whereby the public sector and other actors can pledge to promote sustainable development in their work and operations.

The Academy of Finland has made its own commitment to the shared goals for 2018–2021. The objective of the commitment is to raise awareness of the principles of sustainable development and to emphasise the importance of these principles in research funding and research work. The commitment covers all research funding activities at the Academy. Through active advocacy communications, we also highlight the potential of research in promoting sustainable development.

Considering sustainable development when applying for funding

Research-based knowledge plays a key role in ensuring sustainable development and protecting the welfare of future generations. We fund research across all scientific disciplines and thereby support the attainment of sustainable development targets. We also take into account sustainability when we prepare themes for Academy Programmes and other thematic funding opportunities.

One of the science policy objectives that are factored in when Academy funding decisions are made is how the proposed project has taken into account sustainable development. However, it is not a funding criterion as such. We will monitor how the goals related to sustainable development are being achieved in the projects we fund.

We expect the projects we fund to take sustainable development into account as part of responsible science. In their research plans, researchers are therefore encouraged to describe how the project promotes sustainable development as part of its societal impact. The final reports, in turn, can focus on how the project and its results have contributed to sustainable development.

See also

How to apply for funding: A–Z index of application guidelines 

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