Sustainable development

Research-based knowledge plays a key role in ensuring sustainable development and protecting the welfare of future generations. The Research Council of Finland funds research across all scientific disciplines and thereby supports the attainment of sustainable development targets.

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. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 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 Research Council of Finland has made a commitment to the 17 global goals of Agenda 2030.

When selecting international partners and topics for calls for applications, we also take into account our value base concerning our internationalisation activities and our objectives for accountability and sustainable development.

The Research Council of Finland has made a commitment to Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development for 2022–2025 (PDF). The aim of our commitment is to increase and deepen the awareness of researchers, the Research Council and our stakeholders with respect to the principles of sustainable development and to emphasise the importance of these principles in research and research funding in a cross-cutting manner. The objective of the commitment is also to more systematically examine the perspectives of sustainable development and accountability, integrating monitoring with the annual cycle of our operations. Through active advocacy communications, we also highlight the potential of research in promoting sustainable development.

Considering sustainability in research funding and application review

We require that projects we have funded take into account sustainable development. We also consider the principles of sustainable development when we plan themes for Academy Programmes and the contents of other thematic funding opportunities. In addition, most of the current Academy Programmes and SRC programmes effectively support the sustainable development objectives. We also support the Sustainable Development Goals and cooperation with non-European countries through international funding cooperation.

One of the science policy objectives that are factored in when we make funding decisions is how the proposed project has taken into account sustainable development. In addition, we will monitor how the goals related to sustainable development are achieved in the projects we fund.

We expect the projects we fund to take sustainable development into account as part of responsible science. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, questions of responsible science relate to describing how a project can contribute to one or more of the 17 SDGs. The final reports, in turn, can focus on how the project and its results have contributed to sustainable development.

Do you have questions or feedback for us?