Towards the Goal Through a Pit?

The parliamentary R&D working group finished its work before Christmas. One can be satisfied with both the process and the result: the goal that was agreed upon together earlier will now be striven for in a mutual understanding, recognising and respecting the different players’ roles in R&D activities.

The working group heard from international experts and organized open, appropriate circulations for comment and hearings. The Research and Innovation Council was kept up to date. Previous education, science, and innovation policies were acknowledged in this work. The civil servants proposed concrete alternatives to additional public financing.

Politicians opted for a separate legislative act on the financing of R&D activities as the funding instrument. 

Politicians opted for a separate legislative act on the financing of R&D activities as the funding instrument.  Its premise is to raise private and public R&D investments to four percent of the gross national product by the year 2030. The share of the state is about a third, 200 million euros per year.

This exceptional procedure is possible only because of the crucially important societal role that R&D activity has. This is acknowledged by all parliamentary groups. A similar procedure has been used in the law for university development.

Secondly, a statutory plan for R&D funding that follows ten principles and extends beyond the spending limits period will be enacted. Each government implements its own R&D policy in the framework of the funding act and the plan and decides on the increase to funding required in the act. Similar plans have been made in developing defense and traffic infrastructure.

In addition, the working group will propose the implementation of a permanent and more extensive tax incentive for R&D activities. It is estimated to increase RDI activities particularly in private and small innovative enterprises.

The 57 member companies of Technology Industries Finland announced that they will commit to funding a third of the share, as long as the financing act and the law about the extensive additional R&D tax deduction will be accepted in the parliament during the current governmental term.

The decrease on the verge of a new increase cannot be accepted.

The financing act can be accepted by the first of January 2023 as a part of the spending limits procedure, and R&D funding can be increased from the year 2024. The public R&D funding will, however, decrease in 2023 as the fixed-term funding will come to an end and as a result of spending limits decisions. The decrease on the verge of a new increase cannot be accepted, especially when educational responsibilities have been increased at the same time.

Translation: Elina Siltanen

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