International evaluation: Academy of Finland functions well as a whole
An overall international evaluation of the Academy of Finland has been completed. According to the evaluation, the Academy functions well as a whole given its financial and operational constraints. It may be necessary to review these constraints in order for the Academy to achieve the best results as part of Finland's research and innovation system. The Academy could be a stronger international player in other ways in addition to the research it funds and could be a more visible participant in public debate domestically. The final report on the overall evaluation was published on Tuesday 1 March.
The Academy of Finland was praised, among other things, for the efficiency of its operations, for its multidisciplinary projects and for the high standards with which it has handled new tasks. When receiving the evaluation report, Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen emphasised that only high-quality research can have an impact and open doors to international cooperation.
“The evaluation published today states that the Academy of Finland has led the way in the Finnish scientific community with respect to succeeding in the international arena. The Academy of Finland does excellent, indispensable work,” Minister Kurvinen said.
The goal of the overall evaluation was to find ways to improve the Academy’s impact, operations and structures. The evaluation gives the government, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy itself recommendations for the future role of the Academy of Finland.
According to the evaluation, the systemic thinking of Finland’s research and innovation policy has degraded over the past decade. However, the current objective to increase the intensity of research and development to four per cent of GDP is a sign of the recovery and new dynamism of this dimension.
The evaluation’s recommendations to the government include ensuring that the Academy remains a part of the research and development system when making decisions about the system. The research community and society at large must feel ownership towards the Academy.
The report recommends increasing the Academy’s research funding to support the four per cent goal of research and development intensity. Increasing the funding would also remedy the undersized share of applications represented by projects to be funded. The report recommends a review of the Academy’s research funding instruments.
With respect to the future of the Academy, a key challenge is to reinforce the Academy’s sustainability in its most important role, which is qualitative funding and the quality assurance of research. The Academy’s ability to flexibly link with other operators in the research system both nationally and internationally must be strengthened.
The overall international evaluation of the Academy of Finland was carried out in 2021. The evaluation was conducted by a consortium led by the international Technopolis Group in partnership with Finnish company 4Front Oy. The previous international evaluation of the Academy was completed in 2013.
- Evaluation report: Evaluation of the Academy of Finland
- Recording of the report’s publication event (YouTube)
- Erja Heikkinen, Director, tel. +358 295 330 101
- Soili Vasikainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 171
- Paavo-Petri Ahonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser +358 295 330 247