Research in Finland

The primary scientific research areas in Finland are the forest industry, the metal industry and the information & communication technology (ICT) industry.

Other areas of research expertise include:

  • Biotechnology
  • Food and agriculture
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano sciences
  • Materials and new production technologies

In addition, the general fields of health research, the environment and business feature highly on the list defined by the Science & Technology Policy Council of Finland.

The Finnish science system is divided into nine clusters, each with their own specific focus areas:

  • The information and communications cluster
  • The metal cluster
  • The forest cluster
  • The well-being cluster
  • The chemical and bio cluster
  • The environmental cluster
  • The energy cluster
  • The real estate and construction cluster
  • The food cluster
Research Framework

The Finnish research system is relatively decentralised, with its main research being conducted at the 16 universities, 26 polytechnics and 18 government research institutes. For detailed information about each institution, see Study in Finland.

The Finnish innovation and research system framework consists of four operational levels.

Level 1 consists of the Finnish government, supported by the Research and Innovation Council. This advisory body is responsible for the strategic development and co-ordination of Finnish science and technology policy, and the national innovation system as a whole.

Level 2 consists of the ministries.

The R&D funding agencies make up level 3, These include the Academy of Finland and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. At this level, research priorities are set, funding decisions (excluding the allocation between ministries) are made and co-operation is facilitated.

At level 4 there are the organisations that conduct research: universities, public research institutes, private research organisations and business enterprises.

For more about the Finnish research system, visit the Finnish Science and Technology Information Service.

Working in Finland

Finland’s universities use a four- stage career system in their research and education (doctoral student, post-doctoral fellow, independent senior researcher and professor). To facilitate flexible mobility for researchers with common interests, the universities collaborate with a range of other organisations in Finland.

Work hours in Finland usually consist of a 40-hour week. Holiday leave is earned during the ‘holiday credit year’ which starts and ends in April. Two-and-a-half leave days are accrued each month, leaving a full-time employee with 30 days of paid holiday leave per year. However, for workers who have been employed for less than two years by a company, only two days of leave are accrued per month, adding up to 24 days of annual paid leave.

As a researcher working in Finland for more than six months, you will need a tax card (verokortti), where those who research in Finland for less than six months will have to acquire a tax-at-source card (lähdeverokortti). For more information on the Finnish tax system, visit the Finnish Tax Administration.

For more about working and living in Finland, visit Expat in Finland.

Nordic social insurance portal is another helpful portal, providing guidance in the relevant legislation across the Nordic countries.

Overview of R&D in Finland

Research Firms

(Source: The 2009 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard)

  • Patria (Aerospace & defence)
  • Nokian Tyres (Automobiles & parts)
  • OP-Pohjola (Banks)
  • Biotie Therapies (Biotechnology)
  • Ahlstrom (Chemicals)
  • Dynea (Chemicals)
  • Kemira (Chemicals)
  • Nordkalk  (Chemicals)
  • F-Secure (Computer services)
  • Tieto (Computer services)
  • Stonesoft (Computer services)
  • Rocla (Commercial vehicles & trucks)
  • Ponsse (Commercial vehicles & trucks)
  • Wartsila (Commercial vehicles & trucks)
  • Uponor (Construction & materials)
  • YIT (Construction & materials)
  • Fortum (Electricity)
  • Pohjolan Voima (Electricity)
  • Teollisuuden Voima (Electricity)
  • Vacon (Electrical components & equipment)
  • Efore (Electronic equipment)
  • Elektrobit (Electronic equipment)
  • VTI Technologies (Electronic equipment)
  • PKC (Electronic equipment)
  • Vaisala (Electronic equipment)
  • Elisa (Fixed line telecommunications)
  • Atria (Food producers)
  • HKScan (Food producers)
  • Raisio (Food producers)
  • Valio (Food producers)
  • Metsaliitto (Forestry & paper)
  • Stora Enso (Forestry & paper)
  • UPM-Kymmene (Forestry & paper)
  • Huhtamaki (General industrials)
  • KWH (General industrials)
  • Fiskars (Household goods & home construction)
  • Cargotec (Industrial machinery)
  • Glaston (Industrial machinery)
  • Kone (Industrial machinery)
  • Konecranes (Industrial machinery)
  • Larox (Industrial machinery)
  • Metso (Industrial machinery)
  • Outotec (Industrial machinery)
  • Raute (Industrial machinery)
  • Outokumpu (Industrial metals & mining)
  • Rautaruukki (Industrial metals & mining)
  • Itella (Industrial transportation)
  • Amer Sports (Leisure goods)
  • Neste Oil (Oil & gas producers)
  • Orion (Pharmaceuticals)
  • Aldata Solution (Software)
  • Basware (Software)
  • Comptel (Software)
  • Tekla (Software)
  • Nokia (Telecommunications equipment)
  • Tecnomen Lifetree (Telecommunications equipment)
  • Teleste (Telecommunications equipment)
  • Veikkaus (Travel & leisure)

Research Institutions

(Source: Tekes)

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