Academy of Finland launches new international strategy

The Academy of Finland has published its new international strategy. In accordance with the concept of strategic partnerships, the Academy of Finland has defined the primary countries, regions and partners for cooperation. The regions include the Nordic Countries, Europe, the United States and Japan, as well as Russia, China, India and Brazil of the emerging scientific countries. Relevant partners are universities, research institutes, ministries, research funding agencies and business and industry.
 Academy of Finland launches new international strategy
The strategy runs to 2015 and is based on the Academy’s successful practices in international cooperation. The objective is to steer the Academy’s international activities increasingly towards achieving greater focus and consistency. The international strategy was revised as part of a wide-ranging strategy work package underway at the Academy.

The Academy’s international strategy rests on the idea that high-quality scientific research and the application of research knowledge are essential for Finland’s international competitiveness and for the wealth and well-being of society. The increasing importance of international cooperation can be seen, among others, in the difficulties of creating and developing state-of-the-art infrastructure and research environments without extensive collaboration.
“According to the new strategy, the Academy is well-focused, consistent and selective in its international activities. We seek to form and maintain strategic partnerships with leading scientific countries both within and outside Europe, and collaborate actively with emerging and developing countries in the world of science,” says Vice President (Research) Riitta Mustonen. “Our goal is to offer new opportunities for Finnish research and to increase its impact on the global arena.”

What this means in practice is that the Academy is committed to opening opportunities for international research collaborations and to promoting the mobility of researchers. Also, the Academy is concerned to support Finnish researchers to successfully compete for international research funding. A further aim is to develop more attractive research environments and increase the chances of foreign researchers to work in Finland.

Mustonen also mentions the development of research infrastructures as one of the key objectives of the strategy. “We must see to it that Finnish universities have their research infrastructures in order. The infrastructures must be of the highest quality and performance in order to maintain a level of international competitiveness that allows us to conduct top-level research and attract the best talents to Finland. We’re also aiming at Finland being assigned the coordination responsibility for one of the larger infrastructure projects included in the ESFRI road map”, Mustonen outlines.

An overriding objective of the international strategy is to strengthen the impact of the Academy’s international activities. This will be achieved, for instance, by improving the preparation and drafting of bilateral calls for proposals and by stepping up communication on international issues. A review of the international strategy will be undertaken in a few years’ time, when the Academy is set to carry out an evaluation of its international activities. Commissioned from independent reviewers, the evaluation will be conducted in 2010–2011.

International Strategy 2007-2015 in pdf-format

(The Academy of Finland 2008-04-11)