Responsible Research & Innovation in Finland

Titelblatt_Finland-1Authors: Jonna Hjelt & Elias Pekkola & Jari Stenvall & Yohannes Mehari
Year: 2020
Resume: The report presents a systemic view of the innovation systems in the energy and economy knowledge areas of Finland in general and in the Tampere region in particular. It specifically focusses on analysing how the actors on the regional stage interact and engage with the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the energy and economy knowledge areas and investigates the respective strategies and practices. The study employed qualitative content analysis and 12 participants were involved in the study that are mainly in the energy and economy innovation ecosystem in the Tampere region.
The analysis shows that the Finnish national innovation system is largely led by the investment from the public sector and with recognisable involvement of the private sectors. However, investment in research, development and innovation from both public and private research funding has been in decline for several years now due to political decisions and to changes in industrial levels.
The study indicates that the concept RRI is not well known in the Finnish innovation system in the fields of energy and economy. Research institutions, companies and public administration in Tampere region used the concept of Sustainable Development Goals of the UNO, which in some degree is similar to RRI.
The study reveals the concern to promote responsible attitudes and to resolve ethical dilemmas in research and innovation. This includes the ability to co-operate with different actors in multi-dimensional way and the understanding of the need of scientifically diverse perspectives. It is perceived the needs to broader the engagement with citizens affected and society in general. In addition, the study shows that in Finnish organisations gender equality is not perceived as a problem, in spite of the existence of highly gendered professions. Finally, it is underlined that the need for educating RRI dimensions or concept could be relevant to the students, but the best way to learn engagement, gender equality and ethics are by doing those in practice.