Angry Birds. Nokia. Clash Royale. What connects these leading names? The dynamic brands all derive from the technology industries of Finland.
Finland is renowned as a powerful hub for startups and tech innovation in fields ranging from entertainment to healthcare services. The industry has brought many promising opportunities to the country, thus increasing the overall welfare to the residents of Finland.
The technology industry in Finland is comprised of five sub-sectors: consulting engineering, metals industry, information technology, electronics and electrotechnical industry, and mechanical engineering -with the largest grossing turnover of €27 billion in 2014.
According to Teknologia Teollisuus (TechFinland), in 2017 the technology industry accounted for 50% of all Finnish exports and 80% of R&D investment in the private sector.
12% of the total employment
In 2016, the technology industry in Finland directly employed approximately 300,000 people and it has been growing at a rapid pace ever since. This accounts for 12% of the total employment. Around 700,000 people (nearly 30% of Finnish employees) earn their living directly or indirectly within the technology industries.
Technology industry companies annually recruit almost 30 000 skilled workers. Among them, half hold a university degree, whereas the other half possess vocational qualifications.
The total wages and social security payments in 2016 amounted to almost 15 billion euros. The taxes paid from the income provide the funding for public sector services, such as healthcare, social benefits and educational activities.
Although the Finnish technology industry seems to be thriving, there is also a large responsibility that comes from being a powerhouse. Technology companies from Finland operate in international markets which returns a large bulk of the revenue that sustains the welfare of Finland.
TechFinland claims that the welfare of every Finn is dependent on the success in international competitiveness of these tech companies. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and researchers alike also agree with this statement.
Cuts in funding
There is a raise in concern regarding the recent R&D cuts in innovation and technology funding, from €7 billion in 2012 to one billion less annually in the past few years, extracted from a report from Erkki Ormala regarding securing the future of Finland’s competitiveness and economic growth.
According to Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, the core of the reform of any innovation policy must be the strengthening of cooperation between the private and public sectors. He emphasizes on the fact that it is important to channel funding for this type of cooperation.
In autumn of 2018, the government made decisions aimed at breaking the downward spiral of research and innovation funding. The Research and Innovation Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, has set a target of raising R&D investment to 4% of GDP by 2030.
“It’s unfortunately a scientific fact that sustainable economic growth, productivity development and employment are dependent on successful innovation activity,” Ormala claims. The resounding message is that the technology industry in Finland creates exports and consecutively, exports create welfare.