ECO-INNOVATIONat the heart of European policies
Finland’s composite eco-innovation score of 137 exceeds the EU average by 37% and the country is surpassed only by Luxembourg and Denmark. In particular, the country’s sub-indices of eco-innovation outputs, socio-economic outcomes and eco-innovation inputs stand out as leading components of Finland’s eco-innovation landscape. Resource efficiency, however, continues to be one of Finland’s major concerns and illustrates the importance of improving the relevant structures.
Finland continues to distinguish itself as a leading nation in the field of eco-innovation with a piloting culture that has made them one of the leading testbeds worldwide. The potential of the circular economy is widely recognised and has been addressed in an update to the nation’s circular economy strategy. Similarly, the bioeconomy enjoys ever-increasing attention and is considered the backbone of the Finnish economy. Upcoming trends can furthermore be identified in the field of digitalisation in the cross-cutting domain of Artificial Intelligence or Cleantech. To deliver expected benefits and capitalise on the potential of eco-innovation, Finland is especially keen on an uncomplicated and efficient entry for eco-innovators through funding for open innovation and co-creation. A strong and solid eco-innovation technological innovation system drives technological sustainability and availability. Public procurement at national and sub-national level has been widely used to mainstream eco-innovation. Similarly, the human resource and capital structure and the society as a whole can be considered educated, qualified and generally supportive towards eco-innovation. Somewhat surprisingly, however, environmental sustainability appears to be more of a secondary consideration in the context of eco-innovation exploitation or investment. Another contradicting factor is the cuts in overall public spending on research and development (R&D) and research and innovation (R&I). This continues to indicate a less coherent and clear vision of and commitment which had previously been one of the trademarks of Finland’s innovation landscape. Low environmental taxes and an uneven development across the country affects the dynamics driving eco-innovation. Further barriers are an insufficient presence of, and focus on, non-technical skills, internationalisation, commercialisation of innovation, entrepreneurial experimentation and risk-taking readiness in Finnish business- and academia-related spheres.
2019 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Finland