CTO Survey: As many as 61% of Finnish companies plan to increase their R&D&I investments in Finland

Demands posed by digitalisation and environmental issues drive companies to invest more in R&D&I, reveals the latest CTO Survey conducted by Spinverse, Technology Industries of Finland and Business Finland. The survey sent to 400 respondents indicates a two-fold trend in R&D investments.

For Finnish technology companies, last year showed two opposite trends in terms of R&D&I investments. On one hand, 58% of companies reported that their R&D&I investments remained at least unchanged, whereas on the other hand, as many as 42% acknowledged that their investments were declining. Despite reduced investments, technology leaders still see Finland as an attractive platform for research, development and innovation investments.

According to the survey, increasing investments are not just hot air. As many as 76% of respondents estimated that their R&D investments are bound to grow or at least remain unchanged this year. As many as 61% of the respondents intend to increase their investments especially in Finland.

When asked about Finland's strengths, the respondents mentioned public funding, skilled workforce, a good operating environment and skilled engineers, as well as an ecosystem for R&D. The importance of these factors was highly emphasized, because as many as 100 per cent of the companies reported that their development work with customers had suffered during the pandemic.

“The survey shows that the leading Finnish companies have started to embrace building of ecosystems. There is a particular need for such ecosystem-based development where large companies, small companies and research organisations work together,” comments Nina Kopola, Director General and CEO of Business Finland.

The survey reveals that the R&D investments are mainly directed at sustainable technologies and in the development of digitalisation. Most companies consider Chinese companies as their biggest external threat. Shortage of skilled work force is also seen as a challenge in the R&D&I activities of technology companies. This was shown in the responses: 43% of the respondents stated that they were looking for experts outside Finland. There were particular problems in finding professionals in programming, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Read the original article in Tekniikka & Talous, published online on 12.02.2021 (in Finnish). 

Join the discussion with Finnish industries in the CTO Forum event on 16.02.2021!