Finland is a founding member of EUREKA. It is the second time that it takes over the chairmanship of this Network. It is represented by Tekes, the Finnish government’s innovation agency and a key player in financing research, development and innovation.
Tekes promotes a broad-based view on innovation: besides funding technological breakthroughs, Tekes emphasises the significance of service-related, design, business, and social innovations.
Every year, Tekes finances some 1,500 business research and development projects, and almost 600 public research projects at universities, research institutes and universities of applied sciences.
Heikki Uusi-Honko, EUREKA Chairperson, explains:
“Finland celebrates 100 years of independence this year and we are proud to chair EUREKA for 2017/2018. The theme of Finland’s Centennial Year fits perfectly with the spirit of EUREKA: Together!”
This spirit is translated in three main priorities enabling TEKES to go above and beyond and truly impact the EUREKA organisation.
The fundamentals of EUREKA are as valuable today as ever, starting with the needs and expectations of enterprises seeking to cooperate across borders in their innovation work. Business-led activities and bottom-up principles characterise the whole EUREKA network. To maintain EUREKA’s future-oriented mindset a strong focus on improving services for the end-users is needed both in governing meetings and across the organisation.
The Finnish Chair will continue the work of the previous Chairs by following and further refining practices and working methodologies which support keeping the focus on strategic issues. This combination of focusing on internal efficiency, and delivering easy-to-approach services for customers is what we call Smart EUREKA.
Today, globalisation is a driver for change everywhere in our societies and economies. The rise of new, fast-growing economies and their powerful industries is evident. At the same time, Europe’s leading role in knowledge generation is being challenged. Innovation, enterprises and markets are increasingly embedded in broad global value chains that are extremely relevant for many potential EUREKA project participants.
This means that the opportunity to cooperate with countries that are outside Europe but still associated with EUREKA is an important asset for the network, and the related activities can still be expanded for the benefit of all parties involved.
As a part of a step-by-step approach to internationalisation, the Finnish Chair will focus on possibilities for deepening the cooperation with the existing global partnersand on enhancing EUREKA’s engagement with countries outside of Europe. In addition, EUREKA must keep its eyes open for opportunities to selectively extend the network.
EUREKA in the European Innovation Policy
Throughout its history, EUREKA has acted as a platform for the introduction of different policy instruments that support cross-border cooperation within the European research and innovation landscape. EUREKA has also acted as a learning platform by sharing good practices amongst national agencies and ministries, for example when executing joint calls. EUREKA’s know-how made it a unique asset that furthers the development of services while creating the conditions for innovation on all levels
Nonetheless the development of EUREKA’s innovative output can only be improved within a collaborative landscape. The Finnish Chair will ensure synergies with R&D&I initiatives and networks. It will enhance the Network’s presence as a key innovative stakeholders and advocate for a European Innovation Policy.
THE FINNISH EUREKA CHAIRMANSHIP TEAM
High Level Group Chairperson
National Project Coordinator Group Chairperson
Finnish High Level Representative
Finnish National Project Coordinator
Lea von Fieandt