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Pääministeri Sanna Marinin avauspuheenvuoro tutkimus- ja innovaationeuvoston seminaarissa 25.10.2022

Dear participants,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Millennium Innovation Forum 2022 and to this seminar organised by the Research and Innovation Council of Finland. 

Research, development and innovation are of fundamental importance for our societies. They are  sources of welfare, ecologically and socially sustainable growth, productivity, and renewal of our economies. Research and innovation bring solutions to global challenges we are facing. The positive impacts of research and innovation are diverse and wide-ranging.

The Millennium Innovation Forum and the Millennium Technology Prize celebrate these messages by bringing forward innovations for a better life. 

Dear participants, 

The theme of this Seminar is diversity in research, development and innovation. This is an important and topical theme. 

Equality, equal opportunities and justice are fundamental values in our societies. People need to be equal regardless of their gender, nationality or ethnic, racial, sexual or other differences. In Finland, equality of opportunity has been a central principle in the development of the Nordic welfare state – and it is something that we want to hold on to.

Dear friends of research and innovation,

In the world of research and innovation, equality and diversity play a particular role. Many studies tell us the same story: teams that are inclusive and include participants with different backgrounds are often more innovative and productive. 

It is important that people with diverse backgrounds have the possibility to take part in research and innovation. We cannot affort to exclude the perspectives, ideas and capacities of anyone. 

In terms of gender equality, Finland is one of the most equal countries in the world. However, the share of women in research and development personnel is only 35 per cent. In companies, only 20 per cent of research and development personnel are women. These figures show that we still have work to do in this respect. 

We also need more international researchers and R&D professionals in Finland. 

Dear participants, 

The success of Finland is based on education, skills and knowledge. Research and innovation are key elements in this. During our government’s term, Finnish research and innovation policy has taken a major leap forward. 

We have reached a parliamentary agreement on raising the share of research and development investments to 4 per cent of GDP by 2030. Globally only a few countries currently exceed that level.

A new funding law will implement this historical agreement. We will increase state research and development investments in line with the 4 per cent target by 2030. It is crucial that private research and development investments will increase at the same time. 

These decisions provide predictability and a long-term basis for the development of the research and innovation system in Finland. Companies, research institutions, researchers and innovators can develop and expand their activities knowing that Finland will increasingly and steadily invest in research and innovation.

Dear friends of research and innovation,

This seminar is organised by the Research and Innovation Council, which I chair as Prime Minister. 

The Council brings political decision-makers and key actors of the research and innovation system around the same table. It is an important forum where we discuss and develop topics in research and innovation policy. 

This dialougue between different stakeholders is valuable. The increasing importance of technology means that research and innovation are critical strategic resources for us. 

Dear friends,

I’m particularly pleased that I can welcome professor Takahiro Ueyama from Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida’s cabinet office as the keynote speaker in this Seminar. 

Professor Ueyama, Japan’s highly ambitious plans for science, technology and innovation have been a source of inspiration for us here in Finland. I’m very eager to hear about the sixth science, technology and innovation plan and your views about future of Japanese research and innovation policy. I am also very interested in hearing about the role of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation in Japan.

I wish you all very inspiring and innovative seminar! 

Thank you!

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