Chapter 13: The Finnish approach to innovation strategy and indicators
Finland has been a high performer in international comparisons on innovation capability. The high performance of the Finnish innovation system can be said to rely on policies and conditions that closely reflect the Washington Consensus, such as a strong rule of law, stable macroeconomic policy, domestic competition, a healthy financial sector and openness to outside ideas, and free trade (Williamson 2004). The Finnish innovation strategy has greatly benefited from national characteristics ranging from a national affinity for technology and the speed of technology diffusion in the country, to the quality of higher education and the central role that engineers, both Finns and non-Finns, have played in Finnish industrialization. Of these characteristics, long-term investments in education, a positive attitude towards technology and Finnish engineering skills are key determinants of Finnish success in innovation. In recent international comparisons, Finland has been ranked among the top performers by the OECD STI Scoreboard (OECD 2011), the EU Innovation Union Scoreboard (EC 2012), the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum 2012a) and the Global Information Technology Report (World Economic Forum 2012b), and reports of various academic institutions such as the INSEAD/WIPO Global Innovation Index (INSEAD 2012). These indicators support the Finnish brand as a leading technological economy.
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