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Finnish State Secretary: The innovation infrastructure must be updated

  • Publisert 02.05.2012
- The ongoing changes in the world calls for the whole innovation infrastructure to be updated. Open innovation is a key to success, said Finnish State Secretary Olli-Pekka Heinonen at the SHOK-summit in Helsinki.

Hundreds of major players in the business and technology industry came together at Marina Congress Center on the 25 April to discuss cross-disciplinary cooperation.


Olli-Pekka Heinonen, the Finnish State Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, opened the summit, by highlighting the need for rethinking when it comes to innovation.


- In international comparisons Finland has been successful. The success has almost become a part of the national identity, but changes in the global economy and increasing competitiveness has transformed the big picture, he said.


Between 2005 and 2010, the export share has fallen by 20%, and it is still falling. When it comes to high technology, the export is now down to record low.


- We must manage to do the same as we did when we experienced our last crisis in the 90’s, and transform setback to success, but at the same time we must keep in mind that the world is different than it was 20 years ago.



Innovation in change

According to Heinonen, the concept and process of innovation has changed from analytic innovation to more symbolic and synthetic innovation. It is about combining existing innovations in new ways. It is about open innovation and sharing of experiences. In fact, the whole innovation infrastructure must be updated.


- The problem is when the right way of acting becomes wrong all the time, he said, and listed four possible choices when it comes to innovation:

  1. Ignore the need of innovation – this will lead to a fast exit from the market.
  2. Leave innovation to outsiders and newcomers – and let these change the rule of the game.
  3. Innovate internally – is this really efficient enough to meet existing and future challenges?
  4. Innovate alongside other actors in the field – the only real solution.

 - We need to be bold enough to change existing structures, no more repeating of old patterns. Instead we must make faster and more efficient use of innovations and knowledge created elsewhere.


State Secretary Heinonen said that the Finnish government is ready to make exceptional decisions to stimulate innovation. The Strategic Centers (SHOK in Finnish) already play an important role when it comes to creating a much needed positive circle.


The Strategic Centers for Science, Technology and Innovation established in Finland are new public-private partnerships for speeding up innovation processes. Their main goal is to thoroughly renew industry clusters and to create radical innovations. Read more.

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