Field: Energy efficiency in industry
Global Technical function: Manufacturing, Setting up synergies
Technical Function Unit: Promoting information sharing, Public grant funding for demonstration
Geographic Area: Finland

The Finnish Government’s strategic programme to accelerate growth in cleantech business

The challenge is the change in the global economy and the decline of traditional industries. In 2012 the Finnish government set a strategic programme, to accelerate the growth in Finnish cleantech business, which has been seen as one tool to enhance business growth in the country.

The challenge

The challenge in Finland as in many other European countries comes from the changes happening within the global economy, the shift of the manufacturing industry to the emerging markets such as China, and an increasingly competitive environment have lead to the decline of the traditional industries that have been the backbone of the Finnish economy. These changes have been the driver for the need for structural change and the renewal of the Finnish industry.

The measure

The government launched Finlands national strategic cleantech programme in 2012. The overall goal of the government’s cleantech strategy is to accelerate growth in Finnish cleantech business and to renew the traditional industry through innovations in clean technology.

The vision is that in 2020 Finland will be a global superpower in the cleantech business. Achieving the vision requires setting up synergies and strengthening cooperation between public administrations.

The combined turnover of Finnish cleantech companies was about EUR 25 billion in 2012, with 15% growth from the previous year (Finpro). The special Finnish strengths in cleantech business activities include resource efficiency in industrial processes – i.e. energy efficiency in industry, materials and water efficiency – as well as the use of bioenergy and biobased products.  

The programme seeks to support growth by creating a favorable business environment for cleantech companies. of the aim is that by promoting information sharing Finland’s national cleantech image will attract foreign investors, the country’s role in international decision-making will grow, and Finland will strengthen its position as a leading country in cleantech RDI activities.  

Lessons learnt

The key success factors to implementing  the strategy, and to achieving its  goals are believed to be the cooperation between public administrations and providing support to business.

The implementation plan includes

  1. priority actions such as promoting the development, commercialisation and implementation of companies’ cleantech innovations and
  2. the development of the operational environment for cleantech businesses to encourage companies to engage in innovative and sustainable business models and to promote market access to new cleantech solutions.

Specific goals for the strategic cleantech programme by 2020 are:

  • to raise cleantech companies’ turnover to EUR 50 billion, of which exports account for over 75%
  • to double the cleantech home market to about EUR 20 billion,
  • to increase the number of cleantech companies from 2000 to about 3000
  • to create at least 40,000 jobs in clean technology in Finland.

(Government Strategy to Promote Cleantech Business in Finland, Ministry of Employment and the Economy)

Further deployment

The strategy is in place and implementation is ongoing much but much work still needs to be done to reach the goals. The actions of the cleantech strategy are implemented with the help of Public grant funding for demonstration from the Government and the appropriations granted by the Parliament.

One of the actions, namely the Cleantech Finland Board, led by the Prime Minister, has not yet been realised. The Cleantech Finland Board is to regularly evaluate the implementation of the cleantech strategy.  

The case is estimated to be on level 6 on the GML scale.