Tekes has a widespread impact on building capabilities for innovation activities

A recent study indicates that Tekes activities have contributed to building capabilities for innovation activities in business life. These impacts are reflected as increased expertise, exploitation of technology development, more numerous and close-knit partnerships and a growth in the volume and time span of companies’ R&D activities.

In its strategy, Tekes pinpointed building capabilities that generate innovations as one of its key aims. A recently concluded project examined how Tekes has succeeded in building capabilities for innovation activities and how provision can be made for future challenges. This study, which was implemented by Synocus Oy, relied on international comparisons, various types of analyses and interviews.

”The task was challenging as there are no proven models or methodologies. Establishing valid causal relationships is difficult, and capabilities cannot easily be quantified. A great deal of the work was devoted to developing a conceptual and process model”, says Chief Adviser Pekka Pesonen from Tekes.

”We started from the perspective of the customer. The authors drew up descriptions of how companies have developed and exploited capabilities in the Finnish operating environment. A move away from developing individual technologies and products towards systemic solutions emerged as a key factor”, explains Pesonen.

”A benchmarking study of the innovation environments in some of Finland’s most successful competitors – Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark – showed that capabilities for innovation activities can be built using a wide variety of strategies. A fast internationalisation of operations and a need to manage the whole were highlighted”, he describes the outcomes.

The authors described the conclusions as 45 claims. A large group of company, research sector and innovation administration representatives selected those that are critical for building capabilities for innovation activities. The results indicate that there appears to be a particular need for so-called orchestration support in order to improve the preconditions for company growth.

The innovation actors interviewed for the study considered that Tekes has a solid understanding of what is required to develop the Finnish innovation system. According to the study, the means of supporting innovations employed by Tekes have been an apt response to the changing requirements of the business environment.

With view to the future, the authors highlighted three aspects on which special attention should be paid:

  • mainstreaming new operating methods
  • identifying and supporting potential growth enterprises
  • ensuring a comprehensive development of the innovation system.

Tekes Review 291/2012: Capabilities for innovation activities

Further information

Pekka Pesonen
Tel. +358 1060 55804
pekka.pesonen (at) tekes.fi

Raine Hermans
Tel. +358 1060 55603
raine.hermans (at) tekes.fi