Documentation of statistics Government R&D funding in the state budget
Basic data of the statistics
The starting point for the statistics is to assess the objectives of the central government and ministries in supporting research and development (R&D). Estimates of research funding are based on the appropriations in budget proposals, as well as on the granting authorisations of the awarding organisation. Funding is examined by budget year rather than by year of use. Changes occurring in R&D funding between different years are also examined. The purpose of the statistics is to determine the extent and allocation of government R&D funding.
The OECD and Eurostat recommendations are observed in the compilation of the statistics. The Statistics Act (280/2004) is applied in the production of statistics on science and technology. In addition, Commission Regulation (EC) No 753/2004 requires collection of data and steers the compilation of the statistics.
Unit of measure
The date of publication of the preliminary data based on the budget proposal is February of the statistical reference year (t-10). The final data based on the approved revised budget are published in August (t+8). The preliminary data are revised later based on supplementary budgets and actual payment data. The aim is to produce a time series that is as complete as possible, and to make it available to data users as soon as possible. The final budgetary data are influenced not only by supplementary budgets but also by actual payment data.
Frequency of dissemination
The five criteria for identifying R&D:
To be aimed at new findings (novel)
The aim of the R&D is to produce new knowledge and novelties. Mere application of the existing knowledge in development of new solutions, products or procedures is not R&D activity.
To be based on original, not obvious, concepts and hypotheses (creative)
Characteristic to R&D activity is creativity, setting and testing of new hypothesis and concepts. Routine activities in the development of products, processes or other procedures in not R&D activity.
To be uncertain about the final outcome (uncertain)
R&D involves uncertainty regarding outcomes and costs.
To be planned and budgeted (systematic)
R&D is conducted in a planned way, with records kept of both the process followed and the outcome. The purpose of the R&D project and the sources of funding for the R&D performed should be identified. R&D is often organized as a project, but it can also be goal-oriented activity of a person or a group.
To lead to results that could be possibly reproduced (transferable and/or reproducible)
An R&D project should result in the potential for the transfer of the new knowledge which also can be reproduced.
Distribution by type of R&D
Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view.
Applied research is original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective.
Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes.
Industrial production and technology
Transport, telecommunication and other infrastructures
Exploration and exploitation of the earth
Culture, recreation, religion and mass media
Political and social systems, structures and processes
General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from other sources than GUF
General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from general university funds (GUF)
Exploration and exploitation of space
State research institutes, with abbreviations (administrative sector):
Finnish Institute of International Affairs, UPI (Parliament of Finland)
VATT Institute for Economic Research (Ministry of Finance)
Natural Resources Institute Finland LUKE (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
Finnish Food Authority (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
National Land Survey of Finland NLS (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
Finnish Meteorological Institute (Ministry of Transport and Communications)
Geological Survey of Finland, GTK (Ministry of Employment and the Economy)
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd * (Ministry of Employment and the Economy)
Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, STUK (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, TTL (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE (Ministry of the Environment)
* non-profit state enterprise with special tasks
The primary task of state research institutes, which are the main actors in sector research, is to acquire, produce and provide information as the basis for political decision-making and development of society. In addition to research duties the institutes have a varying number of different specialist, monitoring, training, guidance and other official functions, charged and other service activities and so on. Research institutes produce services horizontally to many different administrative sectors and to the rest of the public sector. They also provide services to businesses and to third sector operators.
The majority of research and development activities carried out in research institutes are financed with appropriations allocated in the state budget. In addition to budget funding R&D activities are increasingly financed by external funding consisting of income from charged services and funding from elsewhere than the institute's own budget classes. External funding mainly comes on a competitive basis from several sources and from both domestic public and private sectors and international sources. The share of external funding is based on the performance targets of the institutes and is thus estimated.
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
Comparability - geographical
Comparability - over time
1997 University hospitals are included in the calculations.
2015 The Natural Research Institute Finland (Luke) is established following the merger of the MTT Agrifood Research Finland, the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL) and the statistical services of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tike).
2016 The more specific sub-categories based on the Nordforsk classification are phased out, and the statistics are now broken down according to the NABS 2007 categories.
2018 Business Finland (former Tekes) commences operation. Universities of applied sciences are separated from other funding and given their own category.
2019 The Finnish Food Authority is established following the merger of Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Agency for Rural Affairs (Mavi) and part of the Centre for ICT Services at the National Land Survey of Finland.
2020 The definition of R&D funding for universities is based partly on actual expenditure on research in previous years and partly on the share of research expenditure in the core funding of universities. Research funding is affected by the updating of the calculation method carried out in the statistical reference year 2017 and the resulting increase in actual research expenditure. In 2020, some research funding data from research institutes are affected by the updating of the calculation methods.
Coherence - cross domain
Coherence - internal
Source data and data collections
Changes in expenditure in real terms are calculated using the price index of public expenditure produced by Statistics Finland (2010=100). The total central government expenditure and the expenditure less central government debt have been deflated using the total expenditure index. The deflator used in the case of research expenditure is the index of government consumption expenditure. The estimate of the cost increase is obtained from the Ministry of Finance.
The data to be submitted to the OECD and Eurostat for comparison purposes require accurate data on research funding in the ‘General advancement of knowledge’ category, broken down by discipline. The breakdown of the data concerning the ‘R&D funding for universities’ sub-category may be carried out after the completion of the R&D statistics (t+10), using the breakdown of expenditure by discipline in the higher education sector. The funding in the ‘General advancement of knowledge, other’ sub-category is broken down by discipline, using the Academy of Finland’s discipline-specific financial information, which is obtained from the Academy of Finland.
Frequency of data collection
Principles and outlines
Legal acts and other agreements
The OECD and Eurostat recommendations are observed in the compilation of the statistics. The Statistics Act (280/2004) is applied in the production of the statistics on science and technology (incl. research and development). In addition, Commission Regulation (EC) No 753/2004 requires collection of data and steers the compilation of the statistics.
Confidentiality - policy
Statistics Finland uses the data for the compilation of statistics. Data collected for statistical purposes must be kept confidential by virtue of Section 24, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph 16 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). However, Section 12 of the Statistics Act provides for an exception for data on the activities of central and local government authorities. According to Section 12 of the Statistics Act, data describing the activities and public service production of central and local government authorities that are public based on other legislation are also public as statistical data.
Since data on government R&D funding concern a matter of substantial public interest, Statistics Finland has requested permission from central government research institutes to publish financial data on their R&D activities.
Confidentiality - data treatment
The date of publication of the preliminary data based on the budget proposal is February of the statistical reference year (t-10). The preliminary data are revised later based on supplementary budgets or actual payment data. The final data based on the approved revised budget are published in August (t+8). After all updates or additions, the final figures are submitted to the OECD and Eurostat.
A short press release is also published on the final revision of the preliminary data.
Accessibility and clarity
When compiling statistics, Statistics Finland observes the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) and the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) based on them. The Code of Practice concerns the independence and accountability of statistical authorities and the quality of processes and data to be published. The principles are in line with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics approved by the United Nations Statistics Division and are supplementary to them. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The principles are also compatible with those of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
More information about this is available on Statistics Finland’s quality management pages.
Every year Statistics Finland conducts statistical auditing that helps to ensure the quality of statistics.
R&D funding in the state budget represents official statistics. The Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) is a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. It comprises nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of Official Statistics of Finland have approved a common quality assurance in which they commit to common quality criteria and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The good practices followed in the statistics are presented in Statistics Finland’s Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook.