New paths of entrepreneurship

Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, this study took a closer look at the measures for promoting micro and small entrepreneurship included in the Government’s package for strengthening entrepreneurship. As part of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities, the study was conducted together with Professor Erkko Autio and its aim was to provide information to support the further work of the Government’s key project; Boosting competitiveness by improving conditions for business and entrepreneurship.

The study recommends that the different administrative sectors, authorities and stakeholders implement in cooperation a strategic operational programme, launch trials for finding solutions for structural challenges and develop business advice and mentoring. In addition, the objectives for promoting entrepreneurship should be directed at developing entrepreneurs’ skills, competence and targets.

Report (in Finnish)

As part of this project a Policy Brief has been published as well (in English)

4FRONT facilitates workshops for UN Innovation campus in Finland

The United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) is in the process of setting up a network of innovation laboratories in Europe, Africa and Asia, and has inquired Finland’s interest in hosting one. The aim of UN innovation campus is to facilitate the adoption of technology innovations within the UN.

In June, 4FRONT helped the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland to organize two workshops for UN and potential Finnish stakeholders, in order to probe their interest, as well as to gather ideas for collaboration themes. Indeed, all participating stakeholders indicated their great interest in having such a campus in Finland. The primary focus areas of the Finnish campus would be on education, health, the circular economy and cleantech, as well as peace and security.

The Government is now making active efforts to secure the establishment of a UNTIL campus in Finland. For further information, see MFA press release.

Workshop presentations (pdf):

Matti Kajaste, Education and learning in FInland
Miikka Kataja, SLUSH
Ilona Lundström, Innovation environment in Finland
Eero Eloranta, Innovative Society – the vision of Aalto University
Irena Bakić, CodeBus Africa

Developmental Evaluation of BEAM Programme

BEAM – Business with Impact programme is a joint initiative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes). BEAM aims to generate new, sustainable business in developing countries and to assist Finnish enterprises to address global development challenges.

Commissioned by the MFA and Tekes, the developmental evaluation of BEAM is implemented in parallel to the programme during 2015-2019.

Developmental evaluation supports innovation development, guides adaptation to emergent and dynamic realities in complex environments by continuous utilisation of evaluation results in programme management. Developmental evaluation also ensures the evaluability of the programme and provides independent information on the progress.

Mid-term review and other BEAM-reports are available at the MFA website.

Finnish Country reports for the EU Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO)

The EU Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO) reports are commissioned by EU Joint Research Center (JRC).

4FRONT has co-prepared the 2015 and 2016 Finnish Country Reports and is currently co-preparing the 2017 Report. The reports analyse the development and performance of the national research and innovation system in relation to national and EU policy priorities, and in particular to the annual EU policy agenda. In 2015 the focus was on ERA and Innovation Union, and in 2016 the special emphasis was given on the public sector innovation.

Finland – RIO Country Report (2016)

Finland – RIO Country Report (2015)


National impact of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

The evaluation is commissioned by the Ministry of Employment and Economy and carried out by 4FRONT together with Technopolis Group, PTT and Ramboll Management Consulting. The main question for the assignment is how can the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation increase the economic and societal impact of RDI funding in Finland?

The purpose is to review and evaluate the H2020 program’s instruments and their linkage to national RDI activities. The objective is to gauge the added value of H2020 to the innovation system and the fit between European and domestic policies.

Report on how to upgrade Team Finland

Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office 4FRONT, together with Ramboll Management Consulting, conducted an international benchmarking of operational models promoting companies’ exports and internationalisation. The benchmarking report, published in March 2017, was the second part of a project on improving the effectiveness of Team Finland model. The first part, evaluation of Team Finland Growth Programs, was published in September 2016.

According to the benchmarking, there are several good practices in comparison countries (Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands), which could be adopted to improve Team Finland network. These include strengthening public-private-partnership in steering, clarifying the roles of national and regional actors, strengthening strategic steering (besides operational development), adopting concrete service promises and piloting paid services in missions and embassies abroad.

Report on benchmarking of operational models for promoting exports and internationalisation (in Finnish)

Evaluation of Team Finland Growth Programmes (in Finnish)

As part of this project also a Policy Brief has been published (in Finnish)

Press release available on PMO website

Report on innovation ecosystems as drivers of research-industry cooperation

Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, 4FRONT together with Ramboll Management Consulting, Urban Mill and VPSolutio conducted a study on innovation ecosystems as drivers of growth.

The final report of the study examines the development and internal dynamics of innovation ecosystems through four themes that have a major economic importance for Finland: forestry, digital business, healthcare and cleantech. In addition, the report examines the role of different types of enterprise and ecosystem services through national and international case studies.

The findings of the report underline the need for enhanced ecosystemic thinking in order to enable the regeneration of well-functioning economic and innovation ecosystems. Public sector plays an important role in this development and as argued in the report, the enterprise services should be transformed into ecosystemic services to better enable cooperation between research and industry within the ecosystem.

Report on Innovation ecosystems as drivers of research-industry cooperation (in Finnish).

As part of this project also a Policy Brief has been published (in Finnish).

Entrepreneurial ecosystems as drivers for growth

Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, 4FRONT together with Ramboll Management Consulting Oy, Etlatieto Oy, Urban Mill and The Evidence Network Ltd have carried out a study on “Drivers and bottlenecks of start-up companies’ growth”.

The study presents an overall picture of Finnish start-ups and their economic importance, and provides recommendations for the Finnish startup-policy. The study reveals that Finnish start-up companies are now more growth oriented than a decade ago, and they increasingly seek growth from international markets.

The public sector continues to have an important role in supporting growth-oriented companies, promoting start-up culture and developing business environment. 4FRONT was responsible for analysing the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems and its implications for policy, as well as mapping and analysing Finnish startup support programmes.

Startup-yritysten kasvun ajurit ja pullonkaulat (in Finnish)

Evaluation of Team Finland Growth Programmes

Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, 4FRONT together with The Evidence Network and Ramboll Management Consulting carried out an evaluation of Team Finland Growth Programmes. The report was published on 30 September 2016 and can be found on the Prime Minister’s Office website.

Evaluation report (in Finnish)

Evaluation of Tekes’ Safety and Security and Fuel Cell Programmes

Commissioned by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), this ex-post evaluation analysed the impact of two Tekes Programmes: Safety and Security (2007-2013) and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (2007-2013). Evaluation was conducted by a consortium of Technopolis Group (Sweden), Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik (Germany), Kasin Consulting (Finland) and 4FRONT.

This evaluation had a two-fold objective, a) to look at how the programmes met their programme-specific objectives and b) to assess how these types of programmes facilitated the participation of Finnish organisations in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). The latter aspect was also benchmarked against other countries’ facilitation approaches.

In short, the two programmes resulted in increased competences and knowledge, as well as new technologies and hardware. They also generated new products, services and processes and had improved capabilities for RDI. However, the programmes’ ability to facilitate participation in the FP7 varied. The report gives recommendations for making better use of the FPs.

Evaluation report