This study focuses on factors affecting companies’ research and development (R&D), Finland as a location for R&D activities, and R&D intensity (R&D/GDP). According to our results, R&D investments are increasing in Finland but the R&D intensity will not reach 4 % target by 2030. Our results showed that Sweden, Estonia (and to some extent other Baltic countries), and Germany are Finland’s main competitors regarding the location of R&D investments. The key factors affecting R&D location are the availability of R&D personnel, and the geographical proximity to the companies’ other units and customers. We recommend comprehensive and long-term innovation policy which considers policy actions – not only affecting the increase of R&D and its impacts – but also the increase of capabilities. It should be noted, however, that rather than the ultimate target, R&D is a means to reach other goals.