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, the Baltic countries, and Germany are Finland’s main competitors regarding the location of R&D investments. However, as a location for large companies’ R&D sites, Finland has maintained its competitiveness fairly well. 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. More precisely, we suggest that R&D subsidies should be directed more towards growth-oriented companies. Furthermore, the supply of potential inventors should be stimulated by facilitating an immigration process for potential R&D employees and by increasing the student quotas in universities.