Foreign Investments and Critical Intangible Assets

Ylhäinen IlkkaAli-Yrkkö JyrkiKoski HeliPajarinen MikaHeikkilä JussiMylly TuomasRajavuori Mikko


This study provides a current situational picture of critical intangible assets, their ownership, and the operations of foreign companies in Finland. There is no clear definition for ”critical intangible assets”; the term usually refers to so-called critical, emerging, or foundational technologies. For our study, we used the European Commission’s definition of advanced technologies based on patent categories, which we supplemented with patent categories for the defense industry and dual-use technology. According to this definition, there are almost 1,500 companies with critical technology in Finland, most of which are domestically owned. The quantitative analysis shows that companies acquired by foreign firms patent more critical technology than other companies. However, the ownership of critical technology does not increase the probability of a foreign acquisition when the background characteristics of the companies are controlled for. High-tech acquisitions are not highlighted in the authorities’ security assessment operations. After the acquisition, the financial development of companies with critical technology is, on average, similar to that of control companies that were not acquired, although the small number of observations complicates statistical analysis.

Publications of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities 2023:51.

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Förnyelse av företag
Critical intangible assets, Key enabling technologies, Foreign investment, Acquisitions, Patents
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Publications of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities 2023:51
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