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Research budget slides

The Finnish government’s budget proposal for 2018 includes a €33-million, or 1 per cent, decrease in funding for higher education and research.

The ministry of education and culture presented its €6.5-billion spending plan last month, out of which €3.3bn is earmarked for higher education and research. Universities will receive €1.77bn in basic funds in 2018—€28m less than the year before. The decrease is in line with the centre-right government coalition’s attempts to reduce Finland’s budget deficit.

The Academy of Finland will receive €343m for its research programmes, down from €348m in 2017. Out of this sum, €25m will be spent on a flagship programme to boost innovation through partnerships between universities, research centres, non-governmental organisations and industry. Call for applications will open on 19 October, the academy announced this week. The proposed budget also includes €10m for research infrastructure, €10m for an ICT innovation programme and €50m for carrying out university profiling activities.

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