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What if everything were possible?

The competitiveness of the EU is waning. In his speech in Berlin on May 22, 2023 the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said, “The question ahead of us is: how do we continue to grow our European industry? The answer is: with a European Industrial Deal at the same level of a European Green Deal. Not in opposition to each other but to reinforce each other.”

Without doubt one of the reasons for the decrease in competitiveness is the enormous amount of new, and sometimes overlapping or contradictory, legislation in recent years. It’s inevitable that this will affect innovation. The question is how can organizations remain innovative?

Not always an easy task. One simple question in particular in the article caught my eye: What if? What if everything were possible?”

I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review about corporate learning and how to boost creativity inside a company. Not always an easy task. One simple question in particular in the article caught my eye: What if? What if everything were possible?

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Finland is also searching for new ways to become more competitive and achieve growth. The Finnish government has set very ambitious goals to boost R&D in Finland, pledging a national R&D expenditure goal of 4% of the GDP by 2030. The government will pay one third of that and it hopes to encourage companies to invest the other two thirds. Along with the renewal of the national growth strategy for research and innovation in the health sector, this will make a powerful combination.

A multi-year plan is being prepared that exceeds the mandate period of the current government and the government administration is keen on fostering close cooperation with the parliament to ensure the continuity of these efforts.”

This surge in R&D investments aims to push productivity, bolster competitiveness, and sustain long-term economic growth. Paving the way towards this goal, the government will up R&D funding by roughly EUR 280 million annually, marking a significant rise from the current levels. A multi-year plan is being prepared that exceeds the mandate period of the current government and the government administration is keen on fostering close cooperation with the parliament to ensure the continuity of these efforts. The government’s program also focuses on monitoring the achievement of the R&D goal given that research and innovation are critical for growth and the green transition.

When you don’t start out by being limited by all the rules, new solutions can flourish.”

When you don’t start out by being limited by all the rules, new solutions can flourish. Even regulators are encouraging innovators to find new solutions through regulatory sand boxes. We need innovative people who can think beyond the possible to explore new opportunities. Only then can we also properly understand where there is and is not a need for restrictive legislation. As an innovator, what would happen if you woke up one day free to test your great ideas. This is my guess:

Excitement and Optimism: Many people might feel more excited and optimistic about the possibilities that open up for advancements in technology, medicine, environmental sustainability, and many other fields. This could potentially lead to transformative solutions for many of the challenges that humanity currently faces.

Empowerment: Entrepreneurs, scientists, and researchers might feel empowered by the possibility to innovate without limits, potentially leading to a surge in ground-breaking discoveries and technological advancements.

Excitement and optimism combined with empowerment in an environment where ideas were not limited. Wouldn’t that be a recipe for strengthening competitiveness?

Kemianteollisuus

About the author

This column was originally written by Alexandra Peth, Managing Director, Finnish Bioindustries, for NLS magazine No 02 2024, out May 2024. Photo: Sini Pennanen

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