Finland - Science and technology

Scientific research is carried out at state research institutes, private research centers, and institutions of higher learning. The Technology Development Center, established in 1983 under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, oversees technological research and coordinates international research activities. The Academy of Finland (founded in 1947), a central governmental organ for research administration, reports directly to the Ministry of Education. It promotes scientific research and develops national science policy by maintaining research fellowships, sponsoring projects, and publishing reports. In 1987–97, expenditure on research and development totaled 2.8% of GNP. Business enterprises, including those in which the central or local government owns major shares, finance more than half of the nation's research. In 1987–97 there were 2,799 scientists and engineers and 1,996 technicians per million people engaged in research and experimental development. The principal learned societies, all in Helsinki, are the Federation of Finnish Scientific Societies (founded in 1899), the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (founded in 1908), and the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters (founded in 1838); preeminent in technological development is the Finnish Technical Research Center (founded in 1942) at Espoo. In 1998, high-tech exports were valued at $8.1 billion and accounted for 22% of manufactured exports.

Finland has 13 universities offering courses in basic and applied sciences. The University of Helsinki operates a natural history museum that has zoological, botanical, and geological components. In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 39% of university enrollment.

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