R&D agencies and institutions
Defence R&D has a wide scope
The R&D of the Finnish Defence Forces is interdisciplinary: its subjects range from military doctrines and practical warfare to the soldier’s functional capacities as well as to the development of technical capabilities, e.g. weapons and protective technologies. Defence R&D employs a wide range of experts: engineers, officers, medical doctors, physicists, chemists, social scientists etc.
The Finnish Defence Forces carries out about 340 man-years of R&D annually. In addition, important collaboration projects are procured from partnering institutions and industries. The total R&D expenditure of the Defence Forces amounts to 48 million euros per year, corresponding to 1,8% of total military expenditure.
R&D ensures that the Defence Forces develop the right capabilities and acquire the most appropriate materiel. Successful R&D can yield an important payback: a well-timed research project may help avoid a costly erroneous procurement. Moreover, R&D can often enable considerable savings by prolonging the life-span of defence materiel.
Research agencies and institutions in the Defence Forces
Internal R&D is carried out in several organizations of the Defence Forces:
Defence Command Finland coordinates the R&D on a strategic level. The Plans and Policies Division of Defence Command Finland consolidates the research needs identified by defence branches as essential for the development of defence capabilities. R&D aims to respond to these needs with optimal coverage, efficiency and cost-effectiveness within the framework of the strategic focus areas of research.
In-house R&D of the Defence Forces is complemented by national and international research cooperation.
Universities and research institutes, industries and different administrative branches are among the national R&D partners of the Defence Forces. R&D cooperation focuses on areas supporting the Defence Forces’ capabilities and exerting societal influence. Domestic defence industries play an important role in e.g. the maintenance of essential weapons systems.
Finland’s most important international partners in defence R&D include such forums as the European Defence Agency EDA, NATO Science and Technology Organization STO and the Nordic Defence Cooperation NORDEFCO. In addition, the Finnish Defence Forces are actively engaged in bilateral cooperation with e.g. the U.S. and Sweden.