Roadmaps to arctic opportunities: Futures of arctic competences and technologies in the Finnish context

Anna Leinonen, Toni Ahlqvist, Henna Sundqvist-Andberg, Arho Suominen, Jouko Myllyoja, Leena Grandell, Maria Tikanmäki, Kaisa Oksanen, Hannes Toivanen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Finland, as a country with significant parts located beyond the polar circle, has some intrinsic expertise on Arctic issues and technologies. In order to really benefit from the Arctic competencies calls for long term research activities and the development of competencies. This report is an outcome of an expert process (2013-2014), which aimed at identifying the key characteristic of Arctic technology competencies and formulation of strategic options in the form of roadmaps. The roadmapping process applied in this project consisted of three phases combining various methods: (1) scoping (brainstorming workshops, construction of thematic mindmaps), (2) generation (technology surveys, interviews, patent analysis, roadmapping workshops), and (3) outputs (reporting and presentation of results). The first key result of the roadmapping process was the characterisation of Arctic competence as a three-layered structure consisting of (1) competences relating to Arctic conditions, (2) Applied technology competences needed in operations in the Arctic area, and (3) Cross-sectional technology competences covering critical enabling technologies that can be applied in different application areas. These three levels together formulate a comprehensive picture of Arctic technology. Furthermore, the key results of the roadmapping process are crystallised in four strategy paths for the Arctic regions. These are: (1) Spearhead strategy: Arctic marine technology and maritime transport - a focused strategy that emphasises traditional Finnish competences in shipbuilding and the maritime industry set in the Arctic context; (2) Flying geese approach: emerging Arctic pathways - a wider strategy that emphasises a selection of strong Arctic competences; (3) Culture of Arctic experimentation - a strategy based on experimental policies and technology approaches; and (4) Snowdrift strategy: fading Arctic business - the Arctic does not form a credible focus of activities and is forgotten or set as a subordinate perspective inside some other topic. The report provides strategic recommendations linked with the options of Finnish innovation policies and competence development. On the national level, a clear definition of Arctic expertise is necessary in order to scope the strategy and make it possible to direct R&D funding to selected key competence areas. Also, new R&D funding instruments should be developed to promote experimental development models and to guarantee long-lasting funding for R&D. Arctic element can be understood as an additional component of technology development. Therefore, it is important to coordinate the R&D funding between different strategies and research programmes to be able to identify areas where shared objectives can be found. From the theoretical-methodological perspective, it is necessary to continue methodological development combining qualitative and quantitative methods in the analysis of emerging technologies and combination of roadmapping to other, more short-term and more business-oriented analyses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages92
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Report


    • roadmap
    • arctic technology
    • foresight process


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