Evaluation of Tekes. Comments by Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara Director General Tekes. Copyright Tekes

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1 of Tekes Comments by Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara Director General Tekes

2 Valuable contribution The expertise and experience of the evaluation team is highly appreciated the team has done a thorough, objective and relevant work The evaluators describe the rationale for Tekes and the role of Tekes in the Finnish innovation system in a very clear and convincing way The report is a valuable contribution to the Finnish national debate on innovation policy and public funding for private innovation activities

3 Positive main results From the Tekes point of view the overall evaluation results are very positive: The report describes Tekes as one of the leading innovation agencies in the world There is clear empirical evidence that Tekes impacts on the Finnish innovation system have been large Tekes is efficient and performs well, based on high quality processes Customer feedback is positive. Allmost all of Tekes customers find it s funding relevant to their needs. Tekes is very well regarded with respect to the quality of it s processes, it s personnel and in general terms The world is changing rapidly and Tekes has with it s new strategy shown that it is capable of renewal without making a complete break with the past

4 Helpful recommendations The evaluation also points out some important areas for improvement, especially: Tekes support for internationalisation Relation with other agencies in Finland Role of Tekes in public debate Process speed, administrative burden and organisational structure We are happy to notice that these recommendations for Tekes are well in line with our own self assessment Most of the recommended actions are already tackled by the change programme that has been set up to implement the new strategy

5 The new strategy Higher risk taking and focus on forerunners have been defined by the new strategy Implementation of the strategy will be easier when executing the r&d tax relief The strong support by the Ministry and the evaluators is welcome for the new strategy Organisational structure to support the new strategy is under preparation but the decision will be left to the new director general Tekes innovation funding Growth and wellbeing from renewal Tekes funds research, development and innovation projects of organisation leading up to forerunners. For whom? Customer s Why? Objectives What? Services Focus areas How? Means What will change? Challenges in the innovation environment Mission statement and values

6 Internationalisation Tekes support for internationalisation It may be that Tekes failed to communicate some of the international collaboration schemes and other ongoing activities to the evaluators However, a thorough discussion about Tekes role in supporting internationalisation is most welcome and must be done together with the Ministry Preparatory work for the upcoming organizational reform has already been done. In this context also the resources for the promotion of EU and other international opportunities will be reconsidered

7 Other agencies Relation with other agencies in Finland Access to the Finnish innovation support system should be improved as the evaluation report suggests Tekes is actively taking part in developing and implementing the joint customer-relationship strategy for the whole TEM group Tekes also continues to develop strategic and operational cooperation with other national Finnish agencies like the Academy and Sitra Clear progress has already been achieved but a lot remains to be done

8 Public debate Role of Tekes in public debate It will be challenging to change the tone of the public debate on public innovation funding The evaluators are quite right in saying that Tekes communication must be more proactive and open Within our change programme we have a large development project where communication practices and skills are being improved

9 Funding process Even better funding process Serious attention will be paid to the need to make the funding faster, less bureaucratic and more transparent. Things already underway or implemented include Digitalizing the whole funding process Creating new ways of working Independent evaluation of our project monitoring procedures A strong emphasis on customeroriented work and related extensive training program for the staff A lot of work still to be done

10 Thank you! We highly appreciate the feedback from the evaluators. The evaluation report gives us important reassurance that Tekes is on the right route.

11 of Tekes Conclusions and recommendations Contents Main conclusions Recommendations for TEM Recommendations for Tekes

12 Recommendations for Tekes - 1 Strategic renewal Tekes has performed well (conclusion 1), the strategy of Tekes seems sensible (conclusion 2) and is rapidly being implemented (conclusion 3). Tekes has a high quality of processes and personnel (conclusion 12) and is a strategydriven learning organisation (conclusion 13). This also means that Tekes should not change completely but should start improving from the present, well working operation. We highly appreciate this feedback from the evaluators. It gives us important reassurance that Tekes is on the right route. There is a risk that our attractiveness as an international benchmarking destination increases even from the current situation 1/15

13 Recommendations for Tekes / Support for large companies; Processing speed With respect to Tekes instruments and activities (conclusion 4), the following recommendations are made: 2.1 Tekes individual support for larger companies seems valuable from a network perspective and should therefore not be abolished. 2.2 In the core funding process, the speed of appraisal and selection processes needs to be increased (2 months should be possible), the administrative burden of application processes needs to be reduced and feedback on unsuccessful applications needs to be improved.* This is of special importance for start-up and fast-growing companies (that often need money fast) and other SMEs. (* Tekes has indicated that the recommended actions are tackled by the change programme that is set up to implement the new strategy.) The recommendation 2.1 is a valuable input also for the public debate over the matter. Very serious attention will be paid to the need to make the funding faster, less bureaucratic and more transparent. To this end, things already underway or implemented include Digitalizing the whole process Creating new ways of working Independent evaluation of our project monitoring procedures A strong emphasis on customer-oriented work and related extensive training program for the staff 2/15

14 Recommendations for Tekes / Sparring capabilities; SHOK funding 2.3 The connection of Tekes advice to the business practice of their customers (esp. the start-ups and fast growing companies) needs to be further improved to optimally support the start and growth of a business enterprise. 2.4 The balance between SHOK funding and Tekes (new style) programme funding must be constantly monitored and set out against the need for renewal in sectors (SHOKs) and renewal of sectors (Tekes programmes), taking into account results that are achieved. In spring 2012 a new unit has been established in Tekes for this purpose. The unit has as a mission the improvement of growth enterprise services. It is also in charge of developing our staff s skills on this area. The need to get more expertise is taken into account in the recruitments as well. One must remember, though, that in this field the essential question is the quality of private services available. The role of Tekes is primarily that of public funder s. What comes to 2.4, a comprehensive SHOK assessment is under work and the results will be available by the end of this year. 3/15

15 Recommendations for Tekes / 2.5 Services development and workplace development 2.5 Services development and workplace development have proven their capacity for boosting innovation but should be translated from their specific programmes to the whole of Tekes operations. Tekes has started this already in services innovation. The introduction of the methodologies from these areas may offer opportunities for broader implementation of demand-driven innovation. Services development is already a very important part of Tekes funding and our different units have learned to take this aspect into account in their activities. We agree that concerning the workplace development there still is room for major enlargement and better integration into other innovation operations. 4/15

16 Recommendations for Tekes / 2.6 Public sector innovation processes 2.6 In public sector innovation processes, Tekes must always take account of supporting private companies to create (business) solutions, contributing to public sector innovation. Tekes must not participate in public sector innovation processes where there is no role for private companies or where the solution route for the public problem is not yet clear. This is very well in line of what Tekes has already started to think about the issue. A specific tool to support private businesses while simultaneously contributing to public sector improvement is Financing for innovative public procurement. Tekes has recently chosen this direction and should keep on working this way. 5/15

17 Recommendations for Tekes / 3 Finnish innovation support system Access to the complex Finnish innovation support system is difficult (conclusion 5) and should be improved. Tekes should contribute to the cooperation structure between agencies (consisting of a clear division of tasks, a comprehensive customer segmentation, good mutual knowledge of each others support instruments and an effective way of signposting to each other - recommendation 5 to TEM). The implementation of the joint customer-relationship strategy for the whole TEM group aims directly to overcome these hampers. Clear progress has already been achieved but a lot of remains to be done. Tekes is the main partner of one of the key common services: Growth Route (Kasvuväylä). The Ministry has already established a joint cooperation forum for the CEO-level of the TEM group (TEMkonsernin ohjausryhmä). Its work can still be further systematized. 6/15

18 Recommendations for Tekes / The Academy, Finnish Industry Investment, Finnvera VC funds Tekes should, in response to conclusion 6, realise more strategic and operational cooperation with other national Finnish agencies: 4.1 With the Academy, discussions should be started on joint research programmes and other strategic ways of operating, especially in the area of international science cooperation. 4.2 For support to start-ups the cooperation between Tekes, Finnish Industry Investment and the Finnvera VC funds should be more formalised and more ambitious in its support role. 4.1: Cooperation with the Academy is very important and already functions well on the strategic level. This concerns in particular foresight activities and building up a core competence base for Finland. To this end, a potential field for further joint actions are the strategic research initiatives. 4.1: Internationalization operations is a specific area to consider more intensive collaboration. By now there is relatively small scale experience from China, India and USA. 4.2: Young growth companies have been identified as a specific group requiring coordinated efforts. In Tekes this work is organized with clear responsabilties. 7/1 5

19 Recommendations for Tekes / Finnvera, FinPro, Sitra 4.3 With Finnvera, more information on customers should be exchanged and analysed in more detail to provide better support. Operational synergies should be explored and captured in skills and in systems. 4.4 Tekes should explore cooperation models with FinPro to make the FinPro knowledge accessible for their customers. The (partly) commercial operations of Finpro may however be a problem that must be solved first. 4.5 With Sitra, communication could be better structured at a strategic level, which may result in more strategic cooperation, especially when approaches for addressing broader societal issues are developed. 4.3: We completely agree and the concrete improvements are underway. They were slowed by the need to change the Finnvera legislation but this issue has now been overcome. 4.4: Indeed, after the dilemma has been solved there is no obstacle to go full speed ahead. 8/15

20 Recommendations for Tekes - 5 Tekes regional representation In response to conclusion 7, the optimal configuration of Tekes regional representation requires separate study but we expect that reducing the number of regional representations from five to seven will be a good way to advise companies in the regions in more effective and efficient ways. In this study the role of cooperation with Finnvera and Finpro regional offices (which are at present out-side the ELY centres) should also be considered. Cooperation with the ELY centres that have no Tekes representation anymore should also be looked at, so that they keep their function as an antenna for Tekes to detect regional companies for their target group and keep connected to the national support system. From Tekes point of view this would be a good way to go forward. However, it is not in our power to decide. 9/15

21 Recommendations for Tekes - 6 Hmmm Dedicated R&D-collaboration schemes The focus on new growth markets and helping companies to enter into trade opportunities is seen as more in line with the key mission (conclusion 8). Tekes and the Finnish ministries could consider dedicated R&D-collaboration schemes with regions outside Europe in priority fields that fit well with the Finnish national priorities. There is room for more proactive approach concerning dedicated collaboration schemes and calls and their volume should be increased. Still it is good to bear in mind that we already have a good number of such activities going on. 10/15

22 Recommendations for Tekes - 7 International R&D collaboration, Horizon2020 It seems that Tekes priority and resources for international R&D collaboration is at a low level today (conclusion 9). The focus on new growth markets and helping companies to enter into trade opportunities is seen as more in line with the key mission. If this is a deliberate choice of the Tekes organisation, then this should be explicitly discussed with the Finnish stakeholders in the context of a rethinking of Finland s role in the future Horizon2020. If Tekes is considered as the key organisation that provides the links with EU research policy, then it should reconsider how it organises that role within the Tekes organisation in a manner that has more critical mass and dedicated expertise in the various domains that are important to Finland. A thorough role discussion is most welcome. Tekes organization will be reformed rather soon. In this context also the resources for the promotion of EU and other international opportunities will be pondered upon. 11/15

23 Recommendations for Tekes - 8 Matchmaking The current FinNode activities of Tekes are relatively low key (conclusion 10). In our view the provision of matchmaking functions goes beyond the scope of Tekes key role as a funder of research and innovation. Our view about the matchmaking is exactly the same. 12/15

24 Recommendations for Tekes - 9 Efficiency Tekes has operated efficiently (conclusion 11). Although some further efficiency gains may be realised in the funding process, the main opportunities for increasing efficiency lie outside the funding core process. Especially other tasks that Tekes is performing for the Ministry (or other Ministries than TEM) should be prioritised and managed better than at present. Indeed, the efficiency aspect must always be kept in mind. What good fuel this gives for our next performance agreement negotiations with the Ministry! 13/15

25 Recommendations for Tekes - 10 Image and communication Tekes image has weakened (conclusion 14). In order to improve this, Tekes communication must be proactive and open. Tekes must (again) be leading the public debate, as a facilitator giving a broad platform to contributions from all parts of society, including high quality contributions from their own organisation.* So very true. We have a whole project where these things are being improved. It is a challenging area, though. 14/15 (* Tekes has indicated that the recommended actions are tackled by the change programme that is set up to implement the new strategy.)

26 Recommendations for Tekes - 11 Organisational structure The organisational structure of Tekes (more specifically the Matrix structure ) is too complex (conclusion 16). The three dimensional matrix should be simplified to a two dimensional one.* This will cut down the time needed for internal meetings and invigorate effective communication. Preparatory work for the upcoming organizational reform has already been done. In the reform this recommendation will strongly be taken into account. 15/15 (* Tekes has indicated this structural change will be implemented by the new director general.)

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