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Highly skilled international talent has an impact on innovation, but will they stay in Finland?

A research consortium led by Associate Professor Tero Montonen of the University of Eastern Finland has been awarded a grant of 500 000 euros to study highly skilled international talent in Finland. The funding was granted by Business Finland through the Innovation and Growth Research call. The two-year project will be implemented together with the University of Turku, Turku School of conomics.

The value of highly skilled international talent is increasingly recognised in a variety of

“There is a lot of talk about international talent, also in Finnish universities. What we are missing is insight into international talents’ experience of life and work in Finland. We also need to understand potential gaps between this experience and current innovation policies,” says Montonen.

The High-skilled Internationals: Bottom-up Insights into Policy Innovation for Work and Entrepreneurship in Finland (HIWE) project engages with different groups representing highly skilled international talent across health and pharma, ICT and engineering, as well as the retail and tourism industries. It also maps key actors and activities supporting international talent in Finland and synthesises existing policies.

A key takeaway of the project will be developing and testing a novel way of formulating innovation policy in a collaborative process with multiple stakeholders. To challenge top-down approaches in policy making, the project engages key policy actors in a co-creative bottom-up process together with international talent.


“We need more research knowledge of how cross-sectoral collaborative governance that includes a bottom-up perspective can create increased synergies for impact in policy making,” argues Montonen.

One of the main outcomes of the HIWE project is a collaborative governance model for policy innovation with increased societal impact. The project also co-creates Policy Briefs and a Roadmap for Action to improve the conditions for international talent to work, innovate and establish companies in Finland.

For further information, please contact:

Tero Montonen, Associate Professor, UEF Business School, tero.montonen(at), +358 40 3552074