High-skilled internationals: bottom-up insights into policy innovation for work and entrepreneurship in Finland (HIWE)
The value of highly skilled international talent is increasingly recognised in a variety of areas ranging from scientific knowledge production to societal wellbeing. There is a lot of talk about international talent also in Finnish universities. However, what is missing from this conversation is insight into international talents’ experience of life and work in Finland. There is also a need to understand potential gaps between this experience and current innovation policies. 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. This addresses the need for more research knowledge of how cross-sectoral collaborative governance that includes a bottom-up perspective can create increased synergies for impact in policy making. 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. Funding for the two-year HIWE project was granted by Business Finland through the Innovation and Growth Research call. The project will be implemented together with the University of Turku, Turku School of Economics.