Finnish companies are facing a number of challenges. The economic growth has stagnated. Digitalization and its derivatives, like 3D printing, digital media and big data, is creating fundamental changes in many businesses and eliminates national practices. Immaterial services do not recognize national borders. Emerging economies are challenging our competitiveness in global markets. Tightening environmental regulations call for active search and development of innovative solutions.
Maintaining competitiveness and further strengthening it requires constant monitoring and analyzing of new technological and operational trends. Intensifying international competition requires that the company has not only the ability to implement the latest technological and functional innovations, but also actively create innovations. Research and development activities in companies focus on challenges and opportunities which already are visible and there is lack of time or capabilities to look beyond the strategic horizon of the company. Doctors are trained to attack demanding problems with scientific rigor. Around 1700 doctors graduate from Finnish universities each year. Compared to countries like Sweden, Germany and USA, the employment of doctors in industry is low. However, there are indications that also in Finland more young doctors would like to work in companies.
The strategic renewal of companies needs new talented people and new foresight into rising and emerging phenomena. These can be cultural, social, technological, commercial, or political, but they all may have effect on the company and it’s opportunities in the market. In order to understand the new phenomena and benefit from them, companies need scientific work carried out by practically oriented post docs, who are familiar with scientific analysis and synthesis methods. In order to get companies’ renewal to benefit Finnish society in total, there is need for Foundation funded research so that foresight related to the new phenomena are published openly. In order to create new welfare and wealth in society, there is need for company funding for a post doc to push foresight to insight based on the scientific analysis.