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Annual Report for the year 2008: Sitra focused its activities in the spirit of the National Innovations Strategy

During the operating year 2008, Sitra refocused its vision and strategy so that, in the future, they promote as well as possible the policies presented in the national innovation strategy.

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During the operating year 2008, Sitra refocused its vision and strategy so that, in the future, they promote as well as possible the policies presented in the national innovation strategy.

“In the future, Finland’s well-being and competitiveness will require wide-ranging and profound societal changes. It is Sitra’s duty to accelerate these changes in cooperation with various actors,” says Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra.

In programme activities, the year 2008 was both about launching new programmes and giving up old ones. The Growth Programme for the Mechanical Industry and the Energy Programme were launched at the beginning of the year. The preparation of the Municipal Programme was also commenced. The Food and Nutrition Programme ERA and the India Programme were completed and their aims were attained. The Health Care Programme continued to strive for what is best for the public.

The impact of programme activities was increased by looking for synergy benefits between various programmes. During the year under review, the evaluation of the programmes completed earlier was also completed. The results showed that the programmes had tackled topical and socially significant issues. Development proposals given in the evaluation were also put into practice. The programme preparation process was opened and stakeholders were more closely included in the preparation than before.

Sitra finances stayed in balance

Sitra’s activities are financed by the yield from its endowment capital and the return on its venture capital investments. Due to net profit accumulated during propitious investment years, Sitra’s finances stayed in balance even during economic downturn. Owing to diligent management of finances, Sitra can continue its activities almost without disruption also in challenging times. Even amidst the acute problems brought on by the economic downturn, it is Sitra’s duty to promote Finland’s positive long-term development.

The market value of Sitra’s endowment capital decreased to EUR 626 million from EUR 821 million at the end of the previous year. The decrease was almost entirely caused by the stock market crash and its effect on the market value of equity investments in the endowment capital. The invested assets produced an annual yield of -19.8 per cent in 2008 compared +7.5 per cent the previous year. The total sum of Sitra’s investment decisions came to EUR 35 million and the net profit for the year was EUR -101 million.

In 2008, Sitra made capital and fund investments and participated in the Board activities of its portfolio companies. Sitra re-started actively investing in venture capital funds in order to accelerate the internationalisation of Finnish companies and to support the programme activities. During the year under review, two significant new investments in venture-capital funds were made to support the Energy Programme and the Growth Programme for the Mechanical Industry. At the end of the year, Sitra’s capital investment portfolio included 58 portfolio companies and 36 venture capital funds.

Further information

Board Report»

Laura Niemi, Communications Director,
tel. +358 50 3738602, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Sitra’s board report and financial statements are available on the Sitra website http://www.sitra.fi
The report can also be ordered from julkaisut@sitra.fi

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