Roadmap for a Fair Data Economy

Data and information processed from it are vital for Finland’s economy and competitiveness. But can we make the right use of data and share it fairly so that everyone benefits – companies, the public sector and individuals? Finland needs a roadmap and common will to act to be able to use data for revitalising business life and developing society.

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What is it about?

Finland is a pioneer in the use of digitalisation and technology, but we are lagging behind internationally in developing the data economy. The advancement of the data economy does not form a clear strategic totality among the various stakeholders involved.

At the same time, the increase in the amount of data and the ability to use it are one of the most significant changes taking place globally. This transformation offers opportunities to revamp society and the economy and solve the sustainability crisis. Data can help companies and the public-sector to produce better services and products, improve the efficiency of delivery processes and make more effective decisions. AI or machine learning solutions cannot work without data either.

As the transformation affects people’s lives and daily activities in many ways, their skills and scope to act in the data economy must also be strengthened.

Society’s transition to a data economy will not happen by itself. In Finland, the transition is being slowed down by inadequate and siloed understanding of the data economy, barriers to data sharing, skills gaps and attitudes.

Finland needs to find ways to accelerate the building of the data economy in order to strengthen national competitiveness and enable the data economy to generate prosperity. That is why we need a national roadmap to find a shared commitment to change direction.

The goal is to create, in co-operation with societal stakeholders, companies and individuals, a fairer data economy that takes account of the needs, rights and obligations of individuals, companies and society in a balanced way.

Finland is in a good position to become an international pioneer of a fair and sustainable data economy.

What do we do?

We want Finland to renew itself and succeed by tapping into the potential of the data economy. Our task is to find out how.

The will to act of a fair data economy guides our work. The transition to a data-driven society will be built on European values, people-centred and fair.

The formation of a fair data economy needs to be supported by a society-wide will to act together with measures that constitute a clear whole. In autumn 2022, we will establish, together with key participants, a common will to act for a vibrant Finnish data economy and build a broad commitment to advance the necessary reforms.

The national Roadmap for a Fair Data Economy will help create a common direction, describe the measures needed and provide clear indicators that show how key developments will proceed as we move towards a fair data economy.  By boosting the progress of the measures, Finnish operators can together accelerate the changeover to a fair data economy and build a competitive Finland.

The roadmap highlights insights by which private companies and the public-sector can improve their operations, build data-driven business models and use data to develop society and the economy.

Who is involved?

A Roadmap for a Fair Data Economy will be developed through extensive collaboration with a network of partners. The network includes private and the public sector participants. The roadmap steering group and secretariat consist of representatives of key ministries, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Suomen Yrittäjät (the Federation of Finnish Enterprises), Technology Industries of Finland, Business Finland, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and Startup Foundation.

The steering group is chaired by board professional Kaisa Olkkonen and its full members are Kristo Lehtonen (Vice Chairperson) Sitra, Laura Eiro (Ministry of Transport and Communications), Jyri Häkämies (Confederation of Finnish Industries), Jaakko Hirvola (Technology Industries of Finland), Petri Salminen (Suomen Yrittäjät), Nina Kopola (Business Finland), Erja Turunen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), Riikka Pakarinen (Startup Foundation), Tommi Karttaavi (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities) and Atte Jääskeläinen (Ministry of Education and Culture). The deputy members of the steering group are Satu Vasamo-Koskinen (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment), Maria Rautavirta (Ministry of Transport and Communications) and Kalle Kantola (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland).

What has been achieved?

The “Roadmap for a Fair Data Economy” project started in November 2021 and will run until June 2025.

We have analysed the current state of the data economy in Finland and key competitor countries, its foundations and keys to success. As a part of the project, a memorandum on Finland’s strengths, challenges and opportunities in the development of the data economy has been published (in Finnish). This identifies Finland’s strengths and keys to success as well as bottlenecks in developing the data economy. Work on this was carried out with business associations, ministries, research institutes and other organisations. The project has also analysed the online media discussion on the data economy.

The five new legislative proposals on data regulation published by the European Commission in recent years (the Big Five proposals) will reshape the policy environment in Europe. The project has provided an overview of the policy environment and examined the opportunities offered by the legislative proposals for the public sector, SMEs and individuals.

The national Roadmap for a Fair Data Economy will be created as a joint effort.  You can participate in this work in our monthly “Data economy situation room” events, open to all. Subscribe to our newsletter to be among the first to hear about the project’s progress. 

Join us in making Finland a pioneer of a fair data economy!

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