ETLA is a private independent non-profit research organisation that carries out research in economics and business administration on topics that are central to Finland's international competitiveness and economic performance. The Institute's studies have helped provide the foundation for economic and social policies and reforms of commercial and economic legislation.
ETLA's expertise is also followed closely by business and labour leaders, other research institutes, educational institutions, and the media. Research projects range from technology through international economic to labour markets. In the programme on business economics research, many projects analyze innovation and innovation policy issues, such as the impacts of public R&D funding, promotion of new emerging industries, technology transfer, and multi-level research policies (regional, national, and European).
A significant share of the program's research activities involve international co-operation. ETLA is a member of the EU Network of Excellence called PRIME (Policies for Research and Innovation in the Move towards the European Research Area) in FP6, and in FP7 it is a partner in a project entitled VICO (The Role of Finance in Growth, Employment and Competitiveness in Europe) and Innodrive (Intangible Capital and Innovations: Drivers of Growth and Location in the EU). The most important link outside the EU has been to the University of California (Berkeley).
Furthermore the program aims at expanding connections with other potential partners outside the EU. ETLA promotes rigorous scientific methodologies and independence in research in all of its research and forecasting activities. It disseminates its research findings and forecasts through scholarly literature, and publications and reports addressed to practitioners and users other than the scholarly communities, as well as through lectures, seminars and meetings.
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