Co-Development and Research Collaboration
Metsähallitus is the largest manager and user of natural resources in Finland. In order to perform its tasks, Metsähallitus continuously needs new, up-to-date research evidence related to natural resources. It thus depends on research collaboration, especially with the Natural Resources Institute Finland and the Finnish Environment Institute. Other key research partners include universities, universities of applied sciences, Metsäteho Oy and international organisations. Valuable information and observations on species are produced by well-informed private nature enthusiasts.
In practice, the co-development and research collaboration in Metsähallitus takes the form of long-term projects. The idea is that the partner institute produces research evidence, while Metsähallitus uses this information in the hands-on work. Large projects may also involve a number of collaborators.
The joint projects have a wide range of themes: they may include international cooperation, cultural heritage, conservation, nature tourism, hiking, forestry, construction as well as health and well-being.
The project portfolios of the Metsähallitus Group, including Property Development, Forestry Ltd and Wildlife Service Finland, continuously contain dozens of research and development projects. As a rule, they are financed by Metsähallitus, while the partners carry their own costs. For example, Forestry Ltd researches and develops the use of digitalisation, logistics of timber transportation, and diversification of forest management techniques.
National Parks Finland participates in around one hundred projects every year. European Union funding is tapped for these projects, especially for the ones related to conservation and nature tourism. Other providers of project funding include the ELY Centres, municipalities, counties and ministries as well as Metsähallitus itself. The largest projects are those carried out as part of the EU’s LIFE programme.
Cooperation with educational institutions
Collaboration with educational institutions may be informal or based on an agreement. Forestry sector institutions use certain areas controlled by Metsähallitus for teaching purposes. Metsähallitus experts lecture at these institutions, and the students come and visit Metsähallitus. Every year, Forestry Ltd offers dozens of internships. Educational institutions also participate in Metsähallitus’ development and research projects.
The extensive state-owned land and water areas offer our partners excellent research objects. The Natural Resources Institute Finland, for instance, has permanent research sites in state forests, but plenty of research is also carried out elsewhere as required by the situation. In addition to long-standing partnerships, Metsähallitus is open to new research collaboration. Metsähallitus offers its partners not only research permits and sites but also support: a sparring partner, commenting and new ideas.