Annual report

Syke responds to changes in the operating environment by renewing itself

As a result of our lifestyles, biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution are progressing inexorably. This phenomenon, called the triple crisis, and the changes in geopolitics challenge the Finnish Environment Institute Syke to increase its societal impact. In Syke, a long-term major reform work has started. The year 2023 started with a new organizational structure and at the same time a new brand design was introduced. The change was complemented by the renewal of personnel planning and competence management. The work will continue determinedly in the coming years.

The goal of the reorganization is to strengthen Syke's position as an expert and researcher in the sustainability transformation and as a pioneer in analysis related to the transition. With the organizational reform, the siloing of operations will be dismantled and prevented, and the division of labour of operational units that focus on R&D work and produce enabling services will be clarified. The majority of Syke’s employees have felt that the new organizational structure is overall more functional than the old one.

In 2023, the key changes in the operating environment were the emphasis of the new government program and Finland's NATO membership. Syke has reacted to these and other significant changes in the operating environment by reforming comprehensively, step by step and agilely.

Director General Leif Schulman. © Kai Widell.

Syke’s role as an intermediary between science and politics was strengthened in Finland and internationally

In 2023, Syke's research-based expertise in decision-making was strengthened. In early autumn, Syke hosted a meeting of the directors of the European environmental protection agencies, where the main topics were resilience and overall safety. The research director, professor Eeva Primmer, was elected to the board of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the director general Leif Schulman was appointed as the chairman of the national IPBES working group. Professor Jyri Seppälä was elected as the chairman of the Finnish climate panel and the secretariats of the climate panel and the nature panel were decided to be located in Syke. Syke's opportunities to develop its interaction with different sectors of society were strengthened when the Ministry of the Environment appointed Syke a new, wider-ranging advisory board.

Mainly positive development in productivity and efficiency

In 2023, Syke's overall operations were in line with the performance agreements made with the ministries and the goals of Syke's strategy. At Syke, the focus was on organizational development, which is why support functions allocated two percentage points more of all working time than the previous year. Almost 80% of working time was still focused on core activities.

In 2023, the number of publications decreased from the previous year and fell short of the set goals. At the same time, the quality of peer-reviewed scientific publications improved and is internationally high. Communicating the results of R&D activities also became more diversified. In 2023, the usability of Syke's information services improved significantly, and interface services were used twice as much compared to the beginning of the now ended performance contract period.

The outlook for the economy is twofold

Syke's growth, measured in person-years and operational funding, continued in 2023. On the other hand, the development of the financial situation is accompanied by uncertainty and challenges.

The number of personnel years increased by 3.2 percentage points. Direct budget funding increased slightly, while external financing increased by 10 percentage points. However, there are uncertainties regarding the future funding situation, as VN-TEAS funding has been discontinued and certain program funding for Syke will end. The state's productivity program will also gradually reduce operating expenditure funding in the years 2025–2027. At the same time, however, the government invests in R&D activities, which has a positive effect on Syke's funding. As a special funding challenge, Syke has a remarkably large share of external funding in the total funding, i.e. as much as around 64%. However, the demand for Syke’s competence and expertise are increasing. It gives faith that there are solutions to financial challenges.

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Published 2020-03-09 at 16:36, updated 2024-03-04 at 8:43