Economics, Education and Science, Estonia, Technology

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 31.05.2024, 00:32

Rõivas: R&D and innovation are the cornerstones to increasing Estonia’s competitiveness

BC, Tallinn, 03.12.2014.Print version
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in his speech before the Riigikogu on Tuesday that research and development and innovation are the cornerstones to increasing Estonia’s competitiveness, reports LETA government’s communication unit.

Rõivas said that in 2014, the discussion has been mainly focused on funding the field of research and development and finding solutions to increase the real impact of Estonian research, development and innovation on society and economy.


Estonia has set two major goals of economic policy for 2020: productivity per employee needs to grow to 80% of the EU average and employment to 76% in the age group of 20–64 years.


“More efficient processes, jobs that create higher added value, and educated and healthy people are the keywords that we use when we are talking about structural changes in the economy,” the Prime Minister said.


According to the Prime Minister, research, development and innovation serve as the cornerstones to increasing Estonia’s competitiveness. “In order to achieve the goals, Estonia has to better target research funds to increase the socio-economic impacts of Estonian research, development and innovation,” the Prime Minister emphasised.


The Prime Minister believes that one of the measures to boost cooperation between entrepreneurship and research is developing growth fields that are selected according to smart specialisation methodology.


“The spike of the EU funds planned for this is set for developing the cooperation models of entrepreneurs and researchers – for example, supporting applied research and creating special scholarships for higher education specialities,” the Prime Minister brought an example.


In addition to smart specialisation, the public sector has a more substantial role in the management of sectoral research and development.


The Prime Minister noted that to complement the ministries’ financial contribution, it is expected that they would also prepare the sectoral research and development action plans.


“Research and innovation must go hand in hand with policy-making and implementation in Estonia. This means that research must not only provide an input in decision-making processes, but also serve as a partner in implementing those decisions,” the Prime Minister said and brought e-residency as an example in which the public sector can boost innovation by its investments and activities.


Today, there are more than 13,000 registered pre-interested parties, 60% of them have come with the interest to bring their company here or establish it here.


“If only a part of those approximately 8,000 potential new entrepreneurs would realise their plans, this would be a strong contribution to the Estonian economic growth,” the Prime Minister said.


The Prime Minister estimates that as a result of consistent activities, Estonia will have an effective and developing research, development and innovation system.


“What could be a better guarantee for the national sustainability than people, whose research results’ influence is constantly growing and whose achievements are eligible to earn more and more attention in the world,” the Prime Minister said and referred to the fact that 35 researchers working in Estonia are among 1 per cent of the most cited researchers in the world.

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