In twenty-five years, Estonia has become a capable space nation. The intelligent and brave decisions of the 1990s on reorganising the network of research institutions, establishing a competition based system of research grants, introducing international expert analyses in assessing the performance indicators of research, and reshaping the decision making mechanism of higher education and research policy were instrumental in reshaping the Soviet style research system into a Western system in only a short time. Long-term strategic planning and strategic management increased state funding, and also supported the increasing presence of research in the private sector. A strong push towards the development of the research system has come from the EU Structural Funds. This has helped to create a contemporary research environment, improve the quality of research, and increase the overall volumes.
Estonian Research Council, Executive Director