National Innovation Policy Requires Fundamental Changes
Estonian innovation policy has primarily been aimed at commercialization of science and knowledge at scientific institutions: high technology.
Drawing on studies conducted in the field, it is clear that innovation policy must become much more entrepreneur-centered and not only support R&D but focus much more on improving the competitiveness of companies. This especially in the situation in which Estonia now finds itself: parallel to rapid growth in export-based and consumption-based growth, the economy’s capacity for technology and skills is decreasing. The problem is not only too little R&D but, above all, the relative lack of products and process development not related to subcontracting. The goal of the study was to explain what might be the priorities and measures supporting the growth of commerce and their hierarchy in the national development program drafted for 2007-2013. On the basis of the findings, the authors make a proposal for planning an innovation and industry policy that would allow companies to move into activities and fields where rapid growth in productivity and cooperation between companies is possible. Many companies instead of a scattered few would benefit from this policy, thanks to the synergy that would be created and the spread of knowledge throughout the entire value chain.