Estonia’s International Position in the Implementation of Research and Development Policy
The article analyses the level and dynamics of the supply and spending of resources of the research and development policy in the EU Member States and in states closely associated with the EU. The role of research and development policy in the innovation systems of the states is compared. The research systematised theoretical treatments, analysed the problems highlighted in empirical studies and assessed the international position of the implementation of Estonian research and development policy on the basis of the empirical analysis of the data collected in the EU and the states closely associated with the EU.
Research and development policy has to be implemented in order to remove the market and system failures that hinder development. Information obstacles do not allow private businesses risk with long-term investments to research and development and the government sector has to fill the investment gap threatening the development of the state. Because of system failures, the cooperation between the actors of the national innovation system does not function smoothly. It is the task of the government sector to establish the institutions and cooperation organisations contributing to the growth of research and development activities. Innovation policy defines the tasks of research and development policy in promoting innovation in the country and its connections with the supporting components of innovation policy (education policy, policy of developing cooperation, and the policy of creating legal and business environment). At the same time the interference of government sector requires careful analytical reasoning, because incompetent interference may distort market processes and create a research and development policy with economically unreasonable extent or structure.
The empirical analysis showed that by most of indicators, Estonia remains below the average level of the states under observation. Component analysis brought out five dimensions of Estonian research and development policy. Estonia exceeds the average level of the states under observation only by the level of financing research and development in higher education sector; in all other components of research and development policy it remains below the average. In a way this result could be expected because in a small open country, foreign sources are considered important factors in acquiring innovative knowledge. The results enable to plan measures for developing Estonian research and development policy, proceeding from acknowledged theoretical positions and international experience.