No. 37




Decrease of Investments into Research and Development Threatens Estonia’s Competitiveness

04 June 2018


RiTo No. 37, 2018

  • Katrin Pihor

    Katrin Pihor

    Head of the Financing and Organisation Task Force for Research and Higher Education

The Financing and Organisation Task Force for Research and Higher Education was formed on the initiative of the Research and Development Council and operated with the support of the Government Office. One of its tasks was providing an assessment of the current situation of the competitiveness of Estonia’s research and higher education system and submitting proposals on how to improve the situation.

The Task Force was comprised of representatives of ministries, employers, universities and students. It analysed the recommendations of various experts and interest groups, and screened out the most realistic activities that can be implemented immediately. As a result of its work, the Task Force reached the following conclusions:

  • Financing of research and higher education must be connected with the needs of the Estonian society and economy more directly than it has so far. In order to achieve this, it has to be ensured that the research and development trends important for the development of the sector have been deliberated and clearly brought out in the strategic planning of all sectors, and taken into account in financing of research and development.
  • Additional resources of research and development have to be used for increasing the capability of implementing knowledge and technology in business and the public sector, and for sharing the risks relating to research and development with the business sector. As a result of that, the entrepreneurs and the representatives of public sector will be able to be more aware of themselves, to adapt and implement new knowledge, and the research workers will understand better what the possibilities for the implementation on research results are. The cooperation of businesses and companies in its different forms has to be supported.
  • It is necessary to stand for establishing of the values and attitudes characteristic of an enterprising university that support openness and cooperation and favour better connecting of studies and research with the needs of the labour market and the society at all universities in public law.
  • The purposefulness, relevance and cost effectiveness of free Estonian language higher education has to be assessed, and it is necessary to search for possibilities for increasing the responsibility of students in higher education so that more considered choices are made when starting the studies and the pressure on the quality of studies would increase.