The European Commission's Policy Support Facility (PSF) has published the final report of a Peer Review of the Estonian research and innovation system on its Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO) website. The Estonian government had requested specific support from the PSF to support the work of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MEAC) and Ministry of Education and Research (MER) in preparing to produce a joint research, development, innovation and entrepreneurship strategy for the period 2021-27 and onwards, via a general assessment of the effectiveness of the research and innovation (R&I) system, and a specific assessment of the role and impact of the R&I system in promoting added-value creation.
The PSF panel of five independent experts supported by three national peers from other countries worked from October 2018 to September 2019, including four missions to Estonia to consult stakeholders and discuss potential recommendations. This final report was formally presented to the Estonian government in Tallinn in September 2019.
The panel’s overall recommendations are that the government should:
- ensure political commitment to the importance of R&I in national policy and the 1% target for government spend on R&D;
- establish and implement thematic priorities for R&I policy, in the light of the societal challenges and Estonia’s smart specialisation strategy;
- establish an innovation agency to support R&D and build absorptive capacity;
- strengthen the system of ‘intermediary organisations’ able to support industrial innovation;
- modernise and ‘profile’ research at the universities, making them better adapted to innovation and the production of human capital to meet national needs.