By 2011 Estonia will belong to the premier league of research and development
Eestlased Eestis 08 Dec 2009  EWR
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Tallinn, Riigikogu, 8 December 2009 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said today, that the state has increased investments into research and development, which means that by 2011 the total amount will reach two per-cent of Estonia’s gross domestic product.

“Such a level of investment is characteristic of technologically advanced countries and surpasses the average of the European Union. Reaching the premier league also makes us more attractive to investors and top scientists,” said Ansip to the Riigikogu, in his overview of the government’s research and development policy. In order to enable businesses to make increased future contributions into innovation the state will increase investments, which will create a more favourable environment for research and development. There will be developments of the infrastructure, investments into people and direct support for the product development of businesses.

According to the head of government, several high-level infrastructure objects have been finished and put into operation already; for instance the new Chemicum of the University of Tartu, which cost more than MEEK 500. Eight technology development centres received support amounting to BEEK 1; in these centres Estonia’s universities and research institutions do research for dozens of participating Estonian and foreign businesses.

More than a hundred businesses have already made use of the new Innovation Vouchers System to get a state grant for EEK 50 000 when buying a service from a research institution for the first time. Ansip estimates that this support has found an outlet that is very practical and aimed at increasing the competitiveness of products.

Ansip stated that in addition to the material basis the state has also paid attention to the development of the curriculum and to bringing top level scientists and lecturers to Estonia, for instance by covering 50 per-cent of the wage fund of the 31 top lecturers who work for 3 to 5 years at universities and by providing support for researchers who create their own local research teams.

The scientific magazine “Nature” has highlighted Estonia as the best example of a former Eastern Bloc country when it comes to rebuilding its research policy and state consensus regarding the supporting of research.

The Prime Minister’s overview of the government’s research and development policy can be read in the Government Briefing Room at http://www.valitsus.ee/brf/ind...
 
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