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 Is synergy between entrepreneurs and researchers possible?

Is synergy between entrepreneurs and researchers possible?

Publish date: 2013-02-18

A lot of technological solutions are inhibited because of lack of sufficient investment and cooperation between companies and scientists. Both private firms require research and researchers need financing of their studies.

Tags: biotechnology , estonia

In response to the problem described above, the European Regional Development Fund and Estonian companies invested (in 2010) approximately 1.3 billion kroons (83.3 million euros) in so called Competence Centers (CCs). Nowadays, there are eight Competence Centres in Estonia; their main fields of activity are biotechnology, IT and electronics.

In the work of CCs, two sorts of companies are engaged. Large-scale production firms or providers of services, which sell products created in the centres as well as smaller firms involved in development activities. “One of the objectives of CCs is to promote co-operation between research institutions and enterprises” says for “The Baltic Times” Ilmar Pralla, director for the Innovation Division of EE.

The feasibility study conducted several years ago characterised the state of Estonian science-business cooperation: “the passive and short-term character of the co-operation between the research and enterprise sectors, which does not allow to make maximum use of the existing R&D potential in the enterprises and R&D institutions”. However, the number of enterprises enthusiastic to join CCs surpassed the expectations of the founders, which is a very optimistic signal.

The next merit delivered by competence centres is the improvement of a training procedure. It is done since cutting edge laboratories in CCs attract students and encourage them to develop their knowledge in the subjects covered. A lot of masters and doctorate degree thesis are accomplished in the fields required by companies, which subsequently employ their authors and enable them the investigation of these subjects in CCs.

Thanks to competence centres, the existing R&D potential can be more efficiently utilised as well as new knowledge, satisfying the needs of the market, is generated. CCs draw the attention of research to the specific sectors of technology, thus strengthening the entire industrial system.


Read also:

Tartu Biotechnology Park - The heart of Estonian bioentrepreneurship



By Jakub Chrustowicz


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