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Tartu Biotechnology Park - The heart of Estonian bioentrepreneurship

Tartu Biotechnology Park - The heart of Estonian bioentrepreneurship

Publish date: 2013-01-31

The history of biotechnology in Estonia began more than 180 years ago, when Estonian embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer made breakthrough discoveries about prenatal development of animals. Nowadays, two cities, which agglomerate the bulk of biotech enterprises are Tallin and Tartu. There are eight research centres and 55 biotechnological companies in Estonia. Its main area of competence is medical biotechnology – genomics, immunology and cancer research. The outstanding project aiming at the analysis of Estonians’ genealogy, Estonian Genome Centre, was set up in 2001. The genes database will be utilized to study the links between genes, the environment and diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Tags: biotechnology , estonia

Biotechnological entrepreneurship in Estonia is facilitated by the support of organisations such as Tartu Biotechnology Park (TBP) and Tartu Science Park. The first of them, TBP, was established in 2001. Its main mission is to “enhance the development of the biotechnology sector by increasing the competitiveness of biotechnology business through providing excellent physical infrastructure and business development services as well as developing international cooperation”.

One of the major activity fields of TBP is Business Incubator, started in 2005. It offers high-quality infrastructure as well as business and consultancy services. The advisory activity is focused on biotechnology, medicine and veterinary medicine. Business Incubator boosts start-ups development, offering services based on an individual development plan (supported by Enterprise Estonia), helping in finding collaboration and financial partners, providing an extensive network of partnerships (in Estonia as well as in Europe and in the USA) as well as cooperation management.

Apart from these services, Tartu Biotechnology Park provides infrastructure, such as offices and laboratory space to a lot of medical and biotech companies and R&D institutions. In addition, TBP participates in several international projects, like Competence Centre on Reproductive Medicine and Biology (CCRMB), COWIN, FoodMicroSystems or Boost BioBusiness.

TBP takes part in the management of spin-off companies, the first of them, OÜ TBD-Biodiscovery, was founded in 2006. It is a contract company, which focuses on synthetic chemistry and product development.

“Additionally to the traditional business and development services a typical technology park offers, the Tartu Biotechnology Park as a pathfinder has proactively taken the initiative to enhance entrepreneurship in life sciences and medicine by investing in new companies. We are not only taking the shares, but we also actively participate in the management of the spin-off company. The pilot investment, TBD-Biodiscovery, was made in 2006.” says Andrus Tasa, CEO of Tartu Biotechnology Park.



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