The Research and Development Council supported the continuation of important applied research efforts in the country

 Stenbock House, September 4, 2017 - Today, the Research and Development Council (TAN) received an overview of the implementation of the national applied research program RITA and made proposals for the organization of the next strategic applied research round. 



Within the framework of RITA activities, socio-economic objectives based on the needs of the Estonian state are financed by cross-sectoral applied research. The research budget, with administrative costs, is € 17 million. In the first round, studies were commissioned for 7.5 million euros. The second round will be on a budget of 9.5 million euros. The new application round specifies the procedure for selecting study topics and formulates important challenges for Estonian society, which requires the assistance of researchers.


The Minister of Education and Science, Mailis Reps, said that researchers have recommended the state to increase funding for applied research, and this has also been done. "Through the RITA program, we are directing researchers to engage with important research topics in society. In order for the state to act as a smart contractor for applied research, there is a need for very good cooperation between ministries and also with the ministries' greater contribution, "Reps said. 


At today's meeting of the R & D Council it was decided to commission an external evaluation of the Estonian research and innovation system by the European Commission. A new external evaluation is required to prepare for the next strategy period starting after 2020.


According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the answers to the questions about how research and development can contribute even more to the socio-economic development of society is to be found. "The external evaluation must make recommendations on how to improve the management of the research system and prepare for the period when the volume of Structural Funds diminishes," he said.


One of the agenda items was the organization of a network of research institutions and higher education institutions. This year, on August 1, IT College joined the Tallinn University of Technology, and from January 1, 2018, state research institutions Estonian Biocentre and Tartu Observatory will join the University of Tartu. The Research and Development Council expressed its support for continued consolidation and continued negotiations with the Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics. "The fresh results of the scientific evaluation confirm that mergers of the institutions bring good results," said Minister Mailis Reps. 


Statistics Estonia provided the R & D Council with an overview of the collection of R & D statistics. The TAN recommended finding ways to specify the statistics to be collected, but on the other hand would significantly ease the involvement of business in TA reporting.


The Research and Development Council (TAN) advises the Government of the Republic on research and development strategy issues, thus directing the development of the national research and development and innovation system. The work of TAN is headed by the Prime Minister. Members of TAN and additional information here: https://riigikantselei.ee/et/valitsuse-etoetamine/teadus-ja-arendusnoukogu

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