Estonia has moved up in innovation rankings, but one of the key weaknesses is lacking cooperation between businesses and universities, reported ETV.
“One study showed that companies didn’t care much for university know-how,” said Praxis analyst Risto Kaarna.
Toomas Uibo, manager of Meiren, an engineering firm that develops snow plows in cooperation with researchers, said universities are waiting for companies with open arms. “But it surprises me that the companies’ interest for collaboration is as insignificant as it is,” said Uibo.
While universities’funding depends on the quality and quantity of their published research work, publishing findings in theoretical journals does not itself have an economic impact. It is also not enough to get potential investors interested.
“I see a serious problem in that Tallinn University of Technology, as an engineering university, is not able to develop its research to the ripe level where it can be used by companies,” said Mart Min, who was nominated for the award for Europe’s top inventor this year.
“Even worse is that soon we will no longer be capable of cooperating with industry. If we continue to focus on so-called high science for too long, then our engineering skills will suffer.”