During the period 2007-2013 Estonia had the opportunity to benefit from EU structural funds up to 3.4 billion euros. The study aims to provide the state, research and development institutions and enterprises reference in long-term planning and management. In more detail, the purpose is to estimate the relevance of measures, the success of implementation and to offer suggestions for the upcoming period.
“Like other developed countries, Estonia’s objective is to achieve a knowledge-based society model, which main foundations lay in R&D and innovation.” – Anne Jürgenson
The study concluded that the research and development (R&D) and higher education (HE) measures support effectively reaching the strategic objectives of HE and R&D strategies. Also, the planning and implementation of the higher education and R&D measures has been done rather well.
The funds available have been invested in both ‘capital’ (infrastructure, people) and processes (fostering new methods, new partnerships etc). In a number of cases, the structural funds have clearly reinforced existing scientific or educational ‘excellence’ helping to create a stronger basis for higher quality research or teaching activities.
Based on the conclusions of the evaluation and drawing on the discussion during the policy workshop, few recommendations were proposed:
- Enhancing operational efficiency by changing from administrative burden to performance contracts and using portfolio management rather than ex-post controls.
- To achieve strategic objectives, improve the process of programme design and revision, foster experimentation and emergence of new operators, and reinforce and redesign the monitoring system.