Science Scene

This section provides information about the public R&D institutions in Estonia. In addition to those organizations’ websites, information about Estonia researchers, research projects and R&D institutes can be found in Estonian Research Information System. The structure and basis of operation of Estonia’s research and development (R&D) system are established in the Research and Development Organisation Act (RDOA). The directions for the development of research and development and innovation (RDI) are determined in Estonian Research and Development and Innovation Strategy „Knowledge-based Estonia 2014-2020“.

Most research and development in Estonia is performed at the universities. The largest public research university is the University of Tartu, followed by the Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. There are, however, also several independent research institutes that perform research at a high level, the largest state research organisations are The Estonian Biocentre; Tartu Observatory; Estonian Literary Museum, and The Institute of the Estonian Language. Today nearly all basic research is conducted in the public sector; the private sector focuses mainly on product development and innovation.

The full list of positively evaluated Estonian R&D institutions is following:

In addition to the above mentioned institutions, high level research is carried out in the Research Centres of Excellence and Competence Centres. The Centres of Excellence are composed of internationally highly regarded research groups who work under clearly defined common goals. The Competence Centres are structured, long term RTDI collaborations in strategic important areas between academia, industry and the public sector. Centres aim to bridge the gap between scientific and economic innovation. Currently there are 12 Centres of Excellence and 8 Competence Centres.

Special focus has been given on improving the efficiency of doctoral studies and improving the quality of doctoral candidates. Therefore 13 interdisciplinary Doctoral Schools foster international and national cooperation by offering mobility opportunities and winter and summer schools for Phd students.

The Estonian Academy of Sciences assists in the development of Estonian science and in the implementation of research results in the interests of Estonia. It also represents Estonian science world wide and encourages research co-operation at national and international levels.

R&D skeem