Research Landscape

The structure and basis of operation of Estonia’s research and development (R&D) system are established in the Research and Development Organisation Act. The directions for the development of research and development and innovation (RDI) are determined in the Estonian Research and Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2021-2035.

Research and development is carried out by universities and other public and private sector education and research institutions. Additionally, the Estonian Academy of Sciences, as an independent and high-level association of researchers, contributes to solving problems related to Estonian research and social and economic development issues.

The R&D programme design and evaluation are enforced by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and other ministries too. Under their supervision, the Estonian Research Council funds research, and the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency funds innovation.

The policymakers are the parliament and the government, which the Research and Development Council advises. The policies themselves are prepared by and implemented by the ministries. The Ministry of Education and Research is advised by the Research Policy Committee, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is advised by the Innovation Policy Committee.

The government develops research policy, prepares sectoral development plans, and coordinates inter-ministerial cooperation. The research council provides technical advice to the government as needed. Parliament approves the overall research strategy, based on the Research and Development Organisation Act, and once a year, considers the Prime Minister’s report on the execution of that strategy and the state budget for research.

The research and development organisation structure in Estonia.
The following institutions support research and development activities:
is a government foundation and is the main funding body for R&D in Estonia. It consolidates different grants and types of funding and gives research more visibility in the society by various other activities.
is the Estonian Research Information System. ETIS concentrates information on research- and development institutions, researchers, research projects and various research results.
unites top-level Estonian scientists and scholars and acts as an umbrella organisation for a number of associated R&D organisations. The primary mission of the EAS is to advance scientific research, to provide high-level expertise and advice for the governmental organisations, helping them to shape knowledge-based decisions at national level, and to disseminate knowledge and promote research cooperation both at national and international level. The EAS represents Estonian research internationally, supports Estonian membership in international research associations and funds and operates a research exchange programme with 17 partner organisations abroad.
was established in 2017 at the initiative of the Estonian Academy of Sciences as an independent organisation representing the voices and interests of young scientists and scholars in Estonia. It seeks to contribute towards the development of research and betterment of society.
is a government agency of the Ministry of Education and Research that deals with the implementation of Estonian education and youth policy. Their goal is to offer Estonian people high-quality, modern, and equally accessible educational opportunities. They want everyone to be able to create a personal learning path for their entire life cycle!
promotes business and regional policy in Estonia. It is one of the largest institutions within Estonia’s national entrepreneurship support system, providing grants for product development, specialized advice, partnership opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, research and development institutions, and the public and the third sector.

Get our monthly newsletterBe up-to-date with all the latest news and upcoming events