R&D at EU Average, Impressive Growth
Biomeedikum, University of Tartu's medical research center
( Photo: Postimees/Scanpix )
The nation's "scientific output" is at the EU-average, concluded the
European Commission's Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2011.
In the last decade, research and development increased from 0.60 percent of GDP in 2000 to 1.42 percent in 2009 - "an impressive annual average growth rate above 10 percent," the report wrote.
Estonia's research and development target for 2020 has been set to 3 percent. "This is ambitious, but realistic in the case business research and development grows significantly," said the report.
The country's research is dominated by government funding and universities. While the private sector has made progress, the number of patents remains relatively low. "The Estonian manufacturing sector is not yet able to compete in hightech goods," the report wrote.
With an economy that is dependent on external trade, Estonia has integrated into the European research system, the strongest links being with Germany, Sweden, Finland and the UK.
"Internationalization being such an important priority for Estonian research and innovation efforts, much of the future development will depend on how it succeeds to attract human resources and [...] intensive investments and firms from abroad," the report wrote.