Professor Robert Krimmer has been appointed to lead a new research group in the e-governance field at the University of Tartu.
An Austrian national, Krimmer was previously professor of e-governance at Tallinn University of Technology's (TalTech) Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance.
The e-governance research group is to be established at TÜ, and will aim to both continue research in the field and foster its development in Estonia, an e-governance, e-voting and public services world leader.
"His joining the University of Tartu and the new research group will give us the capacity to have a say in the digital transformation of governance in Estonia and Europe," Mihkel Solvak, Senior Research Fellow in Technology Research at the University of Tartu and ERA (European Research Area ) Chair Project Manager said of the appointment.
Professor Krimmer's research has so far focused on digital transformation, cross-border e-services, electronic participation and democracy, as well as electronic voting, and other digital society issues. He was in 2019 listed in the top 16 academics in the field of digital government, TÜ says.
Of his new role, Krimmer says that available data on Estonian e-governance will provide wide-ranging opportunities for research.
"The big data research infrastructure of the University of Tartu allows to produce great insights into the adoption process of e-governance. I consider it very important to continue to study the benefits of the digital transformation of government, while minimizing the associated risks and ensuring security, privacy and equal access," Professor Krimmer said, according to the university.
The group is to closely collaborate with the university's Center of IT Impact Studies (CITIS) and will help to support the government in shaping next-generation e-services.
Professor Krimmer was chosen from a seven-strong shortlist taken from a field of 31 candidates in an international, open competition process, the university says.
The group is to be funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, under the ERA Chair action, aimed at creating equal conditions for research and innovation in Europea and bringing outstanding scientists to universities and research institutions with potential for research excellence.
Professor Krimmer's resume includes advising international organizations such as the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) on e-governance-related matters.
The Ragnar Nurkse Institute was in 2019 the center of a European funding scandal, which led to an audit by the European Commission.
Editor: Andrew Whyte