Kersna, Soomere make new R&D council lineup

Ministry of Education and Research signage. Unlike the other government ministries, which are located in Tallinn, this one is situated in Tartu.
Ministry of Education and Research signage. Unlike the other government ministries, which are located in Tallinn, this one is situated in Tartu. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The government has approved a new composition of a council which steers research, development and innovation in Estonia. The twelve-member body is split evenly between politicians, academics and business-people.

Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna (Reform) says the new composition of the body, the Research and Development (R&D) Council, is broad-based, and covers several different areas.

"It provides the ability to offer a more comprehensive view of issues that reach it," Kersna said, speaking at Thursday's regular government press conference.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that: "Entrepreneurs and researchers with experience in combining business and science and promoting innovation will start their work in this new composition of the R&D Council. Our goal is to increase the council's role as a driver of innovation."

In addition to Kallas and Kersna, the R&D council's membership of 12 is balanced equally between government members (in turn split evenly between Reform and Center), academics and researchers, and now includes health minister Tanel Kiik (Center) and University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser, as well as science academy chief and one-time presidential candidate Tarmo Soomere.

Around 50 percent of the new line-up were also a part of its predecessor, BNS reports.

Members were appointed on the basis of their apparent desire to strengthen the competence of the council in the field of innovation and to increase balance in terms of sectoral, gender and research institution representation, government spokespersons said.

Of the twelve members of the board, four are members of the government, four are entrepreneurs and four are researchers.

The new R&D council will meet for its first meeting on November 23.

The R&D Council advises the government in matters relating to research and development strategy, directing the systematic development of the national research, development and innovation system, the government office says on its website.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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