Applications for the next board chair at the Enterprise and Innovation Foundation (EISA) have been coming in in large numbers, as Friday's deadline approaches.
Sille Kraam, deputy secretary general at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, told ERR: "We are delighted that interest in the competitive process has so far been rather high, and hopefully we will be able to choose a worthy leader for the organization from among candidates who have submitted applications."
The EISA supervisory board is due to meet in a fortnight's time when the selection of a new director will be on the agenda, interview and application results permitting.
"It's too early to say more at the moment," she added.
Applications are open until August 18 after which a summary of the process and its results will be published, with the successful candidate likely to be named there and then.
The Enterprise and Innovation Foundation (EISA), formed from the merger of Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and KredEx, has been leaderless since the end of March, when Lauri Lugna stepped down, though there has been no shortage of candidates.
In the search for a new chief, a recruitment agency alone has passed on the CVs of nearly 200 applicants.
One person tipped for the job, Kristi Tiivas, who recently stepped down from EISA's supervisory board, remains tight-lipped on whether she is in the hunt or not, though ERR reports several sources have said that she plans to run.
Stepping down from the supervisory board allows her to run for management board chair. Most large state bodies have an independent supervisory board, Nõukogu, monitoring activities and are distinct from the management board.
"I have commented on these topics, I have not decided as yet. So far as I know, the competitive process is still ongoing," Tiivas told ERR.
She had told "Aktuaalne kaamera" on August 4 that stepping down from the supervisory board was a necessary precursor to even potentially considering running for the post, however; not doing so would have been neither reasonable or ethical, she said.
Tiivas said that the entire supervisory board ruled on applications that were received and often eliminated (around 200 of them) while she sat on the board, rejecting a conflict of interest.
"Since I myself am no longer involved with the EISA supervisory council, I would kindly ask you to refer these matters to the present-day council," she said.
Sille Kraam at the economic affairs ministry declined to comment to ERR on the conflict of interest question.
EISA was founded to advance cross-sectorial cooperation in Estonia between the private sector, academia and the government, the organization says on its LinkedIn page.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov