Research funding

The instruments of the Estonian R&D funding system are:

  • Institutional financing;
  • Baseline funding;
  • Research grant funding;
  • National research and development programmes;
  • Funding of research and development infrastructures.

Institutional financing is decided by the Minister of Education and Research by recommendation of the Estonian Research Council. Both basic and applied research is funded. Evaluated and registered research institutions may apply. The Estonian Research Council organises the peer-reviewing of submitted applications and advises the Minister on opening funding for new research themes and the continuation of funding for previously-approved ones. The funding period for approved research topics is up to 6 years, subject to periodical assessment of progress.

Baseline funding was introduced in 2005. The purpose is financing R&D institutions on the basis of research quality in order to support the development and initiative research of R&D institutions. Also, it is aimed for co-financing of cooperation projects, international and local, between academia and industry. There are not any specific guidelines for spending making the institutions responsible in this matter. The proportion of baseline funding in overall public financing will increase gradually. In 2010, baseline financing was provided in the amount of 112.4 million EEK.

The Estonian Research Council  awards research grants to individuals and research teams on a competitive basis. Project applications are evaluated by expert commissions and approved by the Estonian Research Council. Data on institutional financing and research grants is available at the Estonian Research Information System, ETIS.

National research and development programmes are launched and funds allocated by the ministry responsible for the implementation of the programme. Information on national R&D programmes can be found at the web page of the State Chancellery of the Republic of Estonia. Estonia has four national R&D programmes:

  • Estonian Language and Cultural Memory (2009–2013);
  • Language Technology Support for the Estonian Language (2006–2010);
  • Supporting Terminology in Estonian (2008–2012);
  • Compilation and Publication of Textbooks in Estonian for Institutions of Higher Education (2008–2012).

Through Enterprise Estonia and its sub-units, the Ministry of Economic Affairs finances R&D programmes that involve product development, co-operation with enterprises and entrepreneurs, and technology programmes for priority areas. Enterprise Estonia provides support for new companies as well as supporting the research and development activities of already active companies, NGOs and R&D institutions.

Through Enterprise Estonia and its sub-units, the Ministry of Economic Affairs finances R&D programmes that involve product development, co-operation with enterprises and entrepreneurs, and technology programmes for priority areas. Enterprise Estonia provides support for new companies as well as supporting the research and development activities of already active companies, NGOs and R&D institutions.

Detailed Scheme of R&D funding

Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. Science and Research

Estonian Research Council

Enterprise Estonia

Estonian Research Information System, ETIS

Read more about the R&D Funding in the Estonian Research Portal.

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