- The Estonian economy is small, has high level of openness and its structure has remained remarkably stable during the 2010-2015 period. Exports and value added are driven mostly by contract manufacturing of relatively complex products. SMEs dominate the non-financial business economy.
- Estonia has a very favourable business environment but it is faced with a short supply of highly qualified human resources due to ageing population, outward migration and lower attractiveness of research careers.
- An important aspect of the Estonian R&D system is its overwhelming reliance on competitive project-based policy measures, both in funding public universities and private companies.
- The overall level of GERD almost doubled in 2009-2011 (from 1.4% to 2.31%), but slid back to 1.45% in 2014. In 2015 it picked up slightly to 1.5%. Public allocation of R&D and R&D expenditure are above the EU average but the business investments (BERD) dropped significantly as the effect of the business R&D investments in an oil shale refinery by Eesti Energia ended.
- Estonia has been at the forefront of online public services for a few years now. However, other aspects of public sector innovation are far less developed, most notably user-centric service design, co-creation of services and similar areas.