Estonia - Research and Innovation performance
The country profiles aim to provide an operational tool for stakeholders and policy-makers to support the framing of research and innovation (R&I) policies and to facilitate the monitoring of performance, on the basis of a holistic economic and indicator‑based analysis.
The challenge of continuing upgrading Estonian industry by research and innovation
Estonia set up a national R&D intensity target of 3% by 2020. While the overall growth in R&D investments in Estonia almost doubled between 2008 and 2011 due to oil shale industry, they have since decreased to 2.16% in 2012 and 1.46% in 2014 (below the EU-28 average of 2.03%). This reflects a concentration of business R&D in a limited number of enterprises and shows the need to broaden the base of R&D performing companies if the country wants to meet its target of total R&D by 2020.
Estonia continues to suffer from a low number of new doctoral graduates and business enterprise researchers. Although some measures were taken to fill these gaps, there is still a need to continue enhancing the quality of the higher education system and addressing the non-absorption of highly skilled graduates in firms.