23 February 2010
The National Research EnvironmentAs of 30 March 2009, 34 educational institutions offer higher education in Estonia and can be divided as follows according to the type of ownership:
- 6 universities in public law
- 4 privately owned universities
- 10 public professional higher education institutions
- 11 private professional higher education institutions
- 2 public vocational educational institutions
- 1 private vocational educational institution
Major research funders
The structure and basis of operation of Estonia’s research and development (R&D) system are established in the Research and Development Organisation Act (RDOA). The Government of the Republic prepares national R&D development plans and submits them to the Riigikogu (parliament); approves national R&D programmes; ensures the cooperation between the ministries and enacts legislation. The Research and Development Council advises the Government of the Republic on matters related to R&D. The Ministry of Education and Research (MER) implements national research policy, organizes the financing and evaluation of the activities of R&D institutions and coordinates international research cooperation at the national level. The MER is also responsible for the planning, coordination, execution and monitoring of research policy related to the activities of universities and research institutes.
The Minister of Education and Research is advised by the Research Policy Committee and the Council of Scientific Competence. The Research Policy Committee submits proposals for shaping Estonian research policy as well as the strategy for financing R&D institutions. The Council of Scientific Competence is responsible for submitting proposals to the Minister concerning the budget of research institutions, the targeted financing of research goals, and assessing the conformity of research results with international standards.
The Estonian Science Foundation (ETF) is responsible for supporting scientific research through the allocation of grants and by finding resources outside the state budget. ETF also represents Estonia’s scientific community at the international level.
The main goal of the Archimedes Foundation is to broaden the opportunities for Estonia in the area of European education and research through various cooperation programmes and projects as well as to oversee the accreditation of higher education and the evaluation of research. The Archimedes Foundation is also the national contact organization for EU research and development framework programmes. Archimedes Foundation’s Implementing Agency of Structural Support is the agency responsible for implementing EU structural support during the period 2007–2013. The Archimedes Foundation mediates support for the strengthening of Estonian competitiveness in the field of research and development, including the development of human resources, the implementation of research programmes, and the modernization of institutions of higher education and scientific research establishments.
Membership of the Estonian Academy of Sciences includes approximately 60 top Estonian scientists. Ten research associations and societies and six research institutions have also joined the Academy - working together to achieve common goals.
The Estonian Research Information System (ETIS) is a national register which aggregates information on R&D institutions, researchers, projects and research results. In addition, ETIS also serves as an intermediary for the submission of applications and reports as well as the revision and approval thereof.
In Estonia, R&D activities are funded by the state budget, budgets of rural municipalities or cities, targeted donations, income earned from the economic activities of R&D institutions, and from other sources. The total volume of R&D funding in Estonia has been growing constantly and amounted to 1.14% of the GDP in 2007. Estonia is aiming to increase the total volume of R&D spending to 1.9% of the GDP by 2010. In 2007, the public sector still remained the largest investor in research and development with a share of 45.6% of the total investments.
The implementation of EU Structural Funds for supporting research and development activities is governed by the MER and managed by the Archimedes Foundation’s Implementing Agency of Structural Support. The tasks of the Implementing Agency include the processing of applications for EU Structural Funds in the field of research and development, the counselling of support recipients, and the verification of support payment applications and the eligibility of costs. Support has been planned for the 2007–2013 programme period in the amount of 8.6 billion EEK.
(Information of the Communication Office of the Ministry of Education and Research)
Estonia has neither a uniform open access policy nor a national-level official position concerning the
publication of scientific research. Interest in the issue and a positive attitude towards it have been
expressed, but any substantive decisions have so far been left up to the discretion of each research
(from the article Open Access and a University Library by Heiki Epner, Sciecom Info 1 (2009))
Open Access and Repositories
Open Access repositories
Digital repository of Tartu University Library is a repository for e-theses and e-publications, digitized theses and books, manuscripts and images etc.
Open Access journals
There are 14 open access journals listed in the DOAJ.
Open Access organisations and groups
Martin Hallik, Tartu University Library, EIFL-OA country coordinator: martin.hallik[@]ut.ee
Contact Details of the National Open Access Desk
Anneli Sepp, University of Tartu Library, anneli.sepp[@]ut.ee