Estonian entrepreneurs have unused potential waiting abroad
Estonia has joined several international institutions the cooperation with which is still largely an unused potential for local enterprises. On 11 and 12 March in Mektory, Enterprise Estonia, Estonian Defence Industry Association and the University of Tartu bring Estonian enterprises together with international research centres and large-scale industries to introduce cooperation and export opportunities.
At the free conference “Institutional Export – an Unused Opportunity for Estonian Enterprises”, large international technology and research centres, representatives of the space industry and defence industry and other participants introduce cooperation opportunities. The conference aims to improve understanding of the nature of large international organisations and institutions related to Estonia and the business opportunities they offer.
To achieve their goals and build top-level infrastructures, international organisations and institutions carry out very diverse procurements aimed at enterprises, starting from high-tech research equipment and specific software to furniture.
Estonian membership in or a cooperation agreement with such organisations gives Estonian entrepreneurs a chance to take part in these procurements. Winning a procurement and completing the order is institutional export.
Vice Rector for Research of the University of Tartu Marco Kirm gave an example that several research groups of the UT are doing successful research or technology cooperation with international research centres participating in the conference.
“Thus we have competent researchers who help to understand what the enterprises should offer to the research centres and where the special requirements for procurements come from. Being consultants in procurements has made UT researchers valued development partners for both Estonian and international enterprises, thus contributing to the development of institutional export,” said Kirm.
Among others, NATO and the European Defence Agency are represented at the conference. According to Anu Eslas, Project Manager of the non-profit association Estonian Defence Industry Association, the defence industry contracting authorities NATO and the European Defence Agency constantly look for high-tech providers: “However, being successful in the procurements requires some prior knowledge, which the conference aims to give.”
The first day of the conference is dedicated to introducing research centres such as the European Spallation Source (ESS), which, considering the Estonian IT industry, is represented by the Director of the ESS Data Management and Software Centre Mark Hagen. ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is represented by Hannu Juuso, who has been liaising between the Finnish enterprises and ITER for years. Also CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is represented.
The high-tech sector is represented by EUMETSAT, which is related to the space sector and operates meteorological satellites, and the European Space Agency, which welcomed Estonia as a full member in February. “Becoming a member of international institutions is a long process and being a member is often expensive. The more important it is to wisely use all the opportunities it brings,” said the Head of the Estonian Space Office of Enterprise Estonia Madis Võõras, encouraging entrepreneurs to participate in the conference.
On the second day, representatives of enterprises have the chance to have one-on-one meetings with the representatives of international organisations, participate in more specific workshops or listen to the related presentations.
The conference takes place in the innovation and business centre MEKTORY at Raja 15, Tallinn. More information and the programme are available on the homepage of Enterprise Estonia.
Additional information: Ott Rebane, Industrial Liaison Officer of the UT Institute of Physics, tel: +372 5629 9145, email: ott.rebane [ät] ut.ee.