Analysis of deficiencies and new opportunities

Estonian Development Fund completed a qualitative smart specialisation analysis by the end of 2012 to identify the areas where the potential for cooperation between business and research is the greatest. But these growth areas cannot be the answer to smart specialisation – more specific activities have to be found that need to be carried out in order to eliminate or decrease deficiencies in these growth areas.

Therefore, Development Fund has carried out an “analysis of deficiencies and new opportunities” to pinpoint these activities – this analysis is published today. We aimed at keeping the analysis very practical: not just to analyse what is wrong but also to offer specific steps that should be taken. It would be much easier to say “should be done”, but when specific activities emerge, the probability of them being carried out is higher.

One of the central problems in R&D is how to increase the share of research-intensive entrepreneurship? Looking at the Estonian economy in a broader perspective, I think this is one of the most important topics for the Estonian economy in the coming decade. So far, we have been a good subcontractor for Western countries, but this development model has a glass ceiling. It is important to increase research-intensive business and for that, a platform has to be created in which an entrepreneur and researcher can find cooperation opportunities. Activities of this kind take central place in the deficiency analysis.

Different areas have different deficiencies, e.g. for ICT, it is important to increase the volume and quality of higher education (there is currently a shortage of employees in this sector) while for e-health, Estonia has created several innovative solutions but has not been able to export them. Each area has to be approached differently. But there are also deficiencies that influence all the growth areas, and these have been discussed separately in the analysis.

The deficiencies and new opportunities analysis is available here. We would appreciate your feedback – please send it to

Kristjan Lepik