Industry Engines 2018
The ongoing quest for Industry Engines
The Estonian Development Fund's first foresight exercise into the state of play pertaining to the competitiveness and future prospects of the Estonian economy led to the conclusion that the biggest concern (and a hindrance to everything else) was the structure of the economy, notably that of the manufacturing sector. Fast and long-lasting growth will be attainable again if sectors that provide strong value added coupled with high corporate productivity account for the fundamental part of the industry and the economy at large.
With the specific purpose of identifying such sectors and activities, the Estonian Development Fund initiated a foresight project, ‘Ways of Restructuring Estonia's Manufacturing Sector', that was given an abbreviated name - Industry Engines 2018. Within the context of the project, which launched in spring 2008, the sector's growth possibilities are being weighed in a ten-year perspective while identifying the steps required to make use of these alternatives in the near future. Appropriate policy options that serve to promote business will also be suggested.
Etlatieto Oy representing the business branch of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, ETLA, and the consultancy company Gaia Consulting Oy offer support for conducting analyses and discussions in the context of the project. Apart from that, researchers who have studied Estonian and European industrial development are involved. External experts engaged include Michael Best (University of Massachussets), a researcher who has analysed industrial development in the world's large and small economies (including Estonia) through decades, and Slavo Radošević (University College London), one of the principal international experts in the field of pan-European and specifically Central and Eastern European industrial and innovation trends. Estonian researchers involved in the study are Urmas Varblane (University of Tartu) and Erik Terk (Estonian Institute for Futures Studies).
The search for the Industry Engines commenced with the identification of the global trends affecting the manufacturing sector. Subsequently, the current competitive position of Estonia's industrial sectors along with their development possibilities were analysed, also their potential to benefit from the global trends was assessed. In that stage around 50 interviews were carried out, involving major foreign investors in the country's manufacturing sector, managers of the strongest companies in each branch along with representatives of sectoral associations. The interviews are estimated to have covered more than half of the exporters in the Estonian manufacturing sector today.
In mid-September, three workshops will be held to discuss the interim results of the project with managers of industrial undertakings deliberating on future perspectives more specifically. Yet a more in-depth development discussion has been scheduled for a high-level industry forum in October 2008 that is to address also business development and policy recommendations.
For further information, please contact Siim Sikkut, Economy Expert, Estonian Development Fund: siim.sikkut[A]arengufond.ee
- The Development Fund probes the future of Estonia's manufacturing sector (29.04.2008)
- Seminars and workshops
- Videocast of the Industry Forum
- The Industrial Forum of Estonia: Heading Towards Intelligent Outsourcing (10.01.2009)
- Coffee Morning: Industry Engines 2018 About environmental technologies?(22.05.2009)