TALLINN - Estonia's competitive edge could be the research development needed for sustainable entrepreneurship, according to former president of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.
"Comparing different states of the European Union and their economic development over the past decades, Sweden and Finland distinctly stand out. Their GDP per capita has grown faster than that in most Central European countries. Why? I believe it is in part due to them having consistently invested around 3 percent of their GDP in research and innovation for a long time," Kaljulaid said in her opening speech at the Telia Digital Hub conference.
Estonia, too, is a good example, in her assessment, due to being a growing economy with a rapidly developing technology sector.
"In our uptake of European Science Foundation funding we're ahead of most EU countries and this has given us a more powerful research and innovation sector," Kaljulaid added.
The former president of Estonia also underscored that it is important to contribute to the development of environmentally sustainable technology.
"The research development needed for environmentally friendly entrepreneurship could be Estonia's competitive edge," Kaljulaid said.
The main panel discussion at the conference was dedicated to improving cooperation between the state, private sector and universities and expediting the creation of innovative solutions in Estonia, communications operator Telia said.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Jarvan pointed out that businesses' interest in launching development projects in cooperation with universities is rather modest at present.
"Together with the applied research center we can force companies to cooperate with universities, in a positive sense, to achieve a real result in a timely manner," he said.
The conference was organized by Telia in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Estonian IT company Net Group.