Smart specialisation strategy for the South

Smart specialisation strategy for
the South-Estonia
2014 Spring
Garri Raagmaa UNIVERSITY of TARTU [email protected] +372 527 8899
South-Estonia in a Nutshell
• 325 th. inhabitants & 15 th square km territory
• Traditionally dominated by agriculture and forestry
• Peripheral location: 2-4 hours driving distance from
the main transport hubs - capital Tallinn or Latvian
capital Riga (only one flight to Helsinki from Tartu)
• South-Estonian centre Tartu is old university and
medical centre
– characterised by low level entrepreneurship
– dominance of publicly financed institutions
Overall context
• Estonia depends 2013-20 heavily on EU investment
• EU requirements for the strategies of smart
• Estonian central ministries act like silos – everyone
has it’s own smart specialisation
• Local authorities are dispersed and have low
administrative and development capacity
• Predominant is centralist and elitist approach:
– Understanding smart specialisation as something high
tech and science related
– smart specialisation so far managed from Tallinn only
Warning of too narrow approch in SS by D.Foray
high tech
low tech
A narrow view
of smart
Source: Foray 2012
Central agencies of SS
• Ministries of Education and Economy
– Development Fund and Estonian Enterprise as
implementing agencies
• Ministry of Interior – regional SS
• Ministry of Agriculture
– Primary sector R&D
– LEADER programmes
• Ministry of Culture – creative industries
• Ministry of Social Affairs –
– Major investments to hospitals
– training programs
South-Estonian (SE) approach to SS
• Everybody, except Tallinn civil cervants, hate papers!
• Awareness rising and involvement of SE institutions
– Larger local governments
– County governments
– Regional business development centres (BAS)
• Defining growing business sectors and their needs for
• Involving central ministries and agencies to the process
– Promoting place based entrepreneurial discovery model
– Combining central measures suitable for the SE
Action so far
• SE economic sectors overview done by Fac. of Econ.
• Involvement of larger urban centres of SE
– Personal contacts & two meetings
• Discussing possible collaboration with SE county
development departments and BAS
• Networking with most promising enterprise clusters
/ domains -> what are their R&D needs?
• Communication with ministries and central agencies
– involving key persons responsible for SS
application to the SESSS process
Further action with SESSS
• Combining central agencies SS-related measures to
meet bottom up initiatives
– Defining/selling SS Domains for the SE public
– Designing and choosing viable projects for a SS shopping
list“ acceptable for central agencies
• Building up South-Estonian institutional capacity based
on Tartu Science park & South-Estonian BAS-network
– Securing entrepreneurial discovery taking place in SE
• Involvement and linking SE enterprise (their unions)
with the SS shopping list as beneficiaries (owners)
– Agreeing on projects and enterprise side co-finance
• Public awareness rising via media
Results by the end of May (ideal)
• Representatives of South-Estonian key public
institutions and enterprise leaders have true
knowledge about the options provided by the
national SS-measures
• Agreement on the SESS domains achieved:
– Shortlist of SS/enterprise development related
projects to be developed agreed among stakeholders
• Input to the county (6) development plans
• Agreement with the Estonian Enterprise and
Development fund on the application of some SSmeasure by SE-based institutions
Comments about the SE domains
• Wooden houses: great growth rates but low R&D
• Food & milk sector: dominance of large multinational
firms not interested about local R&D
• Health/biotech sector: strong research capacity, very
different companies (by size and business models)
– Red biotech still science related and not business minded
– Green biotech has Dairy Competence Centre and several
patents developed during the last programming period
• ICT & electronics/mechatronics
– Software development - a quite number of globally
competitive firms
– Regional industrial software and elecronics still embryonic

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