Our partners

Tartu Science Park

The Tartu Science Park (TSP) is a regional development agency established in 1992 and the first science park in the Baltics. It was founded by Tartu City and County Government, University of Tartu and Estonian University of Life Sciences. Its main objective is the creation of a favourable environment for the emergence and development of technology and knowledge-intensive enterprises and competitive clusters. TSP provides entrepreneurs with infrastructure, business consulting, technology transfer and networking services. Our goal is to raise competitiveness of companies in the Tartu region in the global market by facilitating networking between universities, public and private sector.

Currently there are ~75 companies with almost 400 employees situated on 12 000 m2 of office- and laboratory space. Business support services, mostly offered to high-potential projects in focus areas of hardware, energy, ICT, biotech and space technology), are provided by our mentor network, business partners and innovation support schemes like participation in Enterprise Europe Network. Tartu Science Park has been responsible for development and implementation of local and regional RIS3 strategies since 2003. Our latest contribution in this field was development of Smart Specialization Strategy for South-Estonia which covered six South-Estonian counties (~25% of national territory & population).


Tartu Science Park Foundation
Sihtasutus Tartu Teaduspark
181A Riia 
51014 Tartu, Estonia

Vaido Mikheim, Project Manager

Ingrid Hunt, Project Manager
E-mail: ingrid.hunt@sciencepark.ee

Information about the RIS3 of the partner region:

Regional level document: „Smart Specialization Strategy for South-Estonia” (May 2014)
Legal owner: Tartu Science Park

Key challenges for innovation policy

Major issues for South-Estonia in the context of innovation policy include: how to compete for talent and resources, especially with capital and other major gravity centers; how to benefit economically by using the maximum potential of R&D competence centers and universities which offer very strong scientific bases for innovation; and how to enable and promote access of local products-services to export markets considering the small size of the home market. 

Smart Specialisation areas in South-Estonia

Smart Specialization areas that were selected on regional level for South Estonia are: 
  • ICT and electronics;
  • biomedicine and health services
  • wood industry (in particular wooden house construction)
  • food industry (especially dairy and functional foods). 

Main objectives of the RIS3

The main objective for both national and regional level smart specialization strategies is to increase the level of innovation in entrepreneurship. A sub-objective is to focus on sectors which have the highest growth potential and where investments into R&D can create synergies between companies and R&D actors such as universities, clusters, technology development & competence centers.


The Smart specialisation measures at the national level (142 million euros) are divided between two ministries - the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (https://www.mkm.ee/en) and the Ministry of Education and Research (https://www.hm.ee/en).
The funding is divided between five actions:
  1. Technological development centres and clusters 
  2. Startup Estonia program 
  3. Demand side policies measure 
  4. Applied Research measure
  5. Specialisation Scholarships measure

Additional funding is available and assigned from different EU programs & regional budgets. At the regional level, the respective Smart Specialization Strategy does not have a fixed funding mechanism. Currently it’s being financed through different EU projects and contributions from the major regional authority - Tartu City Government.