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Frontpage News 2017 Strengthened business and research cooperation with Estonia

MoU signing Estonia 9 May 2017
The agreements were signed in the Estonian capital, and lay the foundation for continued cooperation between the donor countries and Estonia in the years ahead. From the left: Icelandic Ambassador to Estonia, Kristín A. Árnadóttir, Estonian Minister of Health and Labour, Jevgeni Ossinovski, and Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, Frank Bakke-Jensen. Photo credit: Raigo Pajula

Strengthened business and research cooperation with Estonia

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have signed new cooperation agreements with Estonia on new programmes under the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021. 

Through the Grants, the donor countries have allocated EUR 68 million to a total of seven programmes and funds. Priority will be given to research and innovation.

Want to take a closer look at the signed agreements? You can find them here: 

Estonia MoU EEA Grants 2014-2021 (in force as of 10 May 2017)

Estonia MoU Norway Grants 2014-2021 (in force as of 10 May 2017)

Continue the successful implementation of the Grants

Icelandic Ambassador to Estonia, Kristín A. Árnadóttir, signed the MoUs on behalf of Iceland:

"Iceland is proud of the work that has been done and the results that have been achieved from the EEA Grants in Estonia. We are deeply committed to improving social and economic well-being within Estonia and other EEA countries and feel confident that the successful implementation of the EEA Grants in Estonia will continue throughout the upcoming grant period."

An open invitation to cooperate across borders

"In line with the Norwegian Government’s priorities, nearly half the funds have been allocated to business and research. The cooperation agreements that will be signed today are an open invitation to Norwegian actors who are interested in taking part in creating a green, competitive and inclusive Europe," says Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, Frank Bakke-Jensen. The Minister signed the MoUs on behalf of Norway in the Estonian capital earlier today.  

A total of eight public agencies and institutions from the donor countries will be involved in implementing the programmes in Estonia. The agencies are responsible for recruiting partners from the donor countries to the projects.

"We are thus further strengthening our already close cooperation with Estonia. This also reflects our mutual interest in enhancing cooperation within the sectors covered by the agreements," says Minister Bakke-Jensen.

Overview of programmes

Programme Partner(s) Allocation (EUR million)
Business Development and Innovation Innovation Norway 23.0
Research and Education

Research Council of Norway (NFR)

Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU)

National Agency for International Affairs Liechtenstein (AIBA)

7.1
Local Development and Poverty Reduction

Norwegian Directorate of Health (HDIR)

Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI)

Directorate of Cultural Heritage (RA)

18.0
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) 6.0
Civil Society   4.0
Social Dialogue – Decent Work Innovation Norway (Fund Operator) 0.4
Bilateral Fund   1.36
Reserve   2.06

The local development programme includes efforts relating to health, violence against women, children and young people, and cultural cooperation. Emphasis will be given to measures that support the Estonian authorities’ efforts to integrate the Russian-speaking minority.

In the months ahead, relevant agencies from the donor countries and Estonia will develop the programmes. The first open calls for project proposals will be announced at a later stage.

About the EEA and Norway Grants

Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and strengthen cooperation between European countries. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to this through the EEA and Norway Grants. For the period 2014-2021, a total contribution of EUR 2.8 billion has been agreed. Estonia will receive EUR 68 million of this total.