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Frontpage News 2012 Bilateral knowledge exchange


Estonian-Norwegian knowledge exchange

  • The Estonian-Norwegian Transfer of knowledge fund seeks to strengthen cooperation and knowledge transfer between the 2 countries. The fund supports 10 research projects within the fields of health and environment.

    "The Transfer of knowledge fund encourages growing cooperation between Estonian and foreign scientists," says Iige Maalmann of the Estonian Science Foundation, which coordinates the fund.

    The 10 supported research projectsspan a variety of fields; from investigating bone markers in patients with distinct forms of osteoarthritis to looking at locations for wind farms and developing new ethical frameworks for human genetic databases.

    The Estonian universities of Tallinn and Tartu implement several of the research initiatives, and the Universities of Oslo, Bergen and Iceland are among the research partners involved. Research institutions from Norway are actively involved in 9 of the supported projects, while Icelandic partners are taking part in 2 projects.

    Reducing pollution from power plants
    One of the projects supported by the fund is looking into the environmental impact of oil shale combustion ashes. Estonia is home to the 2 largest oil shale-fired thermal power plants in the world, and the oil shale which is burnt at the Eesti Power Plant and the Balti Power Plant produces roughly 50% ash. Although the power plants have installed pollution control equipment to capture the ash particles produced during oil shale combustion, large quantities are still released into the air. This 'fly ash' contains significant amounts of environmental toxins, and is today the main source of air pollution in the Estonian Narva region.

    In collaboration with the Norwegian Geological Survey, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, a research team at Tallinn University of Technology will attempt to fill the gaps in the existing knowledge on levels, mobility, bioavailability and ecotoxicity of contaminants in the polluted soils of the Narva region. This will be the first time these soils have been studied in detail for pollution levels. The project will also look closer at fly ash as a vehicle of contaminants.



  • Country:


    Project title:

    Transfer of Knowledge Block Grant for Estonia

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Academic research


    € 454,292



    Type & project assistance:

    Block Grant

    Project promoter:

    Estonian Science Foundation

    Type of institution:


    Project website:

    Project duration:

    42 months

    Project cost:

    € 534,461

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA Grants and Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    29 January 2008

    The purpose of the Fund is to promote academic research related to all priority sectors of the EEA Financial Mechanism through the cooperation between research teams from Estonia and the donor states (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), with the overall objective of contributing to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA). Reference is made to the application, dated 9 May 2007, and subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point dated 25 June, 16 July and 8 August 2007.

    The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:

    - Fund management;

    - Re-granting towards selected sub-projects.

    The Intermediary is the Estonian Science Foundation (ETF).

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Estonian Government provides at least 15 percent of the total eligible Fund costs.