Green Industry Innovation
Increased competitiveness of green enterprises, including greening of existing industries, green innovation and green entrepreneurship
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
30 October 2012
PA21 - Green Industry Innovation
Calls for proposals
There are no further calls for proposals.
Business and innovation in Estonia is driven by smart solutions and strategies and innovative business models, particularly concerning the ICT sector. In its Digital Agenda for 2020, the country seeks to increase welfare, job creation and economic growth through an environment supporting the use and development of ICT solutions. Indeed, Estonia is at the forefront of digital solutions in Europe and has one of the highest rates of online provision of public services. For example, Estonia’s healthcare system has been revolutionised by innovative e-solutions over the past few years, and 95% of health data is digitised. Nevertheless, Estonia still faces the key challenge of increasing productivity through the digitisation of companies and remains below average on the EU’s Eco-Innovation Scoreboard. The country faces obstacles such as a resource-intensive industrial structure, a lack of seed funding opportunities for early-stage start-ups and low level of media coverage on eco-innovation subjects.
What did the programme achieve?
A total of 15 projects were implemented during the programme. The granted project promoters had ambitions to create software that offers complex solutions to a range of challenges; ICT-based projects do not tend to develop solutions to one isolated issue, but rather a multitude of tools with a broad approach. As a result, the number of developed and/or adapted technologies in the programme are high: 31 existing environmental technologies were developed or improved, and another 27 new environmental technologies were adapted for use in the four priority areas, of which 19 have been successfully commercialised. This includes the improvement of 10 processes in the health sector through a singular project that shortens the amount of time and money spent on doctor’s visits by expanding the number of web-based services. The project offers an alternative solution to Estonia’s shortage of physicians and has given patients greater access to health service providers. Another project developed an open software platform for monitoring and managing energy consumption that gives its customers better control of their energy usage. It also provides them with tools to assess the potential for installing renewable energy devices (and the cost of said instalments) and evaluate the choices for buying electricity at lower prices. These types of customer-oriented energy management system will become increasingly important through the implementation of the EU’s Energy Union.
How were bilateral relations strengthened?
A vital component of the programme has been the bilateral partnerships at programme- and project level. Enterprise Estonia and Innovation Norway formed a close collaboration during implementation, and through matchmaking events between Estonian and Norwegian businesses managed to secure donor partners in 11 out of 15 projects. The Estonian entrepreneurs highly appreciated the donor partners’ knowledge on client needs and global markets. The Norwegian partners have provided experience and expertise on both technical and business management levels, while also benefitting from the increased international experience brought on from the programme. The transfer of knowledge from Norwegian partners have resulted in 16 new technologies and practices being adopted in Estonia and three joint ventures being established between Estonian and Norwegian partners. One of these ventures, Ocean Visuals, are working to commercialise the oil spill detection and verification system developed in the programme between LDI Innovation OÜ, an Estonian R&D company, and ICD Software AS, a Norwegian-based company developing maritime industry products. The oil spill detection and verification system is particularly suitable for Arctic conditions and has been deployed on the Norwegian coastal cruise ship MS Midnattsol.
The programme has strengthened business partnerships between Estonia and Norway and increased the understanding of common goals and challenges. At least six out of 11 projects partnerships will continue their cooperation and maintain their exchange of business culture, expertise and market possibilities. Another four projects might be sustainable and are likely to continue beyond the funding period. Additionally, Enterprise Estonia has strengthened its presence in Norway and opened a new office in Oslo, where three advisers are working to encourage business contact between Estonia and Norway.