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invest in estonia


Industrial R&D

Estonia has a collaborative ecosystem for Industrial R&D including academia, accelerators and competence centres. Supported by world-class expertise and a highly competitive, digital environment, Estonia is the ideal location for Industrial product and technology R&D.

  • #1 in Europe for Entrepreneurial Employee Activity and Competitiveness
  • #4 globally for science education
  • 5 accelerators developing hardware and software
  • 7 competence centres providing applied R&D, design and testing

Our advantages

#1globally in entrepreneurial employee activity
AcademiaActive knowledge and technology transfer between industry and academia.
AcceleratorsBest innovations validated and commercialised in accelerators.
Competence centersCompetence centers providing infrastructure and expertise for applied R&D.
Digital infrastructureCompact, digital environment well suited to accelerated research, prototyping and launches.
Track recordSolid track record of successful innovations and investments.


7competence centres providing applied R&D, design and testing

Estonia’s Industrial R&D ecosystem supports startups and corporate R&D and has produced numerous innovations in sectors including mechatronics, energy, chemicals and food.

Estonia’s advantages start early, ranking top 10 globally in the teaching of science, maths and IT. Nine universities and vocational education centres ensure the workforce possess professional knowledge and practical experience of modern technologies. TalTech University has a world-class capability in mechatronics and collaborates with universities and companies including MIT and Mitsubishi.

As befits one of the world’s most successful startup nations, Estonia’s accelerator ecosystem supports global commercialisation of software and hardware innovations. Five accelerators, backed by global firms including Telia, provide validation, mentoring, risk capital and market access for sectors including IoT, mechatronics and CleanTech.

Four competence centres provide infrastructure and expertise to conduct applied R&D in collaboration with corporate and academic partners. STACC focus on Big Data analytics and security for software and systems; ELIKO develop algorithm and communication models for IoT solutions; IMECC specialise in materials technology, AI and smart factories; EII has conducted 40 global R&D projects in mechatronics and embedded software. A further three centers specialise in chemicals and bioeconomy activity.

Estonia’s Industrial R&D ecosystem is enabled by modern infrastructure, supportive policy making and a pro-business environment which consistently ranks as one of the most open, competitive and transparent in the world. The journey from research to prototype and global launch is accelerated and efficient.

Estonia’s track record of successful Industrial startups includes Starship Technologies and Cleveron in mechatronics, Skeleton Technologies and Planet OS in CleanTech and GrabCAD in industrial automation. Long-term corporate R&D successes include Valio and Lallemand in food science, Stoneridge in mechatronics and Ericsson in telecommunications.

As digitalisation transforms all aspect of industry, Estonia’s ability to integrate world-class industrial and IT skills in a dynamic, scalable environment make it the ideal location for Industrial R&D.


#1Barclays Digital Development Index

Estonia has been applying technology to solve Industrial challenges for over 20 years. Early adoption of robotics for productivity and quality gains led to the development of sensors and control systems by global companies including ABB (read more), Columbus and Nortal.

Over time the industry has become more sophisticated. Enterprise management systems such as those of Proekspert and Tieto are developed in Estonia for global use. Expertise in mechatronics with embedded software supports a hardware capability ranging from smart devices to autonomous delivery robots. GrabCAD’s cloud-based collaboration solution for engineers and Planet OS’ big data solution for energy producers have attracted global awards and investors.

Estonia’s digitally enabled infrastructure, soon to be 5G (with pilot networks already launched), and IT expertise create world leadership in physical-digital combinations. Smart Grid, a network of connected smart energy meters, provides real-time and predictive data on consumption to stakeholders. Demand can be balanced, production mix optimised and cost and environmental impact reduced. Smart Grid is protected by world-class cyber security capabilities including software, anti-tamper hardware and Blockchain.

Further success is expected thanks to Estonia’s pro-business environment which supports agile operations and a collaborative ecosystem well suited to rapid innovation, development and launch of hardware and software solutions. Areas of development include intelligent monitoring, data-driven manufacturing, autonomous robots and platforms.

With digital capability now a source of competitive advantage, Estonia’s ability to deliver cutting-edge innovation and reliable engineering in a competitive environment make it the smart, agile location for the Industrial IoT era.

Industrial R&D

These websites can be useful when interested in Industrial R&D in Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

Business opportunities in Estonia

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Need more information?

What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

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