The scoreboard divides countries in four categories: innovation leaders, strong innovators, moderate innovators and modest innovators. Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands are innovation leaders while the innovation performance has improved the most in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Greece.
Estonia is strong innovator for the first time in the Scoreboard, highlighted Katrin Pihor, the Head of the Research Department of Estonia’s Ministry of Education and Research. “Estonia’s strengths are population’s level of education and participation in the lifelong learning,” said Pihor. “It is particularly great to note that Estonia has made a major progress in innovation indicators: the number of innovations in product and process of small and medium-sized companies as well as investments in non-R&D have increased. However, R&D expenditure, especially in the private sector, is significantly below the EU average.”
Positive messages on Estonia’s development from current and former Presidents
Addressing this year’s Estonia’s Friends International Meeting (EFIM), President Kersti Kaljulaid and former President Toomas Hendrick Ilves expressed their optimism for the future of the country by highlighting the innovation and the positive migration balance of Estonia.
Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s President, announced her ongoing commitment to matching the standards of the private sector within the public sector, stating: “Our citizens don’t accept that our public sector does not keep up with technological development in the private sector.”
Estonians have come to expect the same standards of development across both sectors, and the president goes on to emphasise this as a key contributing factor to the country’s uniqueness on the world stage. President Kaljulaid is a champion and proud custodian of Estonia’s digital society and her comments echo the findings of the European Innovation Scoreboard that hails Estonia as a ‘strong innovator’.
Former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves referred to recent statistics by Eurostat revealing that more Estonian citizens are returning to the country than those who are leaving, unlike former communist states within Europe whose citizen numbers are falling, adding: “It must mean something!” Mr Ilves was Estonia’s President for ten years, from 2006 to 2016 and is a patron of EFIM.
The 8th Estonia’s Friends International Meeting took place in Tallinn on 5th and 6th of July, 2019, with the aim to, ‘recognise business, political and cultural figures whose actions and advice have helped Estonia to become a truly European country with a dynamic economy and thriving culture.’
Estonia is the world’s most digitally enabled nation, offering a unique combination of talent, environment and innovation. Read more about the opportunities Estonia offers here or send us an e-consulting request to get more detailed information.