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Research in Estonia

Science in Estonia


Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu

Despite being a small nation, Estonia’s innovations have attracted global attention – from its e-governance solutions to the Estonian Genome Centre that contains the genomes of 150 000 Estonians.

The focus on solving global problems has led our top scientists to work on the link between plants and climate change, to develop smart cities, probiotic bacteria or novel energy solutions, to create data processing solutions that protect privacy, and much more.


Laboratory at Univesity of Tartu Institute of TechnologySeveral Estonian scientists have received international awards: recent recognitions include, for example, Lauri Mälksoo’s work on international law, Jaan Einasto’s discoveries on the structure of the universe, and Mart Min’s inventions that have given us a smarter pacemaker.

The academic articles written by Estonian scientists are widely read and cited by their international colleagues. Moreover, Estonian science is widely networked via international collaboration and is present in many of the cutting-edge science projects: our researchers collide particles at CERN, map and analyse global biodiversity, keep an eye on the globe from space with ESA, and read genes to discover the secrets of health and the history of populations.

Education and Innovation

Starship robotThe entire Estonian society, from the young to the old is science-minded. Children make their first acquaintance with computer programming in the kindergarten, pupils compete in solving science puzzles in the popular TV show Rakett 69, and students build satellites and robots. Estonia is one of the best places for start-up companies, the birthplace of the Starship delivery robots, Skeleton ultracapacitors and Guardtime’s cryptographic verification services, among others. The close collaboration of academia and industry is one of the cornerstones of Estonian innovation policy.

A good education system, modern laboratories and streamlined science management have made Estonia a place where 21st century success stories are born. Combined with a pleasant and safe living environment, Estonia is attractive for science and business talents from around the world.

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Text complied by Arko Olesk and Estonian Research Council with the support of ERDF (2019). Photos: Ingel Martin and Renee Altrov