The impact of the SEBA research activities on the society
The impact of the SEBA research activities on the society will be opened on the example of four cases. By each case is provided the logical sequence of activities – how the basic research has created foundations (capabilities, people) and lead to the applied research which in total has resulted in the significant outcome which has visible impact on the society.
CASE A – Research about the innovation system of countries, innovation policy studies
· In 2008 SEBA research group (head prof. U. Varblane) was successful in competition and obtained basic research grant „The path dependent model of the innovation system: development and implementation in the case of a small country“ financed by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (EMER) between 2008-2013 (total funding 985 000 EUR). It was aimed to develop the model of national innovation system and its implementation mechanisms for the small country, which accounts for path dependency and ensures sustainable economic development. In addition SEBA researchers had two closely related Estonian Science Foundation grants: ETF 8311 “Innovation indicators for catching-up countries” which was fulfilled between 01.01.2010-31.12.2013 and ETF8580 “Demand as a Driver of Innovation: Implications for Innovation Policy in a Small Country” during period between 01.01.2011-31.12.2014
Based on the knowledge obtained from the basic research the research group of SEBA (head prof.U.Varblane and prof. K.Ukrainski) together with research group from Tallinn University of Technology (head prof. R.Kattel) fulfilled between 2011-2015 an applied research project “The Research and Innovation Policy Monitoring Programme (TIPS Programme)”commissioned by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (total volume 1,2 million EUR). The programme was aimed to provide high quality research competencies for policymaking and strategic development of Estonian research, development and innovation (RDI) policy. It consisted of seven work packages :
- Intellectual property rights in research and development
- Public funding of research activities in Estonia
- Leadership and management models of Estonian research and development institutions
- Management of cooperation between higher education institutions and industry
- Complex analysis of research, development and innovation policy
- Internationalisation of research, development and innovation activities
- Designing the Estonian research, development and innovation strategy for 2014-2020
Among several outcomes of the research project were policy recommendations for the implementation of the Estonian Research, Development and Innovation strategy (2007-2013) and SEBA researchers jointly with the team from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research prepared the draft of the new Estonian Research and Development and Innovation Strategy 2014-2020 “Knowledge-based Estonia”. Another outcome was recommendations given to the Estonian Research Council how to change the research funding policy of Estonia. They were used by the working group of Estonian Research Council in order to present to the Estonian government the recommendations for the new system of research funding. Even more important outcome was the policy learning process of officials from the EMER and ERC.
The overall impact of the SEBA research group was a change in the Estonian research funding regulations, which will be 50% of competitive (project) based and 50% institution based.
CASE B – Research on labour economics and migration
· Research group of SEBA headed by prof. R.Eamets and prof.T.Paas have been successful in applying basic research grants domestically and internationally. Involvement in the following two international projects were most important. NORFACE project “Migrant Diversity and Regional Disparity in Europe” (duration 01.10.2009-30.09.2013) addressed the mostly unexplored but challenging dimension of European immigration, namely the impact of the spatial distribution, composition and dynamics of diverse migration flows on socio-economic disparity and individual wellbeing across regions. EU 7th framework project "STYLE – Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe” (duration 01.03.2014-30.09.2017) is targeted to conduct a comparative EU wide analysis on youth unemployment that is sensitive to gender, ethnic and class differences and the historical legacies of multi-level institutions shaping relevant policies.
· The basic research has been accompanied by the various applied projects, which are targeted to the different aspects of labour market and migration issues. For example the joint project of EU Commission and ILO “Inequalities in the World of Work: The Effects of the Crisis Assessment and Policy Answers”(2010), Estonian Trade Union Confederation project “The role of labour market flexibility in creation of flexicurity policy in Estonia" (2010), Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs project “National Mobility of the Working Force” ( 2011), “Study of Estonian Higher Education Graduates of 2009” (2010-2011) etc.
· The clear impact of the SEBA research group has been recommendations to change the Aliens Act of the Republic of Estonia in 2013, which were targeted to reform and simplify the process how qualified labour could enter Estonia and hired by the firms. This has been accompanied with the policy learning process in Estonian society, which has been driven by the four migration conferences organized by SEBA and Nordic Council of Ministers.
CASE C. Research on entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer system of the universities
· Research group of SEBA headed by prof. T. Mets has done substantial research in the field of the theoretical model of the entrepreneurial university as well about the university industry cooperation models (prof. U.Varblane). The major basic research grant is 7th framework project BGPROCESS - Smart entrepreneurial process for knowledge society (01.05.2014-30.04.2017) aimed to develop and validate a novel model of entrepreneurial process for new venture creation. Another project was INTERREG IV A project CB ENTREINT “Central Balticum Entrepreneurship Interaction" (2011-2013) focused on the analysis of the entrepreneurship training needs for the entrepreneurship teachers and analysis of the buzz platforms in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
· The basic research about the entrepreneurial university has been useful foundation for the different applied projects and activities within the University of Tartu as well outside. EU structural funds based Primus project “Development of the methodology and learning materials of entrepreneurship for the Estonian institutions of higher education” (2013) was crucial in order to form consortia of Estonian institutions of higher and vocational education – CEI (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation). The consortia was able to consolidate and systematize the best entrepreneurship learning experience in Estonia and jointly aimed to improve situation in this field. It was obtained through the program funded from the EU structural funds “Act and Success” (6 Million EUR). Within the “The Research and Innovation Policy Monitoring Programme (TIPS Programme)” funded by EMER the special workpackage “Intellectual property rights in research and development” was executed 2011-2013 by the research group of SEBA and Faculty of Law researchers (prof.A.Kelli). Important applied work of the research group was to fulfil Estonian Development Fund project “The processing of statistical survey data on the entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurship activity of the Estonian population” and “Compilation of the chapters of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Estonia report” ( 2014-2015)
· The overall impact of the research has been the establishment of the whole system of entrepreneurial education in the University of Tartu as well in the whole Estonia.
SEBA research group has obtained the role of coordinator of the consortia, dealing with the entrepreneurship learning activities of Estonia on all levels of education. Another impact is the creation and running of the training and support-system of the development for knowledge-driven high potential startups (Idea Lab of the University of Tartu). The most visible result of the many years of the previous work in this direction was the execution in Tartu on the December 7th 2016 the international business festival sTARTUpDAY2016 with almost 3000 participants from many countries. Fundamental paradigm change of the Tartu University has been the move since 2015 that in all Faculties of the University of Tartu entrepreneurship has been offered as the compulsory element of the study program.
For the international entrepreneurship research community very important outcome was the execution of the Estonian survey of the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) in 2013 and 2014, which made Estonia also internationally comparable.
In general the work of this research group has resulted in the visible impact on the change on the entrepreneurial culture in Estonia.
CASE D. Research on the organizational behaviour and management
· Organizational behaviour, organizational culture and human resource management has been important field of research for SEBA headed by prof. M.Vadi, who have been successful in applying basic research grants domestically and internationally. Three most important international basic research projects were following: EU 7th framework project "SEARCH - Sharing KnowledgE Assets: InteRegionally Cohesive NeigHborhoods” (2011-2014), EU DG Home Affairs project PRIVACOR “Reducing Corruption: focusing on private sector corruption” (2014-2016) and European Centre of the Development of Vocational Training project CEDEFOP “Learning cultures in organisations” (2015-2017) . The last project was aimed to understand how the learning culture in organizations contributes to their economic success at the enterprises in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Slovenia and Portugal. In addition the research group fulfilled Estonian Science Foundation grant 7018 “Service Organizations From The Perspective Of Oforganizational Behavior: Some Influencing Factors and Trends” (01.01.2007-31.12.2010), which investigated relationship between the organizational behavior and the performance of the service organizations.
· The SEBA research group has provided many applied research projects both for public and private sector. Enterprise Estonia funded project “Research of Estonian management: 2010” (2010-2011) evaluated the management of Estonian firms by its main functions (planning, organizing, influencing, and controlling). Nonprofit organization FinanceEstonia funded the project “ The State, Future Demand and Promotion of the Estonian Financial Sector's Human Resources” (2014) aimed to elaborate proposals for training and development of Estonian financial sector specialists. Within the “The Research and Innovation Policy Monitoring Programme (TIPS Programme)” funded by EMER the special workpackage “Leadership and management models of Estonian research and development institutions” was executed 2013-2015 by the research group of SEBA. Most recent project “Best Practices of Management in University of Tartu” (2016-2017), where based on qualitative research best practices of management are drafted and initiatives for future development are suggested.
· The impact of the research on the Estonian business promotion system is visible. The recommendations derived from the SEBA research about the Estonian management created active feedback from the business sector and were used by the Enterprise Estonia (the Estonian business promotion agency). They created a new supporting instrument Enterprise Development Programme aimed to the improvement of management capabilities of Estonian managers.