Estonian Research Council, a new funding agency for Estonian research, was established on 1 March 2012.
Estonian Research Council is a governmental foundation that was established on the basis of the Estonian Science Foundation and combined with the Research Cooperation Centre, a department of the Archimedes Foundation, acting as a Seventh Framework Programme National Contact Point. Estonian Research Council was established to concentrate the funding of R&D and guarantee the better functioning of financing systems. The body is the main funding organization of R&D, consolidating different grants and types of funding and giving research more visibility in the society.
The main functions of the Estonian Research Council are executed by the following departments:
Department of Research Funding is responsible for the distribution of institutional and personal grants and the handling of grant applications. The Department of Research Funding includes several national programmes for research: Health R&D programme, Environmental Conservation and Environmental Technology R&D Programme and Estonian Research Infrastructures Roadmap activities.
Department of R&D Analysis assesses the effectiveness of grants and availability of research information, as well as monitors intellectual property creation and usage.
Department of International Research Cooperation acts as a National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Framework programme. The department offers counseling on Horizon 2020, coordinates participation in the COST network and consults mobile researchers through the EURAXESS network. Estonian Research Council is also responsible for cooperation with Science Europe, European Science Foundation, coordination of BONUS, ERA-NET and other international, bi- and multinational cooperation programmes.
Science Communication Department runs a wide variety of science communication activities in close cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian National Broadcasting and Estonian Society of Science Journalists. The department is currently handling nine state-financed nationwide science communication programmes addressing everybody from the young to the general public. This includes the organization of a contest for the Estonian Science Communication Award, production of two science programmes in the Estonian National Television, launching a web-portal aimed at young people that promotes career options in Science and Technology.
Estonian Research Council is the authorized processor of the Estonian Research Information system, the information channel for submitting and processing grant applications, as well as submitting and confirming project reports. The Council also acts as the help desk to the Estonian Research Information System.