The Estonian Research Council (ETAg) supports strategic R&D within the framework of RITA in accordance with Directive No. 1.1-2/17/15 of the Minister of Education and Research of 27 January 2017, ‘Strengthening of sectoral R&D (RITA)’, approval of the conditions for the provision of support.
The budget for RITA is 28 063 051 euros, 85% (23 765 359 euros) of which is covered by the European Regional Development Fund.
The programme aims to:
- increase the role of the state in the strategic steering of research, including in the setting of priorities and the managing of research towards tackling the challenges faced by society;
- strengthen the competency and capabilities of the Ministries to organise applied research and use it to tackle socio-economic problems;
- raise the effectiveness of collaboration among Ministries, state and R&D institutions in planning and conducting R&D in line with national objectives, and boost the capabilities of Estonian R&D institutions in carrying out applied research;
- develop research strands important for the state and support the emergence of the next generation of researchers in these research areas as well as increase the gender balance in the staffing of positions, and the consideration of gender aspects in research.
What do we support?
As part of the activity ‘Support for knowledge-based policy formulation’, the Estonian Research Council supports topical applied research intended to address issues that require speedy intervention. In the selection of projects to be supported, emphasis is placed on their relevance and topicality: the projects supported provide preparation for specific interventions (regulation, action or the like).
The Ministries determine the research needs and topics for applied research in the relevant areas. The Ministries will cofinance the projects with 50%.
What is the objective of support for knowledge-based policy formulation?
The activity ‘Support for knowledge-based policy formulation’ aims to increase the groundedness in research and evidence of the decision-making processes of the state in policy formulation, increase the role of the state in the strategic managing of research and in the determination of priorities, and improve the capabilities of Estonian R&D institutions to carry out research based on the needs of the state.
As a result of the activity, the volume of national and socio-economical (applied) research will increase, and research institutions will be incentivised to perform research needed for the state and to collaborate with government institutions. The activity contributes to the evolution of the state into a smart client for applied research and user of research results, placing the organisation of research conducted for socio-economic purposes on a systematic foundation and increasing the role of the Ministries in defining the priorities for research, development and innovation policy (RDI).
What is the amount of the support?
The budget for the activity ‘Support for knowledge-based policy formulation’ is 5 000 000 euros, 50% (2 500 000 euros) of which is covered from the funds of the European Regional Development Fund, the rest being the Ministries’ own contribution.
During the budget period, applications can be submitted on an ongoing basis. Applied research is commissioned by the Ministries. Research topics and the annual financial threshold are approved by the evaluation committee at ETAg, appointed from among the Ministries’ R&D advisers or R&D contact persons. Generally, the average cost of a study is in the order of 50 000 euros and it lasts from 3 months to 18 months.
What are the requirements for the applicant?
Up to the preset amount, the Ministries commission research on the agreed topics in accordance with their internal procedure for commissioning research. Selection and commissioning of research is the responsibility of the Ministry.
When may the support be applied for?
Once research topics and the annual financial threshold have been approved, the Ministry will arrange for the commissioning of research in accordance with its internal procedure for commissioning research. The setting of call deadlines depends on the Ministries. The first call for proposals is scheduled to open during the second and third quarter of 2016.
What are applications evaluated on?
Selection and commissioning of research is the responsibility of the sectoral Ministry, which may enlist the assistance of ETAg for this if needed. Evaluation of applications is the responsibility of the Ministry, which lays down its own evaluation criteria and evaluation procedure.
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