Approximately 1.3 billion Estonian kroons from the European Regional Development Fund, EE (Enterprise Estonia), and Estonian enterprises will be invested into eight competence centres this year and over the next couple of years, resulting in new innovative products and services and an increase in the capabilities of researchers, stems and universities.
“The programme of competence centres which has been funded from the European Regional Development Fund is a EE programme which could best be described as one of the most ambitious, and one which is aimed at enterprises and researchers, offering them a huge future potential,” relates Mr Ilmar Pralla, the director for the Innovation Division of EE. Competence centres (or CCs) have a great role to play in influencing the competitiveness of Estonian enterprises. Research that is required by Estonian enterprises for product development purposes is the main function of research institutions which have been established as the result of co-operation between enterprises and institutions of higher education.
Eight competence centres which are to be allocated more than 900 million Estonian kroons from the assets of the European Regional Development Fund were short-listed at the beginning of May from a total of fourteen applicants. The maximum amount to be allocated to each development centre is 120 million Estonian kroons. Enterprises which team up with the development centres will invest an additional 400 million Estonian kroons into these research institutions.
The main fields of three-field, four-field, and one-field short-listed enterprises are IT and electronics, bio-technology (food products and medicine), and materials, respectively. Estonia has strong enterprise and research bases in these fields.
Two types of enterprise have mainly been responsible for joining the competence centres, these being large-scale production enterprises or providers of services which are capable of selling products or services which themselves emerge as the result of research work, and smaller enterprises which offer them development work. “Such combinations work very well; several smaller development companies have also concentrated around Nokia, having brought success to Finland with this synergetic model,” Mr Pralla explains.
Eight of founders and partners of CCs are well-known enterprises which include the North Estonia Medical Centre, Leibur, Valio, Võru Cheese Factory, Estiko Plastar, Andrese Klaas, Evikon MCI, Webmedia, Regio, Skype, Swedbank, Delfi, East Tallinn Medical Centre, Dairy Co-operative E-Piim, the Animal Breeders Association of Estonia, etc.
APCI is organising its 8th design and innovation conference next January in Paris.
Taking forward issues that were approached in the previous years (design practice, changes in society), this year's edition will concentrate on specific issues: professional development and design as a driver of citizenship.
The first day of the conference will focus on the career path of design professionals. Various speakers will expose their « mid-career » transformation. What are the motivations and the opportunities that took them beyond (studio) practice? What does their creative training and experience bring to their new activities? How did they gain the skills required to succeed in a new profession ? Why, and how designers become « entrepreneurs »?
The second day is co-organised by APCI, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, and the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid).
During the day, the following issues will be addressed:
- the broad impact of the WDC application process on the regional design resources (professionals, clients, schools, institutions etc.) ;
- an essential axis of Helsinki's project: using design to promote citizen's welfare. The municipality (and the neighbouring ones) intend to transform « public service » using design approaches and design thinking ;
- starting a dialog between Helsinki, ambassador of a european spirit of design, and the global challenges of the profession. In other words, to what extent, and how, design might contribute to build communities that can evolve in harmony ?
Where? Auditorium, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris. When? Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 January, 2011. How much?
> 350 € for both days (includes lunch) before Dec. 15; 520 € after;
> 220 € for one day, if registration is done before Dec. 15; 300 € after;
> student (student card required): 1 day 40 €, 2 days 60 €;
> special « school group » fees: please contact us.
Registration and programme are at the following link: http://www.weezevent.com/EuropeanConference
Meet exceptional speakers from broad horizons, and get the opportunity to network with most european design support organisations and colleagues.
Register before December 15 to benefit from a exceptional discounted fee (350€ instead of 520€ after Dec. 15)
I am looking forward to welcoming you in Paris
Project manager APCI
Thomas Neumann ORGANISATSIOONID
IN eeskujudAndrei Korobeinik
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