Industry sabbatical is the temporary employment of an academic staff member in a private or public sector institution during which the employee's academic position at the university is retained. This means that in the case of the industry sabbatical, the employee's position at the university is on hold during a particular agreed period.
The main objective of industry sabbatical is to facilitate intersectoral cooperation by increasing the R&D capacity of Estonian private and public sector institutions. If the mobility of researchers and knowledge from universities to private and public sector institutions is encouraged, both sides gain a better understanding of R&D and the development potential this can bring. Industry sabbatical helps researchers advance and diversify their academic career, gain new experience and skills, establish links with other sectors.
As a result, the number of researchers with private and public sector experience in Estonia increases and the knowledge, skills and experience can circulate, helping to strengthen cooperation. By allowing its successful researchers to work in other sectors, the university can serve society and contribute to the development of Estonia as a whole. A national funding scheme "Supporting intersectoral mobility" has been created with the same objective, encouraging Estonian private or public institutions to hire researchers holding a doctoral degree.