Economic expert and entrepreneur Ott Pärna took up the position of Head of Marketing of University of Tartu Delta Centre on 1 October. Erik Puura, UT Vice-Rector for Development, says that the university offered the position of Marketing Director to Pärna to build up and develop the entrepreneurial image of the university.
“We expect Ott to be competent and effective in his work internally, as well as in cooperation with other units of the university, with partners from the business sector and with the community,” he said. “Delta should become an influential international centre for innovation linking various fields of research. The completion of Delta is a great start for a new century of innovation at the university and in Estonia generally.”
The Delta Centre, constructed on the banks of the Emajõgi River, will be the most modern centre for digital technology, analytics and economic ideas and will bring together more than 2500 students, university teachers, scientists and development employees from companies. The UT Delta Centre comprises an academic and research building and an entrepreneurship building.
The Institute of Computer Science, the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, the School of Economics and Business Administration, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and some of the labs of the Institute of Technology will move into the academic and research building in January. The entrepreneurship building will open in March. Its objective is to bring research-based entrepreneurship linked to study and research as close to the university as possible and to provide opportunities for diverse cooperation. The building will be home to the development units of Cybernetica AS, Swedbank AS and Statistics Estonia as well as to the machine learning and data science competence centre STACC OÜ, the innovation centre of AS SEB Pank, the business incubation centre of the European Space Agency and SA Tartu Science Park.
According to Ott Pärna, the combination of academic knowledge and applied development will make Delta a unique and viable innovation centre the likes of which are difficult to find in Europe. “We want to be recognised and become a valuable partner to entrepreneurs as well as the community by bringing together leading experts,” he explained. “The fact that the academic and research building of Delta Centre is set to open on 29 January, the date of the Startup Day 2020 conference, which is the biggest startup festival in the Baltic States started by UT, is a landmark event in itself.”
Ott Pärna has a PhD in economics and has studied in a number of universities in Europe and Asia. He was the founder of SCULT, the International Sport Volunteers Movement, and the think-tank ESTCORP. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Let’s Do it World Cleanup campaign. Ott has been the founder and CEO of Estonian Development Fund and a Management Board Member of SmartCap Venture Capital Ltd. As an expert on technology and innovation policy, Pärna has led the establishment of SA Tallinna Teaduspark TEHNOPOL and the development of Estonia’s first design policy.