Research news: collaboration between enterprises and researchers, cancer metastasis, vocalisations and composition of clay

Research news regularly informs you of interesting studies in various fields of research.

Social Sciences

Is there any hope for an enterprise inexperienced in innovation to effectively collaborate with academic researchers?

Most enterprises in Estonia are very small. Sigrid Rajalo and Maaja Vadi studied what enterprises with low innovative capabilities expected from collaboration with an academic partner. It appears that the motivation symmetry between partners is a crucial factor of effective collaboration. What is more surprising is the result suggesting that entrepreneurs expect researchers to contribute more motivation to the collaboration than the business practitioners themselves do. The prospects of enterprises with limited innovation capacities and experience are therefore not hopeless: the collaborating researcher’s motivation could help balance their limitations. Science policy measures should encourage this.

Read further in the article.

Further information:
Sigrid Rajalo, doctoral student, School of Economics and Business Administration,
Maaja Vadi, Professor of Management,


Artificial intelligence helps detect cancer metastasis

Cancer metastasis is one of the most significant causes of cancer morbidity. The accurate identification of a cancer’s origin and the types of cancer cells it comprises is crucial for prescribing the best treatment options for patients. The research study used artificial intelligence to identify cancer cells and their origin. Artificial intelligence was shown to be able to determine the type of cancer cells with an accuracy of 99%.

Read more in the article.

Further information:
Andres Salumets,  Professor of Reproductive Genomics,
Vijayachitra Modhukur, Research Fellow of Bioinformatics,

Arts and Humanities

Can people from different cultures understand each other with the use of non-linguistic vocalisations?
The answer is yes. A recent study published in Nature with the participation of the University of Tartu scientists found that the linguistic form (sequence of sounds) we use to denote a thing or phenomenon is not entirely random. We use iconicity to name living creatures and items – it means that their form is related to their linguistic representation and the relationship is understandable across languages. This has opened the door to the development of semantic breath in the evolution of language.

Read more in the article.

Further information: Pärtel Lippus, Associate Professor of Estonian Phonetics,

Science and Technology

Novel method helps to determine the mineral components of clay

Studies of the composition of clay-based materials are valuable for the fields of cultural heritage and archaeology, geology, medicine and cosmetics, etc. A great advantage of the new quantitative method developed at the University of Tartu is that the method is quick and easy to use, and enables to analyse very small samples. The new method has already been used to analyse the quantitative composition of archaeological and cultural heritage objects that are significant for Estonia, for example the terracota sculptures of Tartu St John’s Church, the bricks of Tartu Cathedral and archaeological pottery fragmets from Narva Joaorg.

Read more in the article.

Further information: Signe Vahur, Research Fellow in Analytical and Physical Chemistry,