​​​​​​​Study on knowledge-based entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector

A study of Estonia’s knowledge-based business ecosystem has been completed, providing a detailed overview of the companies in the sector and the services they provide and looking at the opportunities and barriers to development in health technologies.

The study identified nine critical bottlenecks in the knowledge-based business ecosystem:

  1. Estonia’s limited experience in developing knowledge-based entrepreneurship, particularly in the healthcare sector;
  2. lack of awareness of the knowledge-based business ecosystem, its actors and the potential mutually beneficial impact;
  3. shortage of large and successful, as well as new and starting, companies and success stories;
  4. insufficient knowledge and experience in intellectual property commercialisation;
  5. poor collaboration with clinical partners, incl. in developing development platforms (e.g. lack of processes and incentive system);
  6. limited funding opportunities, considering the length of the development cycle;
  7. limited capacity to attract (international) investment;
  8. poor entrepreneurial skills in start-ups and existing enterprises;
  9. shortage of labour force with the right skills and experience.

The forthcoming strategy for developing healthcare start-ups for 2023–2028 will address how to overcome the obstacles identified in the study.

The study was completed under the project “Services for the Creation and Development of Knowledge-based Start-ups and Development of the Knowledge-based Business Ecosystem in Estonia”, and representatives of the Estonian healthcare industry from both the public and private sectors were involved in its preparation. The authors were the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu Science Park and the Tehnopol Science and Business Park. The project is funded by the Start-up Estonia programme (no. EU60971) under the European Regional Development Fund and implemented in cooperation with AS SmartCap.

Read the study report (in Estonian)

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