University of Tartu to establish an intellectual property investment company

On 30 November, the council of the University of Tartu (UT) decided to establish the company UniTartu Ventures OÜ, adding an opportunity to direct the intellectual property created by UT researchers to research- and technology-intensive companies.

“With a university-owned private limited company, we can help researchers and also students to launch their business by directing the university’s intellectual property to start-ups they establish and by looking for investors for that,” said the UT Vice Rector for Development Erik Puura.

According to UT council member Heidi Kakko, the establishment of UniTartu Ventures OÜ is a long-prepared key decision both for the university and Estonia, creating new opportunities for accelerating research-based entrepreneurship stemming from the university. “In ten years, Estonia has achieved an excellent position in developing start-ups in IT. Now we are aiming to upscale the creation of innovative international companies based on research done also in other fields. The timing is right and the expert knowledge of the researchers of the University of Tartu is the best intellectual capital for investing,” said Kakko.

One objective of the University of Tartu is to be the accelerator of smart economy in Estonia. This also means that the university is more actively participating in the creation of new high-tech companies. The need for a new company mainly resulted from the success and rapid development of the Institute of Genomics, institutes of the Faculty of Science and Technology, the university’s Feasibility Fund and the university’s spin-off programme in recent years.

The university-owned intellectual property to be invested in growing enterprises via UniTartu Ventures may include, for instance, data, research findings or patents. In addition to emerging companies stemming from the university, UniTartu Ventures can also cooperate with other Estonian or international technology companies that are in the early stage and need the intellectual property created at the university to develop.

Further information: Erik Puura, Vice Rector for Development, University of Tartu, 737 4802, 506 9882,

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