University of Tartu to participate in European manufacturing innovation network

7 November saw the official inauguration of the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community EIT Manufacturing in Paris. EIT Manufacturing is one of eight knowledge and innovation communities in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) network. The University of Tartu will join the community to use the network to increase cooperation with international and Estonian companies and obtain foreign funding for the development of new technological solutions.

The European Union manufacturing sector includes more than two million companies that employ close to 30 million people, accounting for almost 20% of the EU’s total GDP. The main goal of manufacturing is to keep up with rapid technological advancement and devise solutions that follow the principles of circular economy. EIT Manufacturing is designed to support the development of these solutions.

Head of the University of Tartu Grant Office Taivo Raud said that EIT Manufacturing wishes to contribute to the leap in the development of manufacturing technology by putting the technology developed in labs into everyday use. The university’s strengths in this cooperation are robotics, smart materials and technology related to the development of artificial intelligence, and it hopes to reach marketable products in these fields. “Participation in this network clearly has an invigorating effect,” said Raud. “The university’s membership also creates new opportunities for Estonian companies.” The university also participates in the network’s training activities.

“The University of Tartu Institute of Technology is preparing several cooperation projects in relation to EIT Manufacturing,” said Karl Kruusamäe, Associate Professor in Robotics at the University of Tartu Institute of Technology. “Participating companies include Siemens and Comau, with Vienna and Delft Universities of Technology offering additional academic support. The main objective of our first cooperation projects is to increase technological know-how in order to enhance the skills of current employees in the manufacturing sector and train technology officers, engineers and entrepreneurs with contemporary knowledge for the European economic space.”

EIT Manufacturing comprises 50 partners from 17 countries. In addition to research institutions, it includes several leading global manufacturing companies, such as Volvo and Whirlpool EMEA. The network aims to create 1000 start-ups, train 50,000 employees and considerably increase the number of green start-ups by 2026.

Head of the University of Tartu Grant Office Taivo Raud said that participation in the network’s innovation community will also benefit Estonian enterprises. “As a member of the network,” said Raud, “we gain access to new cooperation partners, facilities and fields in the manufacturing sector.” There are many ways to join EIT innovation support activities: training and educational programmes, innovation projects and business incubators and accelerators.

The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent body funded by the European Union and designed to boost Europe’s competitiveness and innovation capacity in manufacturing and service sectors with great added value. As of 2018, the University of Tartu also participates in the urban mobility network and is a full member of the EIT Health innovation community that focuses on the field of health. EIT will increase the funding of new networks to up to 50 million euros in the next three years.

For further information, please contact: Taivo Raud, Head of UT Grant Office, 737 6193, 5645 6580,

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