UT and TUT get an opportunity to participate in US Army’s multimillion-dollar medical technology projects

Yesterday the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology joined the US-based Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium. Thereby the expertise of the two leading universities of Estonia will reach the US Army who purchases innovative products and services through the consortium.

“The universities in Estonia and Estonia as a whole have so far successfully participated in European Union programmes, and joining the consortium will hopefully enhance the global reach of the University of Tartu and Tallinn Technical University,” said Erik Puura, Vice Rector for Development of the University of Tartu. “Again, we would like to recognise the initiative of Harry Huge, the Honorary Consul of Estonia in Charleston, whose work has resulted in these cooperation relations,” Puura added.

According to TUT Vice-Rector for Innovation and Business Relations Tea Varrak, other European universities are not known to have been invited to join the consortium, which is why the two universities of Estonia will have an excellent opportunity to find new cooperation and business partners in the USA, expand their networks and participate in new health technology projects. “In addition, it is a good opportunity for cooperation within Estonia, because the scientists of the two leading universities have to collaborate more to contribute to major medical technology projects,” Varrak said.

According to TUT Professor of the Faculty of Information Technology Mart Min, Estonian researchers have long-standing traditions of working in the field of medical technology. “Unfortunately, practical outputs have been limited, because the introduction of new technology in medicine requires a lot of testing, especially in view of clinical trials,” said Min and hoped that the cooperation will open an additional channel for putting research results into practice, and also give a chance to earn extra funds to continue research.

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is a network of universities, industrial enterprises, NGOs and government institutions, who under a contract provide innovative products and services to the US Army and commercialise them in the private market. Currently, there are 86 MTEC members. The priorities of the consortium include the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, care of combat casualties, clinical medicine, medical training and health information. To support cooperation in research & development and technology transfer, MTEC announces two proposal request rounds a year to its members for innovative solutions, and up to six million US dollars are awarded for one long-term project. The next application round for funding new projects will be made public at the beginning of 2017.

Additional information:
Erik Puura, Vice Rector for Development of the University of Tartu, erik.puura@ut.ee, 737 4802, 506 9882
Tea Varrak, Vice-Rector for Innovation and Business Relations of Tallinn University of Technology, tea.varrak@ttu.ee, 620 3527