Research infrastructure

Cutting-edge research requires a high-quality infrastructure for conducting experiments and for collecting, managing, storing and analysing data. Research infrastructures also include know-how, methods, materials, activities and services that support the creation of new knowledge in research. The Estonian Research Infrastructure Roadmap provides an overview of the research infrastructure objects used by Estonian research institutions.

 

The University of Tartu is involved in 17 infrastructure objects.

Coordinator: University of Tartu 
Partners: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, Tartu Observatory, Estonian Environment Agency
Cintact: Leho Ainsaar, leho.ainsaar@ut.ee

The Estonian Environmental Observatory is an integrated network of experimental environment stations developed jointly by Estonian research institutions, covering atmosphere and climate studies, biodiversity studies and marine environment studies.  

The network of experimental stations monitors and engages in the experimental analysis of wildlife and the state of their living environment. The key tasks of the environmental observatory are to analyse the exchange of energy and matter between atmosphere and biosphere, including marine ecosystems, questions related to the adaptation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to global changes, above all changes in biodiversity and bioproductivity. 


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Coordinator: University of Tartu
Partners: Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University, Estonian Museum of Natural History, The Environmental Board
Contact: Urmas Kõljalg, urmas.koljalg@ut.ee

Natural History Archives and Information Network is an integrated infrastructure based on natural science collections and open data. The open data information system developed by NATARC covers all data types related to Estonian natural science collections. NATARC collections and information system can serve as a basis for interdisciplinary research, nature education applications and the assessment of the state of endangered species and ecosystems.   

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Coordinator: University of Tartu
Partners: Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Environmental Research Centre
Contact: Ivo Leito, ivo.leito@ut.ee

ECAC has a wide range of potential beneficiaries. These include all fields of natural science and technology from basic and applied research to monitoring the quality of the output of industrial processes, but also studies of industrial production and different types of materials, which call for methods of analytical chemistry. The organisation includes three distributed core laboratories that bring together the equipment and know-how of ECAC partners. The core laboratories develop analytical methods, analyse samples and organise professional training

Core laboratories:

  • bio-medicinal, food and environment core laboratory
  • materials, structure and microanalysis core laboratory
  • industrial, legal and applied core laboratory

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Coordinator: University of Tartu
Partners: Tallinn University of Technology, The National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics
Contact: Vambola Kisand, vambola.kisand@ut.ee

The Center of Nanomaterials Technologies and Research aims to develop a cutting-edge infrastructure for manufacturing, studying and implementing nanomaterials and developing it into an attractive multifunctional centre providing R&D services in nanotechnology and nano-safety using the high-level research capability of its partners. More than 20 institutions use NAMUR+.  


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Coordinator: University of Tartu
Contact: Marco Kirm, marco.kirm@ut.ee

The Estonian-Finnish beamline FinEstBeAMS is located at the MAX-IV laboratory’s 1.5 GeV synchrotron in Lund, Sweden and is designed for materials and atmospheric physics studies. FinEstBeAMS allows a large number of researchers and companies to conduct studies on the electronic structure and energy relaxation process of free molecules, atmospheric and nanoparticles, clusters, liquids, solids and their surfaces for obtaining basic knowledge and applied purposes.


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Contact: Antti Tamm, antti.tamm@ut.ee

Memebership status: full member since 2015

Webpage: www.esa.int/ESA

Estonian coordinator: Enn Lust, enn.lust@ut.ee

Estonia’s membership status: founding member (2015)

The European Spallation Source is an international cooperation project between 17 European countries, the aim of which is to build and maintain a research infrastructure object of the next generation, which is mainly designed for medical, biochemistry and materials studies with the use of neutrons. ESS is to be built in Lund, Sweden, and its computing centre will operate in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is estimated that the research infrastructure will be completed by 2025.

Thanks to ESS, Estonian researchers and engineers can access a unique research infrastructure that can be used to perform innovative, high-impact work in different fields of research.

Wepbage
 

Health and food science

 

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Lead institution: University of Tartu
Contact: Andres Metspalu, andres.metspalu@ut.ee

The objective of the Estonian Center for Genomics is to meet the needs of Estonian R&D in terms of genome analysis, including competitive participation in international collaborations and applications in healthcare and entrepreneurship. The temporal reference database for genomic data that is being established within the scope of the infrastructure is open to the whole global scientific community for population genetics research. It will provide substantial output for identifying hidden genealogical information, making it possible to increase the statistical power of genetic association studies. With the completion of a special laboratory for old DNA, it is now possible to isolate and purify DNA from archaeological material on site.

 

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Lead institution: University of Tartu
Partner institutions: Tallinn University of Technology, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, National Institute for Health Development
Contact: Jaak Vilo, jaak.vilo@ut.ee

ELIXIR is the European Life-sciences infrastructure for Biological Information that unites 23 countries and is used by hundreds of thousands of researchers in molecular biology, environmental sciences, agriculture and medicine. These researchers create very different data, which need to be analysed with world-class software services and managed by sustainable databases. ELIXIR combines member states' services, tools, training opportunities and databases into a large unified research infrastructure for bioinformatics. Such a unified global research infrastructure helps researchers perform data analysis and interpret the results.  


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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu University Hospital 
Contact person: Katrin Kaarna, katrin.kaarna@ut.ee  

The National Centre for Translational and Clinical Research ensures the availability of technology required for preclinical and clinical research and user support for doctors, researchers, doctoral students, resident doctors and other research team members. The Translational Medicine Centre in Tartu is one of the most cutting-edge centres in central and eastern Europe and deals with the development of different animal models, mainly focussing on studying psychiatric, neurodegenerative and immunoinflammatory diseases and tumours.  

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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Crop Research Institute 
Contact person: Hannes Kollist, hannes.kollist@ut.ee  

The Plant Biology Infrastructure is a developing infrastructure that facilitates the implementation of research-based smart practices for the efficient use of plants, expanding the application fields of plants and developing precise agriculture solutions in Estonia. The research infrastructure includes energy-efficient plant growth facilities, test fields, related equipment and sensor systems for monitoring plants in their growing environment.  

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Estonian coordinator: Toivo Maimets, toivo.maimets@ut.ee  

Estonia's membership status: prospect member since 2019  

Full membership of EMBL allows Estonia to benefit from the European Research Area to a greater degree and access services that it currently lacks or that require improvement, for example, structural biology and accelerator channels, translational medicine and genomics services, bioinformatics and IT services designed for researchers. One important aspect is the member states' better access to the EMBL doctoral and postdoc programmes. Estonia would also benefit from improved access to research equipment, knowledge and training.  


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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Tallinn University, Estonian Libraries Network Consortium, Estonian Literary Museum, National Library of Estonia, National Archives of Estonia 
Contact person: Liisi Lembinen, liisi.lembinen@ut.ee  

E-repository e-Varamu ensures the availability of information resources preserved and created in Estonian research and heritage institutions, which are necessary for R&D and creative activities. Three services are developed: the digitisation and physical conservation of collections and making information available in the E-repository portal.  

  
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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, Statistics Estonia 
Contact person: Tiit Tammaru, tiit.tammaru@ut.ee  

The IMO creates a comprehensive research data infrastructure for conducting studies of the spatial mobility of the population, using both traditional statistics databases and contemporary infotechnological data sources. The unified data infrastructure combines databases that can be used to analyse people's everyday movement, the relationship between spatial mobility and labour market changes and the use of transport, but also long-term changes in the spatial mobility of the population and factors that influence it. Methodological harmonisation, the establishment of data laboratories in partner universities and the creation of a user-friendly remote working environment, which makes the research infrastructure available to a wider audience, play a significant part in establishing the data infrastructure.  


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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Tallinn University of Technology, Institute of the Estonian Language, Estonian Literary Museum 
Contact person: Kadri Vider, kadri.vider@ut.ee  

The Center of Estonian Language Resources (CELR) is a research infrastructure that ensures the availability of digital resources and technology of the Estonian language. The centre functions as a consortium of the University of Tartu, the Institute of the Estonian Language, Tallinn University of Technology and the Estonian Literary Museum and aims to combine existing digital language resources (dictionaries, text and speech corpora and language databases) and language processing tools (software) into mutually functional services equipped with expertise.  


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Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Statistics Estonia 
Contact person: Mare Ainsaar, mare.ainsaar@ut.ee  

The European Social Survey is a social science database, which can be used to analyse and explain the development of society and the relationship between people's attitudes and behaviour. ESS collects data every two years from persons aged 15 and older from nearly 30 countries. The data from each round is added to the existing database to compile a dataset describing the long-term development of societies. The core data contain information about, for example, media consumption, health, trust, participation, welfare, socio-political activity and values, with special topics added on different years. The database covers more than 1,000 research topics. In addition to the database, detailed information about the process of data collection and methodology has been made available for public use. Users can download the information collected free of charge via different statistics programmes and an online program.  

Webpage: www.yti.ut.ee/et/euroopa-sotsiaaluuring

Lead institution: University of Tartu 
Partner institutions: Tallinn University of Technology, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Information Technology Foundation for Education 
Contact person: Ivar Koppel, ivar.koppel@ut.ee  

The Estonian Scientific Computing Infrastructure is a nationwide unified infrastructure consisting of scientific computation centres, the computation clusters therein, supercomputers and data repositories, central services connecting the centres and resources, people specialised in programming, and training of end-users. The services are freely available to all R&D institutions and research-based enterprises.  

  
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