Jürgen Randma

University's Head of Entrepreneurship Mart Maasik visited Copenhagen to gather experience of combining business and research

Mart Maasik visited Copenhagen as a member of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' business delegation to develop investment relations and cooperation in the region, and to learn how business and research cooperation is organised at the Technical University of Denmark.

One part of the visit was an Estonian-Danish business seminar aimed at strengthening cooperation between investment environments to jointly attract more research-intensive business investment to the Baltic and Nordic countries, and give a closer look at Estonia's start-up ecosystem.

According to Maasik, the Baltic and even the Nordic countries, taken separately, do not enjoy the same global investor focus as the North American and Asian regions. However, we could attract significantly more interest by acting as a single investment environment. "Together, we form a unique region thanks to our strengths and advantages. When acting alone, these are not enough," Maasik explained.

At the seminar, he introduced the advantages of the Estonian start-up ecosystem and the secrets of success. "We told the Danish audience about our experiences and the journey that has brought us here. In return, we wanted to get a reflection on what else we should focus on in the future and where we should cooperate more," Maasik said.

From Denmark, the seminar was attended by Anders Bjarklev, President of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and the leaders of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which has been building business and research cooperation for the past ten years.

Last year, DTU carried out 1,884 projects in partnership with entrepreneurs and, by the end of the year, had signed 30 partnership agreements with companies such as Novo Nordisk, Maersk and Alfa Laval. Students of DTU founded 57 start-ups and staff 14. The university has 300 contracts for using its intellectual property, 44 of which were signed last year.

One of the objectives of the visit was to learn from the experience of DTU. "Their systematic and thorough approach is impressive, and we have a lot to learn from it," said Maasik.

DTU has been of interest to Maasik for a long time, and now he could get a comprehensive overview of its work, which will also help to foster future cooperation between the University of Tartu and entrepreneurs. "At the same time, the activities of DTU are narrower than those of the University of Tartu, which means that our cooperation can be more complex but also more exciting," said Maasik.

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