Enterprise Estonia to support ten projects related to export, product development and digitalization and creative industry with more than half a million euros.
“It is a pleasure to see than the design contest that has been organised for the first time has fully justified itself. The contest received many brilliant initiatives and I am convinced that many Estonian companies will also benefit from all the supported projects in the long run. For the success of the Estonian economy, it is very important that we have strong professional associations, which the presented projects undoubtedly verified,” Director of Grant Centre of Enterprise Estonia Monica Hankov said.
The professional associations and business representative organisations submitted a total of 26 ideas to the design contest, and it was decided to finance ten of them with the total of 528,620.60 euros.
The Estonian Association of Architects received funding to implement the project “PuuExpo”, which aims to increase the long-term cooperation of Estonian architects, engineers, and producers of wood both with each other and with foreign architects, providing them with a practical cooperation platform for carrying out the first joint project. “With this project, we would like to introduce the potential of Estonian architecture and wood sector at international level by organising an exposition, which presents experimental wood installations produced with innovative solutions. In addition, we would like to use the internationally travelling exposition to introduce Estonia as a country applying environmentally friendly design and production principles,” Managing Director of the Estonian Association of Architects Ingrid Mald said.
With the help of the grant, the Estonian Design Centre is planning to implement the project “Ringdisain” [“Circular design”], which aims to raise the awareness of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of circular design, provide them with practical opportunities to participate in eco-innovation and move towards the circular economy. “To ensure that companies could remain competitive and manage in a sustainable manner in the future, there must be a change both in thinking and business models. Circular design reduces business expenses and helps to minimize the overall environmental impact of products and services while improving the reputation of companies. At the same time, circular design contributes to seizing new growth opportunities,” Project Manager of the Estonian Design Centre Kaire Rannik said.
The Centre of Architecture has previously received funding as part of the project contest for the implementation of the project “PuitAit vol. 1”, which proved to be a very successful one. “While the first PuitAIT was a mentoring and training programme, aimed at finding a common part of architecture, engineering, and industry in the sector of the wood and wood house industry, the project of the Centre of Architecture “PuitAIT vol. 3” also received funding this time, and it aims to develop and test a new business model through the digitalization of the sales and supply chain, where the collaboration between the wood house producers, architects, and IT sector would allow to largely digitize the marketing, sales, and design part of the supply chain, be resource efficient, and provide the customer with significant added value and valuate our export production,” Project Manager of the Estonian Centre of Architecture Ragne Soosalu said.
Other funded projects were the project of the Association of Estonian Marine Industries “Meretööstuse liitruum” [“Combined space of marine industry”], the project of Organic Estonia MTÜ “Organic Estonia suurprojekt 2018” [“Major project of Organic Estonia 2018”], the project of the Estonian Food Industry Association “Välismessi Anuga 2019 ühiskülastus Kölnis” [“Joint visit to the foreign fair Anuga 2019 in Cologne”], the project of the Association of Estonian Printing and Packaging Industry “ETPL ekspordi tugitegevus 2019” [“Export support activities of the Association of Estonian Printing and Packaging Industry 2019”], and the project of the Estonian Defence Industry Association “ITAR – Innovatsioon ning teadus- ja arendustegevus rahvusvaheliseks” [“ITAR – internationalize innovation and research and development”]. With regard to creative industry, the project of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry “Loomemajandusettevõtete ekspordi arenguprogramm” [“Development programme of the export of the companies of creative industry” and the project of Tartu Centre for Creative Industries “Ettevõtlusalane õpe noortele moedisaineritele” [“Business studies for young fashion designers”] were also funded.
It was possible to submit ideas to the contest in two different thematic areas. The first includes export, product development, and digitalization, and the other one covers raising awareness of creative industries and linking creative industries to other sectors. The total cost of the project submitted to the design contest could be between 5,000–200,000 euros, depending on the type of the project.
The design contest is a new service, which replaces the previous project contest targeted at professional associations, and it aims to find new ideas that would be beneficial for many companies in the long run and also sustainable after the end of the implemented projects as a result of the contest. The contest was carried out in cooperation between Enterprise Estonia, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of Culture.
The design contest is financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.