ITEE Digital Connected Economy is a new Centre of Excellence to be established in Estonia. The aim of the Centre is to support knowledge transfer between universities and the private sector and to accelerate research and development to create new technologies. The center is a joint venture between University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology and the University of Edinburgh.

The Centre of Excellence will develop the critical mass, sustainability and international competitiveness of Estonian ICT research develop new solutions for several streams of challenges. Besides fundamental and applied research and development, the center will create better opportunities for cooperation with companies and to build a suitable environment for new global business ideas. Today’s digitally connected economy requires new data driven e-services, smart environments, big data driven healthcare solutions, as well as cybersecurity and trust of the information society. Working with datasets and artificial intelligence in the widest sense will build a strong base for developing other areas. The work that will be done in the Centre of Excellence will contribute towards promoting Estonian economy through the key area of smart specialization.

In order to establish the Centre of Excellence we are working on a Horizon2020 proposal, more specifically the business plan and second round proposal. If successful, Estonia will acquire necessary funds from the European Commission. Additionally, success also requires support from the government to achieve a sufficient sustainable budget.

ITEE proposal was chosen in a Europe-wide competition from 169 applications into the next round where 9 successful candidates will be picked from the 31 finalists. The deadline for the business plan is May 2016 and in June the final proposal will be submitted.