EE - Estonia (National level)

Regional Innovation Performance (2019) Strong

Total population (2019) 1,324,820

Population per km² (2017) 30

Proportion population older 65 year % 19,76%

Regional website

Ministry of Social Affairs

Estonian Research Council


Estonia is a country on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, it has a population of 1.3 million. The countries S3 priorities include e-health; biotechnology; ICT: industry, robotics and embedded systems; ICT: e-governance and data science; materials technologies and enhancement of resources. The country has a national strategy for health research and innovation, and a strategy for e-health.

Healthprofile according to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):

Estonia has experienced gains in health status, but gaps between socioeconomic groups are among the largest in the EU. A health financing reform in 2017 provided more sustainable funding to its highly centralised singlepayer health insurance system, with the potential to reduce fragmentation and increase coordination. Nearly 6 % of Estonians do not have health insurance, and a significant reform of the system would be required to provide coverage for the whole population.

Is the region looking for international/European/interregional collaboration opportunities? 

Yes - Collaboration in the field of validating healthcare services/devices based on personalised medicine. Also looking for best practices

Membership status

Member ICPerMed? yes 

Mountain ? Non-mountain

Member Euregha? no 

Adriatic-Ionian MacroRegion? no

InnoStars Region? yes 

Northern Sparsely Populated Area (NSPA)? no

PM region according EC? no 

Baltic Sea MacroRegion? yes

S3MedTech region? no 

Danube MacroRegion? no

S3P4PM region? no 

Alpine MacroRegion? no

Regions4PM region? yes

ERAPerMed? yes 

Central Europe? no

MedTech4Europe? no

Council of European BioRegions (CEBR)? no

1M+Genome initiative? member

European Regions Research & Innovation Network (ERRIN)?  no

Vanguard Initiative? no

S3ClusSport member? No

Policy documents

  1. National: e-health strategy for 2020 

  2. National: Research and innovation for health. Research, Development and Innovation Strategy for the Estonian Health System 2015–2020

  3. National: Human Genes Act

Topics covered by policies: Population genomics initiative (cfr 1 million genomes participation); Medical research and innovation (-omics, biomarkers, diagnostics, etc.); Education, training and skill development;ICT/genomics, health, lifestyle data(infrastructure); Electronic and mobile health solutions; Public awareness, patient participation with respect to Personalised Medicine/Personalised Health.

  • Reimbursement of e- and mobile health applications ERF funding for "Realisation of personalised medicine in Estonia" responsible: National Institute for Health Development.

  • Health data populations study Registries of the National Institute of Health Development (

  • Databases and standards, linked to personalised medicine (incl. biobanks) Estonian Gene Bank (

  • Education and training, linked to personalised medicine; Outreach to a broad public.

Policy document (RIS3): Yes

Policy document PM@RIS3: Yes


However, the country have specified smart specialisation growth areas. These will be amended, the most recent one is:

Major initiatives

  1. Population-based collection of samples to build a biobank with genomic data. Estonian Gene Bank 

  2. Clinical validation of genomic risk scores for prediction of cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer 

  3. Realisation of information from genomic data to healthcare services. ERF funding for project "Realisation of personalised medicine in Estonia"

  4. Genotyping facility 

  5. HPC - High performance computing Computing Centre 

  6. Member 1+ million genomes initiative

  7. Pharmacogenetic Recommendations for Personalised Medicine 

  8. Regions4PerMed

  9. Estonian Rare Diseases Registry for Wolfram syndrome, Alström syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and other rare diabetes syndromes - contribuiting to EURO-WABB

  10. Access to Distant Markets in Health and Wellness 

  11. Developing Estonian - Latvian Medical Area 

  12. Future Digital Health in the EU

  13. Creating Healthy and Secure Environment for the Elderly with Dementia 

  14. Boosting cross border entrepreneurial collaboration in life sciences and biotechnology between Latvia and Estonia

  15. Promoting healthy lifestyles


  17. Aligning professional future-oriented training on health promotion to boost development and economic growth in Läänemaa and Helsinki-Uusimaa regions

  18. Innovative solutions in care of elderly citizens living at home

  19. Product Validation in Health

  20. Talsinki Metropolitan Incubation

  21. Digital Innovation Hubs:


Is the region represented in: Horizon2020; Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy Platforms/Partnerships (RIS3); EIT Health/InnoStars/Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS); other?


  • Horizon 2020 funded CSA-s: IC PerMed, ERA PerMed

  • ERA Chair – the Center for Genomics, Evolution and Medicine (cGEM) (University of Tartu) Grant agreement 810645

  • ePerMed Grant agreement ID: 692145

  • PRECISE4Q Grant agreement ID: 777107

Self evaluation

General perception of the implementation level of PM in the region-  High

Rate of the need for developing and implementing PM in the region - High

Rate of the need for increasing support/funding for PM activities in the  region - Medium

Rate of the need for increasing the capacity of PM skills in the region - Very High

Rate of the genomics literacy of the citizens in the region - Medium

Rate of the need for increasing interregional collaboration in PM - High

Image attribution

By NuclearVacuum - File:Location European nation states.svgThis W3C-unspecified vector image was created with Inkscape., CC BY-SA 3.0,

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 

2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825046

The project is co-ordinated by Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government.

Department Economy, Science and Innovation - Koning Albert II-laan 35 1030 Brussels, Belgium