A project led by Tartu Observatory will lead to an innovation support network

Kairi Janson | 6.11.2017

On November 1 to 2, 2017, kick-off meeting for the laboratory network project TEST-4-SME was held both in Tõravere and Tartu. Tartu observatory is the leader of the three-year project.

2017 TEST-4-SME kick-off meeting Tartu

Nowadays, no electronic product can be successfully placed in global markets if it does not conform with international standards. This typically requires extensive testing of product prototypes. In the TEST-4-SME project, eight laboratories of universities from the Baltic Sea region set up an innovation support network to provide testing and consultation for small and medium sized enterprises in the electronics sector during early product development.

On Wednesday, the meeting was held in Tõravere and on Thursday in Tartu. University of Tartu is, besides Tartu observatory, the only Estonian partner of the project. However, the representatives of all foreign partners attended the meeting here in Estonia as well. The project involves labs of universities and institutes from Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Germany.

Last month, Tartu observatory introduced the TEST-4-SME project in Rostock, Germany at an Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme seminar. The goal of the seminar was to help project lead partners familiarise themselves with practical information about the implementation and management of the projects. Expected outcomes, involvement of target groups, project communication, and financial aspects of the projects were some of the topics that were covered at the seminar.

TEST-4-SME is one of the projects that got accepted to the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 this May. The programme is about supporting integrated territorial development and cooperation for a more innovative, better accessible and sustainable Baltic Sea region. An important part of the programme is that partners from countries around the Baltic Sea work together in transnational projects on common key challenges and opportunities.

Of the 71 projects applied for funding by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, 39 were selected in May. There are projects dealing with innovation, with the management of natural resources and with sustainable transport. This was already the second wave of applications – 35 were approved during the first one. In addition to lead partner role in TEST-4-SME project, Tartu observatory is partner in another BaltSatApps project from the same call to speed up Copernicus innovation for the Baltic Sea region environment and security.

The Programme funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and Norwegian national funding. Project partners co-finance activities with their own resources.