In case of Tartu and Estonia, the main issue on the table is to match the interest of research interests and industry needs. Tartu City Government, together with Tartu County Development Agency and ADAPTER, a network of Estonian universities, research and development organizations organised a Learning workshop in the example of packaging industry within the INNO INFRA SHARE project in Tartu on 3rd of May for nearly 80 people.
One of the most relevant outcomes was the need to turn the "researcher" mindset into an entrepreneurial one and work together with the companies: sustainable research is about designing products/services able to meet companies' needs, respect their go-to-market time, and create trustful and heterogeneous networking environments.
The first part of the workshop was more focused on the university and research institutes’ side and how they could help the industry needs today and tomorrow. Representatives from the Association of Estonian Printing Industry, University of Tartu (biggest infrastructure holder in Tartu), Estonian University of Life Sciences, Food And Fermentation Technology Development Center and Tallinn University of Applied Sciences presented their potential and cooperation possibilities.
The second part of the workshop was more focused on the industry and discussed the industry needs and experience in cooperating with universities and research institutes and other stakeholders. Industry representatives from packaging industry (Estiko Plastar) and companies using packaging (Lumi, Dragonfly Desk Lamps) presented their cases.
Several questions have been raised - from the idea to the first contact with the universities and their interactions with SMEs/ corporates with an "entrepreneurial" and agile mindset. Trust, cooperation and reliability are the key pillars for these interactions, and need time and effort to be gained.
As the workshop gained so much interest, a follow-up workshop is planned to be held in October this year.