It is barely surprise to anyone that our everyday lives are intertwined with science and technology. But how to navigate in this rapidly changing scene? And furthermore, how to manage and develop it in a responsible and prosperous way? This is where things get messy.
On a lovely Friday in August we brought together experts and enthusiasts of Science to Business (S2B) concept from the Nordic-Baltic region.The goal of discussion was to debate about the rise of the knowledge-based economy and society, with its benefits, dangers, and potential. Are deep tech and impact tech the solution to burning global challenges? To societal wellbeing and regional economic growth? The answer to everyone’s higher salary and extended free time? The panel was a part of Estonian democracy festival "Arvamusfestival".
All panellists agreed that now is the best time for raising the awareness and the importance of the S2B concept and that it is vital to support the emergence of deep tech spin-off companies in tight collaboration between universities, entrepreneurs, policy makers. There is a growing societal demand to universities and private enterprises in developing the economy and the well-being of the whole society by engaging the results of academic research into everyday life in an efficient way.
Both academia and entrepreneurs have an important role in finding answers to global challenges related to climate change, digitalisation, green economy, health, and welfare issues, such as the recent epidemic spread of covid-virus. It was discussed how to encourage change of mindset both in the academia and among entrepreneurs and investors to work together, how to adjust, manage and lead slowly moving processes and institutions, and how to best utilize already existing experience in supporting the emergence and growth of deep tech spin-off companies in Estonia and more widely in Nordic-Baltic region.
The answer clearly lies in collaboration, openness, welcoming diverse teams, creating well-functioning ecosystems, building bridges between all interested parties of the process: researchers, entrepreneurs, investors. Science and business are not to be regarded as separate islands, they need to join their forces to gain success.
The Nordic region is quite small and therefore it is important to have a global mindset and open attitude. One of the keys to success in deep tech is to open up to bright minds and to support free movement of people as it is quite obvious that talent creates talents and global thinking is needed to be successful.
Participants of the discussion:
- Moderator of the discussion Vaido Mikheim, Tartu Science Park Foundation;
- Mari Vavulski, SmartCap, Board Member;
- André Küüsvek, Nordic Investment Bank, CEO & President;
- Mart Maasik, University of Tartu & UniTartu Ventures, Investment Director;
- Mikko Pohjola, University of Turku & Monttu Ventures, Founder & Board Member.
Watch the recording of the panel from our YouTube channel: