Tallinn University of Technology

Starting from 24 April, Erik Puura will take up the post of Vice-Rector for Entrepreneurship at Tallinn University of Technology.

Erik Puura

One of his major goals will be to help hundreds of ideas from TalTech researchers reach entrepreneurs, and therefore practical applications. The university also has a Technology Transfer Office with 24 employees, led by Anu-Mai Levo since 12 April.

‘Our researchers have a close cooperation with companies, which is proven by the impressive number of business agreements,’ said Tiit Land, Rector of Tallinn University of Technology. ‘In our changing world, we want and need to focus more on research- and development-intensive cooperation with companies and to translate the achievements of our researchers into new technologies that would reach society and drive the Estonian economy,’ said the Rector.

Erik Puura, who is taking up the position of Vice-Rector for Entrepreneurship at TalTech, has a long track record in this field. For ten years, he has led the Institute of Technology at the University of Tartu, and for another ten years, he has been Vice Rector for Development. He holds a PhD in engineering from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, which is also one of TalTech’s reference universities.

Since June last year, Erik Puura has been helping to prepare the project on the recycling of industrial solid waste landfilled in Ida-Viru County, which involves cooperation between researchers and companies in a very critical area and on a topical subject.

Erik Puura’s new position will also benefit from his experience in implementing intellectual property and his knowledge of patenting, as well as his ability to understand the legal text of contracts and draft development plans, to manage complex systems and processes, and to write engaging popular science texts and give expert interviews.

Puura, who has spent most of his working life in Tartu, says he is also familiar with the Mustamäe area of Tallinn, where TalTech is located. ‘After all, I grew up on the corner of Mustamäe Road and Tammsaare Road, when Tammsaare Road was just being built. Back then, there were ponds in front of and behind the five-storey building, and there was a wasteland and probably bunkers left over from the war where the Mustamäe Centre is now. One could play spy games there.’