The industrial sector is an extremely important part of global and regional economies, and trade in manufactured goods plays an especially significant role in the development of regions across the world. Industrial competitiveness is therefore crucial in increasing living standards. Big data and advanced data analytics offer great opportunities to enhance the development of industrial strategy but demand new capabilities from universities. The EU-funded TALTECH INDUSTRIAL project aims to enhance those skills by introducing a strategic partnership between Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in Estonia, Bocconi University in Italy, Aalto University in Finland and Nesta in the UK. This partnership will assist in the improvement of research, the development of impactful policies and the establishment of cutting-edge executive training systems.
The overall objective of the TALTECH INDUSTRIAL project is to strengthen the research excellence of Tallinn University of Technology in the fields of (1) industrial strategy and competitiveness studies, and (2) advanced data analytics skills to be exploited to conduct improved analysis of global value chains and clusters, and to identify and analyse the impact of relevant public policies through cooperation with international partner institutions in the EU.
To reach this objective, TALTECH INDUSTRIAL will bolster a strategic partnership between TalTech as the beneficiary, and Bocconi University, Aalto University and Nesta as the key knowledge providers. The network will develop a lasting partnership that will be sustained after the project, and will focus on building capacities to empower TalTech and its regional partners to assist the design of industrial strategy both at home and elsewhere in the EU cohesion regions. The network will (1) allow the co-creation of more socially-relevant research that will benefit industrialists, policy makers and entrepreneurs; (2) foster policy learning and the development of more effective policies that meet the needs and expectations of society; and (3) establish an executive training system that improves the accessibility of the cutting-edge research for businesses and policy makers.
The TALTECH INDUSTRIAL project brings TalTech together with top research and key policy analysis actors in the field and will implement a demand-driven capacity building strategy that will enhance the research capacity of the participating organisations, boost the career of early stage researchers, and establish TalTech as a regional research hub. The key innovative aspect of TALTECH INDUSTRIAL is that it focusses on emerging new research areas, new data and research methods of very high industrial and policy relevance, where TalTech and partners are well established to take the lead in Europe.
The overall objective of the current project is to strengthen the research excellence of TalTech in (1) the evolution of industrial value chains (clusters) in the era of the 4th industrial revolution, (2) catching-up dynamics and windows of opportunities for upgrading along the global value chains, and by applying (3) advanced data science methods in these fields.
More specific objectives of the project are the following:
O1. Strengthen the scientific and research capacity of TalTech and the Twinning partners in the fields of industrial strategy and competitiveness studies through cooperation with international partner institutions in the EU, and beyond.
O2. Enhance TalTech’s and the Twinning partners’ skills in research methods, with a particular focus on advanced data analytics skills to be exploited to conduct improved analysis of global value chains (GVCs) and clusters, and to identify and analyse the impact of relevant public policies.
O3. Contribute to socio-economic development in Estonia and Europe. The project proposes direct involvement of local entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers to identify and analyse best practices and thus, develop opportunities in Estonian industry to engage and upgrade their competitive advantages in GVCs.
O4. Contribution to the Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3), and European regional development and cohesion policies by implementing and stimulating inclusive innovation and sustainable development in selected technological domains, and designing impactful public policies to trans-nationalise RIS3 and offer insight into the key elements that need to be incorporated into a policy tool box.
The following topics have been identified as emerging new avenues of cutting-edge research for capability building activities:
- Methodologies and strategies for assessing research and technological capabilities
- Methodologies for analysing the state of the art and future outlooks of specific regional industrial clusters in the context of the global division of labour
- Methodologies for analysing global value chains and opportunities for catching up along GVCs
- Methodologies for analysing business models of knowledge intensive start-ups, and of the emergence of new science and technology intensive industries
- Qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluation of public policies and policy programmes.
TALTECH INDUSTRIAL particularly aims to develop research capabilities regarding new data sources and research methods
- Methodologies and tools for storing, analysing and visualising very large data sets
- Quantitative and qualitative methodologies for mapping industrial specialisation at the national and regional levels
- The use of open and big data, and the role of e-government in improving the quality and effectiveness of economic development policies
- Ethics, data protection and privacy preserving computing.
Prof. Dr. Tarmo Kalvet