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DIH Tartu operates under the University of Tartu, Estonia in collaboration between the Institute of Computer Science and the Institute of Technology. DIH Tartu aims to become a recognised innovation and knowledge transfer hub for digitalisation of industries in the areas where scientific research and R&D contribution is needed. The key objectives are to develop:
- constant dialogue between the industries and university to raise the awareness of advantages of digitalisation and identify R&D needs relevant to local industries;
- R&D capacity and knowledge transfer capability through different collaboration formats and support services in the areas of interest of local, regional and global industries;
- personal careers of students into highly skilled professional digital careers at the industry.
DIH Tartu is the centre of digital excellence with strong and versatile network of partners from public, private and third sector, each with its clear focus and capability to contribute to the DIH’s value proposition to companies seeking for support in digitalising their businesses. DIH Tartu provides services for companies to enable and support digital innovation in the areas of:
- Data Science (Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence),
- Software Engineering & Information Systems,
- Business Process Management,
- Cyber Security,
- Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing & IoT,
- Collaborative robotics and flexible manufacturing,
- Cyber-physical systems,
- Virtual and augmented reality system.
The services include consultations, mentoring, trainings, workshops, prototyping, joint R&D projects, technology and process audits, access to labs, infrastructure and high performance computing power, access to international research and collaboration networks, etc. DIH Tartu also contributes to skills development of future digitalisation specialists and entrepreneurs by offering:
- pre-incubator programmes for students to encourage digital entrepreneurship;
- support for researchers to create spin-offs for innovation, knowledge and technology transfer from academia to industry;
- project based internships and digital product innovation experiments, industrial master and doctoral programmes to co-educate future specialists (in collaboration with specific industry partners).
Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry
The Estonian national R&D strategy “Knowledge-based Estonia 2014-2020” and the Estonian Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy 2014-2020 set out three smart specialisation growth areas:
- information and communication technologies (ICT) related to other areas of economy (e. g. cybersecurity, software development or the use of ICT for automating industrial processes);
- health technologies and services (e. g. the use of biotechnology or IT for the development of medical services or products);
- more effective use of resources (e. g. entrepreneurs active in the areas of materials science or industry, endeavour to identify innovative construction options or seek opportunities for the more effective utilisation of oil shale in the chemical industry).
DIH Tartu competences and services constitute the means and methods for smart specialisation and are aligned with all three RIS3 growth areas. The government provides companies and start-ups with financial support in applied research and product development projects in RIS3 areas, in cooperation with Estonian R&D institutions. Networking and partner search support is given via industry clusters and and the Startup Estonia programme.
DIH Tartu is in the intersection of the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science and Institute of Technology research strengths, and the national smart specialisation growth areas. In DIH’s services provision priority is given to big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and security solutions in the areas of manufacturing, transport, healthcare, e-governance, energy, finance. UT scientists are currently involved in 5 ongoing applied research projects.
DIH Tartu contributes to policy making on each level of the governance. On the local level DIH Tartu has strong direct as well as community-based relations with the City of Tartu, who is also one of the public authority partners in the InnoCAPE project. On the national level DIH Tartu is regularly taking part in digital strategy meetings led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and different industry associations. Our ambition to actively contribute to policy making in developing digital single market and implement digital policies on macro regional level has also been acknowledged by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Poland) and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (Estonia), as the Policy Area Coordinator for INNOVATION of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region’s Action Plan by recognising the InnoCAPE project as part of a flagship project Digi Co-Lab of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, contributing to achieving the objectives of SME internationalisation and digitalisation. Through EC EU13 Smart Factories programme LinkedIN group we have also contributed to policy recommendations to be submitted to the European Commission.
Market and Services
- Agriculture, hunting and forestry
- Mining and quarrying
- Electricity, gas and water supply
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Transport, storage and communication
- Financial intermediation
- Real estate, renting and business activities
- Public administration and defence
- Health and social work
- Other community, social and personal service activities (media, entertainment, etc.)
- Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
- Manufacture of textiles and textile products
- Manufacture of wood and wood products
- Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products; publishing and printing
- Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
- Manufacture of machinery and equipment
- Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
- Manufacture of transport equipment
- TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
- TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
- TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
- TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
- Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
- Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
- Collaborative Researchs
- Concept validation and prototyping
- Testing and validation
- Digital Maturity Assessment
- Incubator/accelerator support
- Voice of the customer, product consortia
- Market intelligence
- Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
- Education and skills development
- Awareness creation
Prototyping - Robolab
We have an ongoing project with Robolab - a service robotics company focused on delivering major change in the food and beverage industry - for prototyping a professional service robot. The goal is to prototype and integrate a fully autonomous robotic bartending unit tasked with serving various beverages. The device includes a 7degree-of-freedom robot manipulator that can select between multiple beverage containers, fill it with beverage made from different ingredients, and serve it in a safe way for the user.More details: https://yanu.ai/
Local community development and awareness raising - Data Science Seminars
DIH Tartu is actively contributing to organising different digital awareness events for the community with leading its own series of Data Science Seminars since 2016 (5 per academic year) to bring together data scientists from academia and industry to exchange ideas and experience in facing challenges in different aspects of digitalisation. The numerous experts (including international speakers from DeepMind, Tesla, University of Cambridge, Oxford University) have shared their stories of applying deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing, image analysis, business data analytics, etc. methods in health care, intelligent transportation, finance, public sector, etc.
As part of the University of Tartu (UT) DIH Tartu builds upon the university’s long term relations with different institutions and initiatives carrying out digital transformation strategies. In addition to UT, SME’s and startups in respective fields, the ICT ecosystem in Tartu also comprises of innovation, technology and government institutions like STACC, BuildIT, sTARTUp HUB, Tartu Science Park, Smart City Lab, Enterprise Estonia, City of Tartu, etc., which collectively contribute to fostering the growth of the community, enhancing knowledge transfer and supporting the birth of new innovative solutions. A good example of cooperation between these parties is the largest business festival in the Baltic states - sTARTUp Day, held annually in Tartu, hosting around 2500 visitors looking for inspiration, guidance and contacts for innovative business development.
Contract research for technology transfer - Taxify
In 2018 we started long-term collaboration with Taxify, the leading European ride-hailing platform, connecting millions of passengers and drivers around the world to make travel easier, quicker and more reliable. The challenges of the company are related to algorithms for improving GPS and maps data quality as well as urban traffic simulators that would enable to improve the accuracy of estimated arrival times and integrate various environmental factors. Algorithms created in collaboration are iteratively implemented into live systems.
Our other contract research partners include Reach-U, Swedbank, Milrem Robotics, PerkinElmer, Veriff, etc.
International DIH ecosystem collaboration - InnoCAPE project
Thanks to participating in EC programme “Smart Factories in new EU Member States” along with other 34 DIH’s from EU13 we initiated a collaboration project between DIHs in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The Interreg project InnoCAPE with DIHs and public authorities from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden and Norway aims to establish a collaboration model for sustainable evolution of BSR digital ecosystem through increased capacity of public enablers. In addition to knowledge, skills and ecosystem development a digital maturity assessment tool for SME’s will be developed and different workshops, hackathons and projects for SMEs will be carried out over the period of 2019-2021.
University of Tartu is also a member of the contractual Public-Private Partnership on big data, the Big Data Value Association (www.bdva.eu), participating in the development and networking of data-intensive innovation services, focusing on Artificial Intelligence.
Digital Product Innovation platform for companies - Telia Estonia
We offer industry partners co-creation and innovation in collaboration with UT students and researchers. In spring 2018 we executed a short-term mission to develop a robotic telepresence for conference calls using SoftBank Pepper robot. The client, Telia Estonia offers the fullest solution to all communication, information, entertainment and innovation needs with services ranging from fixed internet and home entertainment to mobile plans and 4G internet. Project was executed by UTartu students under the guidance of university staff.
In February 2019 we will officially launch a digital innovation programme Delta Sandbox to provide industry partners with digital product innovation and co-creation in collaboration with students and researchers. We are developing Delta Sandbox platform in collaboration with Design Factory Global Network, a network of innovation hubs in universities and research organisations in five continents of the world (http://dfgn.org/). The goal of Sandbox projects is to enable knowledge & technology transfer between the academia and the industry through joint experimentations and innovation onboarding for industry partners. Each semester around 10 problem statements by industry partners will be turned into validated business opportunities and tested prototypes. DIH Tartu also provides pre-incubation programmes for students and spin-off consultations for researchers of the UT to encourage digital entrepreneurship (around 25 teams per year).
Digital Skills joint development with the industry - Industrial Master’s Programme
To respond to increasing demand from the industry for highly skilled and specialised digital experts we offer our industry partners a joint co-education Industrial Master’s programme, where selected students collaborate with partner companies throughout their studies for internship, practical course assignments and master’s thesis while performing tasks that are relevant both to the company and the academic curriculum. Since the programme launch in 2017 14 companies have joined the programme (including Kühne Nagel, Datel, Fujitsu Estonia, Swedbank, STACC, ReachU, etc). For example, an industrial master student in Fujitsu will explore and pilot the opportunities to apply healthcare AI solutions in Estonia, whereas the student in Datel’s Space team will work on an early warning system in a cooperation project with European Space Agency.
In 2019, we will launch ROS-Industrial training center for offering professional skill training in the most influential and widely adopted robotics development platform - ROS (Robot Operating System).
(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)
Number of employees
- Horizon 2020
- European Regional Development Fund
- National specific innovation funding
- Private funding
Number of customers annually
Type of customers
- Start-up companies
- SMEs (<250 employees)
- MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
- Large companies, multi-nationals
- Research organisations
Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park
Tartu City Government
Research & Technology organization
Tartu Science Park
Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications
Tallinn University of Technology
The Information Technology Foundation for Education
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
the Ministry of Education and Research
Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology
Latvian IT Cluster
Networked, cluster organization
Latvian Ministry of Economics
Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
University of Oulu
Economic development agency
Economic development agency
- Sensors, actuators, MEMS, NEMS, RF
- Screens and display technologies
- Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
- Robotics and autonomous systems
- Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
- Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
- Location based technologies (e.g. GPS, GIS, in-house localization)
- Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
- Cyber security (including biometrics)
- Advanced or High performance computing
- Data mining, big data, database management
- Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
- Simulation and modelling
- Software as a service and service architectures
- Cloud computing
- ICT management, logistics and business systems
- Internet services (e.g. web development, web production, design, networking, and e-commerce)
- New Media technologies
- Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration