Innovator 2022

Objective

To reward Estonian companies who have pioneered innovation and produced outstanding results to offer significant value to clients or society, and who are contributing a substantial part of their revenue to research, development or innovation.

Who can apply?

All Estonian companies who have implemented a technology development project or launched a new product or service solution, which improves the enterprise’s competitiveness, are invited to apply. Additionally, the applicants should contribute to the development and distribution of knowledge and skills in the field externally.

Assessment criteria and process

We ask the entrepreneurs to show (1st stage):

  • Added value* in 2021 (if you have submitted your annual report to the Centre of Registers and Information System, you do not have to fill in this section)
  • Revenue in 2021 (if you have submitted your annual report to the Centre of Registers and Information System, you do not have to fill in this section) (5%)
  • Average number of employees in 2021 (if you have submitted your annual report to the Centre of Registers and Information System, you do not have to fill in this section) (5%)
  • R&D number of staff, average in 2021
  • R&D costs (including labour costs, ordered R&D service and in-house costs) in 2021

 

The following financial indicators are taken into consideration (comprising 30% of the final result):

  1. Additional value* increase per employee in 2019 vs 2021 (10%)
  2. Weight of costs of research and development** in export revenue in 2021 (we consider the ratio of costs of research and development to revenue) (10%)
  3. Sales revenue growth 2019 vs 2021 (10%)

 

The enterprise must show a significant achievement in the following areas (comprising 70% of the final result):

  1. A significant technology or process development, compared to the general level of the market, which has initiated a significant change in the enterprise and impacted the financial results (30%).
  2. Unique product/service which provides a competitive advantage to the enterprise on the foreign markets (10%)
  3. The enterprise has defined innovation for themselves and connected it with their strategy (10%)
  4. The enterprise has outstanding activities and accomplishments in digitalisation, sustainability, and innovation *** internally as well as societally (10%).
  5. The enterprise has shown flexibility and adaptability in complicated situations and during pivotal times (10%)

*Added value per employee = (personnel costs including taxes + asset depreciation + business profit) / number of employees.

 

** Research and development (including experimental development) includes systematic creative activities designed to increase the scope of knowledge and the ability to use such knowledge to uncover new fields of technology. Activities can be classified as research and development if they fulfil five basic criteria:

  • innovative
  • creative
  • producing positively unexpected results
  • systematic
  • transferrable and/or repeatable
  • For research and development, all five criteria should be simultaneously fulfilled, whether it is a constant or intermittent activity.

*** Innovation is the implementation of new and knowledge-intensive solutions and technological innovation in an enterprise – one possibility is for companies to work together with universities in conducting applied research.

 

Digitalisation is the implementation of automation, digital technologies, software solutions and robots to minimise the need for human intervention.

 

Sustainability is our journey to a cleaner, greener and more dynamic Estonia and a more successful and diverse economy, taking into consideration the needs of our society.