* Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said the government had set itself the aim of turning Estonia into an attractive innovation environment known throughout the world by 2010.
"Our only choice to achieve ambitious aims is innovation. An attractive innovation environment recognized throughout the world must be created in Estonia by 2010," the head of government said addressing the parliament this morning.
Ansip said that this would mean changes in principle in the structure of the economy, and even more in attitudes and ways of thinking as well as in the politics of science and development activity.
In the years 1998-2004 expenses on scientific and development activity have grown from 451 million to 1,294 million kroons (EUR 82.8 mln), nearly threefold. In 2004 Estonia spent 0.91 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) on scientific and development activity.
Ansip said, however, that the aim of spending 3 percent of GDP on scientific and development activity by 2010, an aim adopted by heads of European governments, was not realistic. It is realistic to achieve that aim by 2014, Ansip said, as the role of the private sector in the financing of development activity must grow much more than it has done by the present, Ansip said.