The future PV market will rely on a variety of innovative PV solutions and products in order to meet the market growth potential and address the grand environmental challenges faced by EU to achieve and sustain a green electricity market. Development of non-toxic, earth abundant, long-term stable PV materials, along with implementation of cost-effective, robust and industrially scalable, rapid, resource saving technologies for fabrication of low weight low-cost thin film PV devices with flexibility in design, such as BIPV, PV powered IoT – the basis for zero energy buildings, smart cities and smart villages. The 5GSOLAR aims to recruit a Knowledge Developer and Manager to bring complementary knowledge to the existing core team, and thereby enhance scientific excellence, to increase visibility and attractiveness, and to bridge the gap between research and technology transfer. This will positively contribute to achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, European targets for Clean Energy for all Europeans, the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Estonia, and to the contribution to the European Research Area. The short term aim is to create a functional ERA Chair team that is capable of implementing the strategies (EMPOWER, STAND OUT, STABLE) formed in the scope of the ERA Chair, and to progress toward the vision of ensuring a sustainable ERA Chair. The long-term goal of the ERA Chair 5GSOLAR is to build a stakeholders’ network, after the ERA Chair project to participate in establishing of a renewable energy demo/briefing centre in Estonia, and finally, to establish a EU joint graduate school on photovoltaics. Completion of these tasks will unleash European’s potential to become the climate neutrality pioneer. The main task of the ERA Chair is to converge R&D&I, stakeholders, policy makers, and society.
In 2015, Estonia launched its e-residency program that gave foreigners the ability to apply for a digital residency in Estonia, even if they don't live in the country. At the time of writing, more than 40,000 people have obtained e-residency. Moreover, these e-residents have established nearly 6,700 companies in Estonia, benefiting from Estonian business-friendly tax laws, access to online payment systems, and so forth. Recently, a small number of academic papers have emerged that discuss the governance and business aspects of e-residency. However, most of the key texts have been authored by civil servants, and there has been a lack of analyses on how the e-residency initiative shapes the broader global political economy. Some of the crucial questions are as follows: How does the proliferation of e-residency program impact the EU-level efforts of international tax cooperation, as well as the concept of economic citizenship that underlies the international tax system? Should the e-residency initiative be seen as a new solution to the governance challenges of the EU's Digital Single Market, or does it rather accelerate international race to the bottom in business regulation? How does the initiative alter the self-perception of both Estonian government and the entrepreneurs that use e-residency? By analyzing the broader political economy of the initiative, the PEER project carries a potential for significant academic and policy-level contributions. Utilizing interviews, textual sources and financial statement analysis, the project focuses both on the governance side of the initiative and its users. The result will be a broad-ranging, inter-disciplinary inquiry into a phenomenon that may have potential to transform the concept of citizenship. The results will have high policy-relevance not only in Estonia, but also within the European Union, as well as in those EU member states that are allegedly considering implementing similar initiatives.
Tackling the various societal, economic and environmental challenges faced by the EU can be supported by ICT-based solutions such as Wireless Sensor Networks, RFID, Internet of Things… R&D in so-called smart embedded and energy efficient electronics is increasingly important so that such solutions perform adequately, reliably and securely, adapt to changing conditions, and be energetically less visible as their number grows; i.e., future electronics should have cognitive functions deeply embedded into them. Establishing an ERA Chair at T.J. Seebeck Department of Electronics, Tallinn University of Technology, will help it keeping abreast with the above research specialization by increasing its research capacity in cognitive electronics related topics such as new architectures, methods and tools for energy-efficient sensor signal processing, new sensor technologies with improved yield, and efficient communication techniques for autonomous systems and RFID solutions. Promising applications include pervasive ambient medical/health monitoring, inspection of the structural health of materials and constructs, smart transportation and smart energy distribution. The main task of the ERA Chair will be to breathe new competences, federate resources, and increase the integration of existing research activities by building a coherent research framework in the department. The increased research capacity initiated by the ERA Chair will not only result in significant contributions to the above scientific topics, but will also increase the department visibility at the European and international levels. While much attention will be paid to cooperation with the industry, the key target is coordination of the research in the area of cognitive electronics, including with other academic and technology development institutes. Naturally, the Chair will also participate actively in the training and teaching at the doctoral level, bringing contemporary knowledge & methods to the department.
COSMOLOCALISM will document, analyse, test, evaluate, and create awareness about an emerging mode of production, based on the confluence of the digital commons (e.g. open knowledge and design) with local manufacturing and automation technologies (from 3D printing and CNC machines to low-tech tools and crafts). This convergence could catalyse the transition to new inclusive and circular productive models, such as the “design global, manufacture local” (DGML) model. DGML describes the processes through which design is developed as a global digital commons, whereas the manufacturing takes place locally, through shared infrastructures and with local biophysical conditions in mind. DGML seems to form economies of scope that promote sustainability and open innovation while celebrating new ways of cooperation. However, such claims rest on thin conceptual and empirical foundations. COSMOLOCALISM is a multiphase, pilot-driven investigation of the DGML phenomenon that seeks to understand relevant organisational models, their evolution, and their broader political economy/ecology and policy implications. Through the lens of diverse case studies and participatory action research, the conditions under which the DGML model thrives will be explored. COSMOLOCALISM has three concurrent streams: practices; innovation; and sustainability. First, DGML practices will be studied, patterns will be recognised and their form, function, cultural values, and governance structure will be determined. Second, the relevant open innovation ecosystems and their potential to reorient design and manufacturing practices will be examined. Third, selected DGML products will be evaluated from an environmental sustainability perspective, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. The interdisciplinary nature of COSMOLOCALISM will explore new horizons to substantively improve our understanding of how we could do “more” and “better” with less.
The European and international maritime industries face serious threats from cybercriminals. Shipping companies and ports have begun falling prey to computer viruses (AP Moller-Maersk in August 2017, COSCO Shipping Lines in July 2018, the ports of Barcelona and San Diego in September 2018, etc.) IT hackers are colluding with drug traffickers to import illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin (Port of Amsterdam, 2011-2013), and shipping vessels have become vulnerable to GPS jamming and spoofing attacks (Black Sea in June 2017, Mediterranean Sea in August 2019). Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is part of an Estonian ecosystem of cyber security and maritime actors – NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, several Estonian maritime associations, research institutes and private companies – with the collective know-how to tackle maritime cyber security threats. Estonia has first-hand experience of state-sponsored cyber warfare (April 2007) and is renowned for its IT innovation (Skype, 2003), e-governance (e-Voting since 2005), e-residency (2014), and cyber savvy population (95% of income tax returns filed online). To unite Estonia’s capabilities in a focused and integrated manner, TalTech will recruit an outstanding researcher and research coordinator to be the ERA Chair Holder (together with a team of experienced researchers) who will head a new, multidisciplinary Centre for Maritime Cyber Security at TalTech. Plus, a Research Administration Manager will be recruited to support TalTech’s Research Administration Office. Reflecting important structural change, the Centre for Maritime Cyber Security will be created by integrating research capabilities from TalTech’s Estonian Maritime Academy and TalTech’s Centre for Digital Forensics and Cyber Security. The ERA Chair Holder will foster research excellence in three research sub-topics: Marine Communication, Human Aspects of Cyber Security, and Cyber Security Aspects of Maritime Technology.