The Institute of Baltic Studies (IBS), in cooperation with LevelLab, analyses the impact and effectiveness of the measure“Institutional development program for research and development institutions and higher education institutions” (ASTRA). The study has been commissioned by the Estonian Research Council and the Ministry of Education and Research.

In addition to basic funding and mobility support, ASTRA is one of the most important measures in implementing the research and development and innovation (RD&I) strategy “Knowledge-based Estonia 2014-2020” as well as several other national strategies. The aim of the ASTRA measure is to support the implementation of structural changes in research and development institutions and higher education institutions, the development of the areas of responsibility of the institution and its activities. A total of 36 projects from 17 different research and development institutions and vocational universities have received support from the ASTRA measure, and the total amount of funding is 136 million euros.

The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness, impact and implementation of the ASTRA measure and to describe the lessons learned. The study mainly uses qualitative methods such as document analysis, interviews and focus groupdiscussions with stakeholders and project implementers. The results, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation of the ASTRA measure and the activities implemented within it will help to prepare new measures for the next structural funds period. This includes measures that help Estonia (especially the Ministry of Education and Research) to plan and support the institutional development of R&D institutions and universities.

The study will take place until the end of 2021.