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Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the ASTRA Research and Development Program


The Institutional Development Programme for Research and Development Institutions and Universities (ASTRA) is one of the key measures alongside core funding and mobility support in implementing the Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation (RDI) Strategy “Knowledge-Based Estonia 2014-2020” as well as several other national strategies. The objective of the measure is to support structural changes in research and development institutions and universities, as well as the development of institutional responsibility areas and core activities. In total, 17 different universities and research and development institutions have received support from the ASTRA measure for the implementation of 36 projects. The total funding amount is 136 million euros.


The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness, impact, and efficiency of the ASTRA measure, and to describe the lessons learned from its implementation.


The study primarily employed qualitative methods such as analysis of documented information, interviews, and focus groups with representatives of stakeholders and project implementers.


The results, conclusions, and recommendations from the evaluation of the ASTRA measure and the activities implemented within it help prepare new measures for the next structural fund period, including measures that assist Estonia (primarily the Ministry of Education and Research) in planning and supporting the institutional development of research institutions and universities.

Project contracting authorities: Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian Research Council
Project implementers: Baltic Studies Institute (lead partner) and LevelLab
Duration: 04/2021 ‍– 01/2022