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Tartu - BoR Member

Tartu, with its population of 98,480 (Population Census data from 2011) in an area of 38.8 square kilometres, is the second largest city of Estonia

Tartu, lying 185 kilometres south of Tallinn, is also the centre of Southern Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for the length of 10 kilometres within the city limits and adds colour to the city.

Tartu is a modern city with a rich historical heritage and culture – with the first written records of Tartu dating all the way back to 1030.

Tartu is often considered the intellectual centre of the country, especially since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu. The city also houses the Supreme Court of Estonia and the Ministry of Education and Research.




Smart City Lab is a triple helix collaboration initiative in Estonia which is aiming at development, delivery and export of smart ICT and mobile based services and products in the following priority areas - Transport, Energy and Environment, Tourism, Healthcare and Wellbeing, Governance and public services.  Smart City Lab is part of the Estonian National Cluster Programme and is linked with 18 industrial cluster initiatives supported by the programme.  The following scheme illustrates the cooperation model of Smart City Lab

Smart City Lab is actively promoting international cooperation of Estonian companies, universities and clusters with relevant international counterparts. Smart City Lab is connected through its members to the Enterprise Europe Network, The Competitiveness Institute (TCI), European Mobile and Mobility Industries Association, European Network of Living Labs, International Association of Science Parks.



Rene Tõnnisson is a Founding Director of Smart City Lab.  He has 20 years of experience in innovation management and business development. He has been or is currently serving as member of executive boards of Tartu Science Park, Tartu Biotechnology Park, Baltic Innovation Agency, Institute of Baltic Studies, Connect Estonia, BuildIT Accelerator. He has been responsible for wide range of innovation, technology and business related activities in Estonia and he has also worked in advisory positions for the European Commission including European Cluster Policy Group, European Mobile and Mobility Industries Association Expert Group, External Advisory Group for Regional Aspect of FP7.  His main areas of expertise include innovation management, international technology transfer, regional innovation systems and strategies, foresight, cluster development and internationalisation. Rene Tõnnisson holds a Master degree in Public Administration and Policy from University of Tartu, Estonia and Certificat d’Etudes Politiques from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg (Sciences Po), Université de Robert Schuman. He has also been studying at University of Cambridge and European University Institute.