Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with scientists at TalTech
On October 14th, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with scientists from the Department of Geology and the Department of Materials and Environmental Technology at the University of Technology to discuss the prospects for the exploration and use of Estonian mineral resources. He also explored smart city solutions and self-driving developments.
The meeting with the representatives of the Department of Geology focused on the possibilities of using alternative raw materials for oil shale. It was jointly recognized that one of the most promising developments relates to the raw materials included in the European list of critical raw materials and needed for different sustainable energy technology solutions. Further research should explain, for example, the prospects for mining rare earth minerals in Estonia.
During the discussion, both the previous research conducted at the university and the ongoing research on the value of mineral resources in Estonia and the pain points of new research were touched. The environmental and social aspects of mining were discussed at length.
The Prime Minister concluded that the discussion was extremely useful and that the strategic exchange of information for the development of the Estonian underground sector should be continued in the future. As a possible further form of cooperation, the meeting proposed the idea of setting up an advisory body on underground resources.
Professor Michael Hitch and Rutt Hints from the Department Geology, Prof. Andres Trikkel, Prof. Rein Kuusik and Kaia Tõnsuaadu from the Department of Materials and Environmental Technology and Henry Kattago, Strategy Director from the Government Office attended the meeting with the Prime Minister.
During the visit, the Prime Minister also met with TalTech's Self-Driving Car team, who introduced plans for the city of the future and self-driving car developments. Of course, the PM also took a ride in the self-driving car on TalTech campus.