Posts Tagged ‘IT’


Smart-Grid Technology Planned for $240M Oxford Park Community in Estonia

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2011 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Skype is apparently not the limit for the information development community in Estonia. Out of the same area where the Skype communications platform was conceived—characterized as “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea” by The New York Times—now comes word of a $240 million, 160-acre sustainable mixed-use community ready to break ground this summer and scheduled for completion in 10 years.

talian architect Francesco De Luca describes his design for Oxford Parkas “a beautiful vision of the future of working and living,” which he believes will be “undoubtedly the most innovative and sustainable development in Europe today.”

Developers of the site—which is located about 30 minutes inland from the seaport and capital city of  Tallinn, in scenic Juuru municipality—have announced that they will use smart-grid technology to maximize the project’s energy efficiency.

Specifically, smart meters will enable the 350 on-site households, as well as the businesses, at Oxford Park to closely monitor their energy consumption and save money by using appliances at off-peak times. In addition, they will be able to earn income from their own energy generation, and to more accurately predict their electricity usage and costs.

Power will be available, even if the grid falls out, via an on-site system. The Tallinn-based  Oxford Sustainable Group said in an April 19 interview with ERR News that Oxford Park would be able to integrate electricity provided from various sources, including that generated by solar panels—thereby saving up to 50 percent in energy costs.

One of the more interesting features of the new development will be the Oxford Park FuelBar, described by the developers as a “total fueling” concept. As the name suggests, the FuelBar will provide fuel for almost any type of sustainable transport on the market today and includes expansion room for new fuel types, as they become available in the future. Prospective fueling options include: petrol, diesel, bio-diesel, slow electrical power, fast-charging electrical power, hydrogen/methane, LPG and gas, electrical battery swap, alternative biofuel (two types), and solid fuel.

The Oxford Sustainable Group is the market-leading developer of sustainable projects throughout the Central/Northern Europe region. It was the first certified CarbonNeutral company in Eastern Europe and a founding member of Central Eastern Europe (CEE)/World Green Building Council.

“Oxford Park is a carefully planned, sustainable community that will see quiet, organic and natural development in the next 10 years, along with its inhabitants and companies,” said  Hadley Barrett, chairman of the Group’s management board.

Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (NewsAlert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell



Commissioner Neelie Kroes hails Estonia’s digital development

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

digital estoniaNeelie Kroes, European Commission vice president and commissioner for digital agenda, in remarks before reporters after her meeting with Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in Tallinn on Monday hailed the digital development of Estonia.

“I’m baffled by this development,” said Kroes, describing Estonia as the best country in Europe in terms of digital development. “You have changed people’s behavior in day-to-day life,” the commissioner said, naming as examples banking, elections and other areas where Estonia has gone digital.

Kroes said that traditions were not for the business sector and banks elsewhere should catch up with the digital progress made by Estonia. Estonia has benefited from it that, as the country’s prime minister explained according to the commissioner, it had no traditions in place and everything had to be built up from scratch.

In the words of the commissioner, there would be much to gain from a digitally functioning common market, but unfortunately awareness of this was not being displayed on a day-to-day basis.

Speaking of the security of digital handling of one’s finances, Kroes said Estonia was the best example that digital intercommunication with one’s bank can be trusted.



Estonian tech firm benefits from digital revolution

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vecly EstoniaEstonian tech startup Vecly aims to benefit from the global digital revolution. The company is developing software for Digital TV STBs (set-top boxes) to turn them into multimedia centers and make us use them for many other means than just TV, writes

The company that is owned by Indrek Raig, Yrjö and Rait Ojasaar and Artec Group develops software for Artec’s STB’s and sells them in Estonian electronic stores.

But Vecly is now targeting much larger partners such as Renesas, NEC, NXP and Trident-Adecq. The company is also having negotiations with Levira, the main TV and radio broadcast network operator in Estonia.

Vecly’s consideration is following: China, where majority of STBs are obviously produced, is an inexpensive country for electronics production, but Chinese software is far from being perfect. Here’s where Vecly enters into the game.

Yrjö Ojasaar says that in the next 3-5 years transition to digital broadcasting will happen in many countries worldwide. Consumers will have higher quality TV and much higher number of channels.

Want it or not, all the analog TV watchers will need to buy the STB. But STB, as we know, is basically a computer, enabling much more than just showing TV. It allows to play games, without the need to buy separate console, X-Box or Wii. It can also be used to share content – movies, pictures etc. It allows video on demand. One can even use Skype, Facebook and Twitter via STB.

„Set-top boxes become the multimedia centers of our lives!“ Ojasaar imagines.

And that will open up totally new possibilities not only for consumers, but for advertisers. In times when conventional TV ads are drying up and Internet advertising is growing, one could expect to see new special advertising channels distributed via STBs. For example a gardening channel paid by your local gardening store.

We’ll see. One thing is for sure though: Vecly wants to be present in all the countries going through the switch from analog to digital.

source: BBN

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Construction of high-speed Internet network begins in Estonia

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Estonian Broadband Development Foundation (EBDF), set up by information and telecommunications sector companies, this week launched the building of the fiberoptic network in Estonia’s rural regions that is scheduled to reach all developed areas by 2015. Construction works will start in 14 sites and tenders for developing and building the next 18 sites are underway.

The network that is code-naned EstWin should bring Internet access with speeds of 100 Mbps to even the most distant rural areas. In the first stage, about 6,000 kilometers of fiberoptic cable will be laid out complete with over a thousand network access points.

According to plan, by 2015 it must be possible for all households, companies and organizations to connect to the network and no household will be more than 1.5 kilometers from the cable.

EBDF whose members are Elion Ettevõtted, Elisa Eesti, EMT, Eltel Networks, Ericsson Eesti, Tele2 Eesti and Televõrgu AS will build the network’s basic infrastructure with telecommunications operators responsible for building the connections to actual households.

The project costs an estimated 1.5 billion kroons, most of which will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The first stage of the project will give work to 400 people.
According to EBDF, the project will provide a signal to the outside that it is comfortable to do business in Estonia, thus giving a boost to foreign investment.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts has said earlier that it was ridiculous that in Europe, Internet with a speed of 64 kilobites per second was regarded as universal. The minister said universal service should offer a speed of 100 megabits per second.

It is estimated that at present between 50 and 60% of Estonian households have broadband Internet access.



US tech company to set up its R&D centre in Tallinn

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , ,

Seven Networks, a US-based developer of mobile e-mail and messaging solutions on mass market devices, plans to set up an R&D centre in Tallinn with a staff of up to 100 people. The company is headquartered in California and at present has R&D centres in US, in China and in Finland, writes Äripäev with reference to

„Are you ready to help build a technology that has the power to change the way people communicate?“ the company asks in their Estonian job ads. „We are dedicated to building a world-class team to create the next wave of innovative mobile services.“

Isabelle Dumont, head of product and corporate marketing, said that the company planned to open a new office in Tallinn to support its worldwide growth and to enter aggressively into new product areas that tackle some of the most challenging problems faced by the telecom industry today. The company, she says, is a profitable business and continues to expand globally.

“We have secured several new global customers over the past 12 months, including Samsung Mobile,” Dumont explains. According to her, the focus of the Estonia office will be R&D and it will be staffed primarily with development engineers and related supporting infrastructure.

New location was selected based on its proximity to the Seven office in Helsinki, Finland. No wonder the Estonian business registry shows that Seven Networks Estonia is lead by a Finn Petri Tapani Tuura.

“Estonia, one of the smallest new European Union member states has established itself as one of the fastest-expanding economies of the EU. The proximity to the Nordic countries, well-known for their technological and telecommunication innovations, has had a positive effect on Estonia, bringing the country among the most advanced in Europe in terms of telecommunications infrastructure,” Dumont said.

Robin Pulkkinen, board member of Seven Networks Estonia, did not specify which type of products the company will be developing in Estonia. “We are a global enterprise so that the Estonian unit will be participating in all our projects. We are working on new innovative technology and hope to launch it in a year or a year and half,” he said.

According to Pulkkinen, Estonia was chosen because of its proximity to Helsinki where the company already has an office and by the fact that, unlike in Finland, it is still possible to hire good IT specialists in Estonia.

“We have already received a number of job applications,” said Pulkkinen. The company says it will have about 50 people working in Estonia at the end of 2010.

Pulkkinen did not say how much the company was going to invest in Estonia.

source: BBN


Poland’s largest private equity fund to purchase 36% of Estonia’s Webmedia

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Enterprise Investors, Poland’s largest private equity fund, will buy a 36 percent stake in Webmedia Group to fund an expansion abroad by Estonia’s largest computer software company.

Enterprise Investor will pay 7 million euros for the stake, its first investment in Estonia, reported Bloomberg.

Webmedia has about 350 staff in five countries. The company reported net income of 1.8 million euros on sales of 14.9 million euros last year, weathering a slump in its home Baltic markets by tapping demand from governments in the Middle East and Africa.

“This partnership could potentially produce the first software company from the Baltics to become public,” said Priit Alamaee, co-founder and chief executive officer of Webmedia, in the statement.

Webmedia, founded in 2000, utilizes Estonia’s success in the nationwide use of information technology services such as internet banking or E-school, a solution used by almost half of 1.3 million Estonians which Webmedia helped to launch.

source: BBN

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Tiny IT-titan Estonia is exporting its e-government technology and expertise across the globe

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TALLINN — Tiny IT-titan Estonia is exporting its e-government technology and expertise across the globe, currently preparing new projects for the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan and Haiti.

The Baltic state of 1.3 million people has already helped fellow ex-communist democracies Armenia, Georgia and Moldova, plus a total of 40 states, to implement Internet-based government and services common in Estonia for years, but still not widely available elsewhere.

“It’s common to use all kind of Internet-based solutions here in Estonia, everywhere on the level of central government, the level of municipalities and of course business,” Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said recently, as he showed off the oval cabinet table equipped with a shiny new laptop for each minister to a group of foreign journalists.

“The decision-making process thanks to this e-government system is much more transparent. Just a minute or two after the decision-making here, all the people around Estonia or around the world know what happened,” Ansip said.

Using special ID cards, Estonians can access virtually all public services via the Internet at the special site, including e-voting in national and local elections, as well as checking their medical and police records with a mouse-click.

Ninety-two percent of Estonian taxpayers filed their 2009 annual income tax returns via the Internet, while 79 percent do their banking online at least once a week, official statistics show.

After the end of five decades of Soviet rule in 1991, the minnow nation opted to go hi-tech as fast as possible and earned the nickname “E-stonia”.

Estonia, which joined the European Union and NATO in 2004, is keen to export its e-government savvy — and associated transparency — around the globe with a special focus on developing democracies.

At the helm is the Tallinn-based e-Governance Academy (

Set up in 2002 by the Estonian government, the United Nations Development Programme and the Open Society Institute, it is a a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, focused on the creation and transfer of Estonian knowledge concerning e-governance, e-democracy and the development of civil society.

The Estonian state finances its projects.

The academy recently announced it would help Afghanistan’s parliament create and implement a modern e-voting system and has been involved in bringing e-government to the Palestinian territories.

Since 2008, Estonia has allocated over five million kroons (320,000 euros, 390,000 dollars) for Palestinian projects, introducing IT equipment for central authorities, public e-services for residents as well as e-solutions in the education system and police force.

“We are very grateful for the help Estonia has provided for Palestine. Estonia has been a true success story in this area and we would like to be one day a similar success story in our region,” Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki said during a recent visit to Estonia.

“Estonia’s experience has shown that implementing IT-technology helps to increase the openness of governance and to promote reforms better, and we are just happy when we can share our best practice this way with other states,” Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet told AFP.

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