Estonia has found recognition as an IT-capable country and many technological services have been developed here, but the introduction and sale of these solutions in Estonia and abroad have been stunted until now. The ICT Demo Center will showcase the solutions intended for the public and the private sector and will show them functioning together.
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It is said that Estonians have good ideas, but not the knack for selling them. We believe that this can be changed!
On January 29 we shall open the Estonian ICT Demo Centere; there we are gathering examples of our best ideas and e-State projects and are awaiting all enterprises believing in co-operation and innovation. We show tangible solutions and do it in a creative and exciting way. The goal of the Demo Center is to ensure that every visitor has at least one new idea about making own life and the life of his or her company easier.
The Demo Center will be opened on January 29 in Ülemiste City, in the Ustus Agur Building at the address of Lõõtsa 8, Tallinn.
The opening of the Demo Center will be announced by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia and Patron of the Innovation Year, Valdo Kalm, Chairman of the Board of Eesti Telekom, Jan Mühlfeit, Chairman Europe, Microsoft Corporation, Christopher Des Forges – Regional Director Nordics, Sun Microsystems and Urmas Kõlli – president of ITL.
28 partners put their e-solutions on show in the Estonian ICT Demo Center, a joint effort to demonstrate to the world what the Estonian information and communication technologies sector is capable of.
The Demo Center brings together the Estonian ICT industry’s best creations such as the ID-card and Mobile-ID which are digital identity documents, the e-banking system which has revolutionised the Estonian banking service, and the e-Tax Office which took the local tax board online.
Demo Center, located in a highly innovative environment in the Ülemiste City together with many IT companies, also displays several consumer-oriented solutions such as digital TV, Skype and a cell phone operated newspaper vending machine.
The purpose of the Demo Center, however, is not to promote single solutions or products, says Enn Saar, the CEO of MicroLink Estonia – one of the center’s founding members. “The Center gives us a possibility to create synergy between different ICT companies and make their solutions communicate with each other. The outcome is that we have a realistic environment in which we can show visitors how Estonian e-solutions make life easier for citizens, enterprises and the government,” said Saar.
Urmas Kõlli, president of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, emphasized that the Demo Center focuses on international visitors. “The Demo Center is a large step forward for our companies that have for a long time wanted to introduce our innovative solutions and products to consumers around the globe,” Kõlli commented.
International IT corporations will also participate in the Demo Center. Microsoft opened its Innovation Center, the purpose of which is to increase the Estonian companies’ chances to compete on the international market.
Rain Laane, the CEO of Microsoft Estonia, said that in the Innovation Center Estonian companies will get access to Microsoft’s newest products and be able to test these products in realistic conditions. „This gives our clients a vital advantage in their business,” said Laane.
Sun Microsystems joined the Demo Center with its Authorized Sun Solution Center. „Every year more than 3500 customers and 400 partners build and test working prototypes of business solutions at Sun Solution Centers around the world. These engagements help partners do more business in less time by enabling them to demonstrate the capabilities of their products running on Sun infrastructure,” said Graham Stevens, the Senior Director Sun Solution Centers.
The founders of the Estonian ICT Demo Center are MicroLink Estonia, EMT, Elion, Microsoft, Santa Monica Networks, Datel and Ülemiste City.
Estonian ICT Demo Center
Member of the Board
Estonia has been good in implementing the e-Government system. We have been the first in the world in starting to use some of the technical solutions in the public sector. Thus we already have the experience that many countries still lack.
The efficient functioning of the e-Government system requires an innovative reorganisation of the functioning of the government; it requires motivated leadership and also users with awareness and necessary technical possibilities and skills.
Besides these important moments, every e-service is still based on a specific information technology solution. There are many such solutions developed in Estonia, by many good Estonian ICT enterprises. Often good results have been achieved in co-operation between local and international ICT enterprises. One good example of this is the Skype program written in Tallinn.
Information and communication technology is the bloodstream for creating innovation in other industries. Taking information technology into use in economy brought about a revolution, but today a revolution lies in every service or product that is made in a new way by using IT and is made available to a wider consumer base – there is no point in inventing the bicycle several times. There is an indeterminable, but still clear difference – everyone can change the world of many people with a smart idea.
Estonia has an ambitious information society development plan prepared for the next five years, until the year 2013. The goals of Estonia tomorrow are to develop e-business environment, with one of the keywords being developing paperless accountancy system and implementing a wider electronic ID solution, and also to teach people, thus increasing the awareness of users and the security of the services.
Although the IT solutions of the public sector cannot always be put into numbers, it is always easier to prepare a new solution if you can lean on earlier creations and use the experience gathered.
The Demo Centre is implemented exactly for finding new ideas for next developments by looking at what has already been created, for finding new co-operation opportunities and, why not, also for implementing existing creations in new fields.
It is a very welcome sight that the Estonian ICT companies have achieved real action after years of regular declarations about being in need for co-operation and even being ready for it. The Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications has been supporting the idea of co-operation between enterprises for a relatively long time, trying to promote it and help find ways for channelling similar interests into specific joint activities.
Finally the efforts have born fruit and I think there is an actual role of ITL in this event. True, the co-operation is initially starting not in production, but in marketing. But I believe that once the first step is made, others will follow.
While most of the ICT enterprises have been able to cope independently in the domestic market, foreign markets will require joint activities more than ever. Whether we want it or not, Estonian companies are too small, not focussed enough and have too little resources for any decent activities in export markets. Here, co-operation, distribution of tasks, specialisation and commitment are the magic words that can affect the competitiveness of the enterprises of the sector.
ITL will try to continue supporting this process in the future. We are currently implementing a cluster incubator idea which is rather unique in the Estonian cluster programme. A cluster incubator would be a set of so-called “soft” measures for establishing prerequisites for co-operation between enterprises, for creation of specific clusters and for starting these clusters up. Naturally, other companies will be co-operating and making up clusters, but ITL would be able to help these companies with brains and brawn to establish the co-operation mechanisms, background systems and other necessary means. And this is not our only activity in the field of co-operation.
In AS Datel, one of the establishing parties of the NPO ICT Demo Centre, we have reached an understanding that although we have a multitude of interesting and useful solutions, especially in the field of geoinformation systems (but not only there), our opportunities for introducing and demonstrating it all are limited. What’s more, often the benefits and strong sides of the systems developed by us become much more visible in joint functioning with other related systems. Until now it has been quite a feat to organise such joint demonstrations of several systems. As a result, we all suffered, and not only we the producers, but also and often much more our potential clients.
It just wasn’t possible to make them see the integration effect. When establishing the Demo Centre, we paid much attention to aspects like this and to the synergy of acting together. We believe that the Demo Centre will be a popular place where our public sector institutions can see and understand the joint functioning of the systems, business organisations can look for solution ideas for their problems and our foreign visitors can be introduced to the good Estonian ICT solutions. I hope more and more members will join the Demo Centre, so that our permanent exhibition will become more and more comprehensive and influential.
Dear visitors of the Demo Centre! If you don’t know exactly what kind of ICT solutions the Estonian companies of the field have created, which of these and how they can be used to solve the problems you are facing, who and where to contact under these topics, then ICT Demo Centre is the place for finding answers to questions like these.
Welcome to the Estonian ICT Demo Centre!
The Demo Centre will present the IT solutions developed in Estonia in the EXPO 2010 world trade fair in Shanghai, China.
On November 13 Hua Junduo, the Chief Commissioner of EXPO 2010 and Toomas Tiivel, Ambassador of the Chief Commissioner of Estonian EXPO, signed an agreement in Shanghai, China; with this agreement, Estonia confirmed its participation at EXPO and a 1,000 square metre pavilion was assigned for Estonia.
According to Chief Commissioner Tiivel, it is planned to announce an exposition and architecture competition in the coming months; the best solutions will be selected in spring 2009 and construction works will start in summer 2009.
One of the criteria for the EXPO 2010 competition is integrating the solutions of the ICT Demo Centre into the exposition, with the goal of showcasing seamless combination possibilities of information and communication technology solutions in different fields of life.
The subject of the EXPO trade fair taking place from May 1 to October 31, 2010 is „Better city, better life“. There is a 5.28 square kilometre area in the vicinity of Huangpu river allocated for the world trade fair in Shanghai. 183 countries and 45 international organisations will participate in the trade fair; nearly 70 million visitors are expected.
The goals of Estonia at EXPO are general introduction of the country and also advertising Estonia as a travel destination. In addition to this, enlivening the economic relations is an important goal: at EXPO, Estonian enterprises have the best opportunity for making contacts in the quickly developing Asia. The neighbours of Estonia at EXPO are the Nordic Countries – Sweden, Finland, Island, Norway and Denmark.