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Ambitious dreams come true at TalTech

Jun 29, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) has become a global leader in e-governance because it nurtures an ecosystem that encourages and inspires researchers and students to collaborate on developing solutions to important issues related to cybersecurity, digital governance and smart environments.

Confirming its status as cybersecurity pioneers, TalTech works closely with NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence. With its proven track record in information technology, TalTech makes sure its research is future-oriented and global and will help improve societies everywhere, from Tallinn to Osaka.

The Iseauto developed in collaboration with TalTech

As part of their dedication to advance the digitalization of society, researchers at TalTech built the first global center of excellence for the development of cross-border smart cities, a project that received €32 million in funding from the European Commission.

With TalTech’s DigiGov Lab, the center aims to speed up the development of smart cities around the world, while generating opportunities for collaboration between the university and industry.

Because mobility solutions are vital components of any smart city, students and researchers in TalTech developed a prototype of an autonomous vehicle, Iseauto. Earlier this year, the school started working with Florida Polytechnic University to build its own self-driving vehicles that will travel around the campus and lightly used roads.

TalTech built those successful solutions thanks to, with the cooperation of Ericsson, the installation of a unique 5G network around its campus.

With more than 10,000 students, both from Estonia and abroad, and over 1,000 academic staff, TalTech has attracted the attention of the world for its courses in business and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


Nordic Houses provides more time for quality living

Jun 29, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


With many of them still standing sturdy after more than 300 years, Estonia’s wooden houses reflect the country’s deep respect for nature and affection for the traditional structure. It comes as no huge surprise that Nordic Houses CEO Argo Saul wants to market these houses in Japan, which is also known for its deep reverence for nature and simple, practical aesthetics.

Nordic Houses CEO Argo Saul

With its slogan “More time for living,” Nordic Houses launched operations in 2002 as an Estonian-Norwegian venture to provide prefabricated wooden houses in the Nordic region and Central Europe. Although it faces stiff competition outside Estonia, the company sees good growth prospects in its foreign markets because of its strong local partnerships.

And with the rising urgency of climate change issues, Nordic Houses puts increasing importance on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable practices. To distinguish itself from its competitors, Nordic Houses wants to apply this accountability not only to itself but also to its employees, suppliers and clients.

“We wish to invite potential Japanese partners to understand our background, our culture and our capabilities. We take this time and effort to meet and talk before we start going somewhere,” said Saul.

On June 29, which is celebrated as Day of the Wooden House, Nordic Houses is contributing some structures to the Estonian Open Air Museum.

A route to opportunity between Estonia and Japan

Jun 29, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


Although one of Europe’s youngest port’s, the Port of Tallinn is one of the region’s fastest growing. As of last year, it handled around 11 million passengers, more than 20 million tons of cargo and 7,700 sea vessel visits.

Port of Tallinn Chairman and CEO Valdo Kalm

Founded in 1992, the Port of Tallinn also develops industrial sites to complement its strategy to become a leading passenger and cargo port, as well as a logistics center in the Baltic Sea region. And to achieve those objectives, the port looks at how digital innovations help to combine sustainability with efficiency.

The Port of Tallinn, together with the Estonian logistics sector, has begun developing an information exchange system, called Single Window, which allows the logistics and transportation sector to communicate with each other in a paperless and secure way. The aim is to connect the whole value chain and build stronger partnerships in Asia, particularly with Japan.

“About 50 to 60 percent of all exports from Estonia to Japan is wood timber followed by automobiles. While in terms of imports, it’s machinery,” CEO Valdo Kalm said.

As part of its Masterplan 2030 for the Old City Harbour, launched in 2016, the Port of Tallinn will undergo a major redevelopment of its main infrastructure and terminals, integrating smart technology that will connect the port with the city and its public spaces.

“This could be interesting for Japanese investors because we will open tenders for real estate development for offices and residential areas. There are almost 20 hectares

available for development,” Kalm said.

With its IPO on June 2018, the port hopes to raise the needed capital to become the most innovative port in the Baltic and consolidate its ties to Japan.


Estonian pharmaceuticals sets sights on Japan

Jun 29, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


With 27 years of history in the production and distribution of vitamins, medicines, veterinary drugs and dental care products, Magnum is indisputably the leader of the pharmaceutical pack in Estonia and in the neighboring Baltic states. The company attributes its success to the constant drive to improve its production facilities and distribution systems.

“This drive for innovation is something that gives us the advantage when we compare ourselves to competitors,” said CEO Ahti Kallikorm.

RÕÕM packages carry ancient legends that characterize the product.

Developed as a solution to seasonal affective disorder, which accompanies Estonia’s long winters and short summers, the brand is made up of 21 products formulated by expert Estonian pharmacists who considered Nordic Nutrition Recommendations and national nutrition studies.At the heart of Magnum’s reputation as a pioneer is RÕÕM, which means “joy” in English.

By incorporating local botanical ingredients used in Estonian naturopathy and folk medicine, RÕÕM has become one of the country’s best-selling supplements. Backed by intensive research and positive reviews, Magnum is ready to take the brand around the world, especially Japan.

“We sell our vitamins in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. So, why not Japan? Our products are at an upper level in quality, which makes them ideal for the Japanese market. And Magnum, we are also a business partner for exports to Estonia,” Kallikorm said.

As Magnum widens its coverage and product lines, the company is well positioned to become the bridge of the pharmaceutical industry between Japan and the Baltic states.

Information about its line of products and opportunities for collaboration is available at: www.roomuvitamiinid.ee and magnum.ee.


Technopolis Ülemiste: Developing a smart city on the rise

Jun 29, 2019
Credit : GMI Post


The Estonian capital Tallinn is grabbing the world’s attention for its rapidly-growing advanced information technology industry and vibrant startup culture. At the heart of this development, in a site of a former Soviet Union factory located next to the Tallinn Airport, is Ülemiste City.

Ülemiste City is home to 400 companies employing more than 10,000 people.

The smart city project, a joint venture of Estonian property developer Mainor and Technopolis (which provides and manages office spaces in the Baltic and Nordic regions), accommodates 400 companies with more than 10,000 employees, 15 percent of which represent foreign nationalities.

“It was all designed with this internationalization in mind. We hope that it will continue to grow in the future,” Technopolis Ülemiste CEO Gert Jostov said.

Ülemiste City not only provides physical space for companies but also nurtures a community that supports the internationalization of Estonian IT companies. Aiming to become a one-stop shop for foreign companies wanting to operate in Estonia, the International House of Estonia was opened in the area, which provides consultation and public authority services.

“Our focus is on getting more permanent residents into the campus,” Jostov said.

Around 20 percent of the Ülemiste City masterplan has been completed and the priority is the completion of infrastructure that will add integrated residential options alongside the commercial side of the campus, which will be ready by 2020.

As it lays down the technological and physical infrastructure of the area, Technopolis Ülemiste looks towards nurturing an organic community that serve as a model for the city of the future.


Estonia 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

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