Estonian Embassy in Tokio :: News from Estonia http://www.estemb.or.jp en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss WiseCMS 2.0 hille.lepp@vm.ee hille.lepp@vm.ee Estonia Ranks 3rd in Europe in Economic Freedom http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1009 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">According to the Hertiage Foundation’s 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, Estonia ranks 3<sup style="box-sizing: border-box;">rd</sup> in Europe and 9<sup style="box-sizing: border-box;">th</sup> globally. While the overall score for Estonia rose by 0.4 points to 77.2, the overall position was one spot lower than in 2015 globally. Estonia is surpassed in Europe by Ireland and Switzerland, while its neighbors Latvia and Lithuania ranked 36<sup style="box-sizing: border-box;">th</sup> and 13<sup style="box-sizing: border-box;">th</sup> respectively.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Notable successes in subcategories of the index included Rule of Law, Management of Public Finance and Open Markets. Estonia needs to work on Labor Freedom.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The researchers for Heritage Foundation make note of the heavy publicity the few cases of government corruption received in local media and that the judiciary is effectively insulated from government influence. Further, the reduction in personal income and corporate tax rates to 20 percent and no taxation on undistributed profits are seen as positive developments.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">A more detailed report can be found&nbsp;<a href="http://www.heritage.org/index/country/estonia" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">here</a>.</p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1009 e-Residents from Singapore Can Soon Open Estonian Bank Accounts without Travelling to Estonia http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1008 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Start-ups in Singapore eyeing the European Union (EU) market will become the first in the world to benefit from a scheme enabling them to open a bank account in the Baltic nation Estonia without needing to travel there, the Singapore newspaper&nbsp;<a href="https://t.co/o2JPfH9xWl" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">Straights Times</a> writes.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">This benefit comes with enrolment in Estonia's e-residency scheme, which allows non-citizens to perform e-government and e-business transactions in the country. These include setting up a company and a bank account.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million people, is near Russia and Scandinavia. It is part of the EU. Under the scheme, set up in early 2014, some 8,000 e-resident cards have been issued, mostly in Europe. The scheme is now being rolled out in South-east Asia via Singapore.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Estonian government and bank officials will travel to Singapore every quarter starting from April to issue e-resident cards and bank cards to those whose e-applications have been approved.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Previously, applicants had to go to the nearest Estonian consulates and embassies - in Shanghai or New Delhi - to get their e-resident cards. Bank accounts could be set up only by travelling to Estonia.</p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1008 Alec Ross: An Epic Tale of Two Countries http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1007 <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; width: 295px; background-color: #ffffff;" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_932"><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" data-rel="lightbox-0" href="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/e-est_03.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: left;" height="285" width="285" alt="Tallinn Skyline" src="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/e-est_03.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-932" /></a> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" class="wp-caption-text">Tallinn Skyline</p> </div> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">Estonia and Belarus: two countries taking very different paths. Alec Ross explores the difference between Estonia and Belarus’ post Soviet societies.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">Noting forward-thinking leaders like Mart Laar who helped in the beginning to propel Estonia forward to become a digital leader, to current President Toomas Hendrik Ilves who has helped introduce the world to Estonian capabilities.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">In his article, Ross looks at the history of both countries in terms of how they responded to the crisis in 1991. With inflation rising rapidly and no legal framework, Estonian leaders went to work to not only solve the current crisis, but also set Estonia on a trajectory into the future. “Estonia has not produced a centi-billion-dollar company like Google, but it has achieved some notable successes, including Skype. More significant, it has innovated in a way that every place in the world, including Silicon Valley, should envy,” Ross writes.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">From voting online to filing taxes online, Estonians are at the center of e-governance. They have created an “efficiency haven” for entrepreneurs who want to start a business, even creating a pathway to digital citizenship through the e-Residency program.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">As Ross says, “Estonia has demonstrated how innovation in the industries of the future can do more than just generate wealth and employment; it can enhance our civic and political life. In this respect we should stop asking about the next Silicon Valley and start asking about the next Estonia.”</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">Read the full article&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" href="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/mailto:https://medium.com/backchannel/epic-country-level-a-b-test-proves-open-is-better-than-closed-d3f36c21b4f2%23.mn0syv75k" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1007 BBC features Estonia in ‘My Perfect Country’ http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1006 <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;"><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" data-rel="lightbox-0" href="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/520x260_twitter.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 20px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; display: block; float: left;" height="260" width="520" alt="520x260_twitter" src="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/520x260_twitter.jpg" class="wp-image-996 size-full aligncenter" /></a></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;<span style="text-align: justify;">The BBC recently featured Estonia in a new series called “My Perfect Country.” During the interview, host Fi Glover and guests, digital entrepreneur, &nbsp;Martha Lane Fox and Professor Henrietta Moore interview Estonian CIO Taavi Kotka, Teleport founder Sten Tamkivi, and the co-founder of Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus, among others. Topics such as innovation, the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://e-estonia.com/component/x-road/" style="font-family: inherit; line-height: inherit; text-align: justify; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" target="_blank">Estonian X-Road</a><span style="text-align: justify;">, the</span><a href="https://e-estonia.com/component/electronic-id-card/" style="font-family: inherit; line-height: inherit; text-align: justify; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" target="_blank">eID</a><span style="text-align: justify;">, and the Estonian&nbsp;</span><a href="https://e-estonia.com/component/e-residency/" style="font-family: inherit; line-height: inherit; text-align: justify; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" target="_blank">e-Residency program</a><span style="text-align: justify;">.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">Check out “My Perfect Country: Estonia”&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gscmv" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1006 Estonia Startup Ecosystem Report Published http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1005 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">While small, the Estonia startup ecosystem is growing very rapidly, building on the several success stories it has produced, Startup Compass writes in its&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.compass.co/estonia/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">blog post</a> on Estonia Startup Ecosystem Report.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Skype, the world’s largest P2P communications platform, is oftenconsidered the trigger of Estonia’s emerging startup ecosystem. Skype’s acquisition by eBay for $2.6 billion in2005puttheBalticstate on the global map of innovation and fueled it with financial resources and startup experience. The FinTech startup TransferWise, among others, re-confirmed that Estonian startups can be globally competitive with a $58 million Series C round in January 2015 led by renowned Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Whether directly or indirectly, the government has been supporting the ecosystem and has helped it gain momentum. Initiatives such as e-government, the digitization of public agency processes, and e-Residency, offering foreigners a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a trusted company online, have been well-received by the startup community. Accordingly an impressive 66% of Estonian startup founders expressed satisfaction with regards to the national government whereas the global average lies at only 25%.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The private sector has been very active as well. The establishment of many accelerator programs and co-working spaces as well as the development of a growing investor community have been crucial in fueling the ecosystem with know-how and capital. The contribution of Skype alumni is notable, with several early employees becoming angel investors and the co-founders starting an active venture investment group.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Order the&nbsp;<a href="http://startup-ecosystem.compass.co/ser2015/estonia/" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">full report</a>.</p> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1005 Planet OS Partners up with German Energy Giant RWE http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1004 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;"><img width="400" style="box-sizing: border-box;" alt="RWE Planet OS Partnership" src="http://investinestonia.com/images/news-images/RWE_Planet_OS_Partnership.jpg" /></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">RWE and Planet OS signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to build big data infrastructure for geospatial IoT. The first joint project of two companies is a next generation dashboard for RWE’s Gwynt Y Mor wind farm in Wales.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“As energy production is becoming increasingly decentralized and more of it will come from renewable sources, we need to start paying close attention to unpredictable weather patterns and other external risk factors the world is facing today,” said Mr. Peter Terium, Chief Executive of RWE Group during a visit to its Californian daughter company. “Working with data technology developed by Planet OS can help us to monitor and analyze geospatial sensor data in one system, improving operational efficiency, safety and production output. This is an important step for RWE on its way to become one of the leading data-driven and technology-driven utilities in Europe,” he continued.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Planet OS is a big data infrastructure company for geospatial IoT, solving the most difficult data discovery, data access, and decision support problems for the energy industries and government agencies. “Their technology is remarkable. Planet OS has created a suite of powerful cloud-based solutions, designed for Earth observation and industrial sensor networks, which allows us to securely integrate open and commercial environmental data with our proprietary data,” said Hans-Martin Hellebrand, Manager at RWE New Ventures LLC based in Silicon Valley.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“We’re honoured to partner up with RWE and confident of a very successful long-term cooperation. Our first joint project is a unified dashboard for Gwynt Y Mor wind farm in Wales, which is the second largest offshore windfarm in the world,” said Rainer Sternfeld, Founder and CEO of Planet OS. Energy companies that keep their data feed separate, are not only missing out on opportunities for growth, but also putting their businesses under a tremendous risk. Planet OS provides the common language that specialists and executives need to increase profitability of operations, mitigate environmental risks and plan new business opportunities. “Luckily, farsighted and ambitious companies like RWE understand that data is the new commodity,” added Sternfeld.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The partnership agreement was signed between Californian foothold of one of the leading European utilities RWE Group, RWE New Ventures LLC, and Planet OS Inc., Silicon Valley big data company with roots in Estonia. This fall Planet OS was selected as one of the breakthrough solutions helping to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations. The broader vision and goal of Planet OS is to index the real world by becoming the search engine for Earth data.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Read more from&nbsp;<a style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;" target="_blank" href="https://planetos.com/blog/">Planet OS Blog</a>.</p> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1004 New Estonian-located Development Teams of Foreign Enterprises http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1003 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">During the past four months another three international large enterprises have announced locating their support centres in Estonia. Even more new comers are expected this year as foreign enterprises are attracted by the local educated labour force, business daily&nbsp;<a style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;" target="_blank" href="http://www.aripaev.ee/">Äripäev</a> writes.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Today the IT development and innovation centre of the international financial enterprise arvato Financial Solutions will open in Tallinn, last December the global IT enterprise HCL Technologies introduced its Tallinn development centre and last October Nordea Bank announced basing the support services unit of the group in Estonia during the coming spring. These examples only date back to the last four months, yet Estonia has been favoured among the world’s large enterprises as a location for support units for a while now and it seems the popularity of Estonia is only increasing.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Agnes Makk who holds the position of CEO of arvato Estonia from last November states that in the case of arvato Financial Solutions the choice was made in favour of Estonia due to the developed financial services market, success of the e-government and cultural suitability. The German-born enterprise also considered other Eastern European nations for their IT development centre, yet according to Makk Estonia was favoured partially due to the work of Enterprise Estonia even considering the local labour force is no longer the cheapest one available.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“Enterprise Estonia was contacted in order to find out what Estonia has to offer. Although other similar agencies in Eastern Europe were also contacted, Estonia clearly stood out among the competition. The difference with other former Soviet nations was immense. The welcome was warm, the communication fast, they felt a cultural suitability and emphasised our Scandinavian-like thinking,” Makk adds.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Head of the Estonian Investment Agency of Enterprise Estonia Indrek Pällo says their role comprised of introducing the Estonian services and development centre sector as well as connecting arvato Financial Solutions with the parties necessary for developing the centre. According to Pällo, Enterprise Estonia did not provide any direct financial support to the enterprise.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Pällo also adds they are currently coopering with several new comers in addition to arvato Financial Solutions, however these enterprises are not yet ready to make any public announcements. “The level of maturity of the Estonian services and development centre sector is characterised by most of current projects being directed at creating or expanding support services units of industrial and production groups in Estonia,” he comments.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">100 people in three years</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">arvato Financial Solutions that operates under the international media group Bertelsmann is itself a group of nine enterprises that provides various financial services to the other enterprises. The Estonian support centre will provide IT development and innovation services to the enterprises of the group. All services will be exported; the Estonian unit will mainly be cooperating with Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“Our goal is to provide IT support to businesses. When talking about the payment business, the process is extremely dynamic as providing very fast IT solutions may be necessary and occasionally it might make more sense to provide these in cooperation with another Estonian enterprise. It is our job to find a suitable solution,” Makk says.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The enterprise is planning to hire 100 people in three years. They are aware of labour scarcity, yet Makk evaluates the plan of hiring 30-35 highly qualified IT specialists a year as a realistic goal. “People tend to explore the market and look for new challenges. If we do not find a sufficient amount of people in Estonia, we are willing to hire from our neighbouring countries,” she adds. The requirements of the enterprise are relatively demanding – they are looking for experienced .NET and Java developers, team leaders and quality leaders and, first and foremost, senior specialists who possess good communication skills in addition to been skilled with the computer.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">In order to ensure necessary labour force, the enterprise will follow Makk’s proposal of cooperating with Tallinn University of Technology to offer students internships. The employees will also be giving lectures at the university, providing research areas for theses and participating in career fairs.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Nordea’s plans still to be announced</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The first employees of the Nordea Operations Centre Tallinn support centre started work this week.<br style="box-sizing: border-box;" />The centre will offer support for services and processes related to bank products to all commercial entities and functions of Nordea Group in addition to the existing support services unit in Poland.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">According to Head of Communications at Nordea Estonia Jane-Liina Liiv, the number of future positions as well as the amount to be invested in the Tallinn unit has not yet been confirmed. “The support services unit of Nordea Group has only started and time will tell how much we can expand. The main investments are related to ensuring technical readiness and to people,” Liiv says.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The support centre is hiring those capable of acquiring knowledge fast, are solution-oriented and have good command of a Scandinavian language. According to Liiv, Nordea Estonia offers a competitive wage as well as various benefits.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Although Nordea and arvato have not received financial support from Enterprise Estonia, the foundation has supported the establishment of numerous other enterprises: Tieto, Kühne+Nagel, Opus Capita, and Ramirent. A total of nine enterprises have been supported via measures of support services and development centres. Pällo also mentions a new measure for directing international enterprises towards Estonia when choosing a location for expanding.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“This time we are promoting establishing support services and development centres outside Tallinn. We can already provide excellent examples of enterprises who have established their units outside Tallinn. Danpower operates in Võru and Jeld-Wen in Rakvere. Why not create centres in Narva, Pärnu or Haapsalu?” Pällo explains.</p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1003 e-Residency to Support Nasdaq in Transforming Shareholder Participation http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1002 <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/e-res-id-card.jpg" data-rel="lightbox-0" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;"><img class="alignnone wp-image-25323 size-medium" src="https://e-estonia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/e-res-id-card-300x183.jpg" alt="e-res-id-card" width="300" height="183" style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" /></a></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;"><strong>TALLINN &amp; NEW YORK –</strong> <a target="_blank" href="http://business.nasdaq.com/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;">Nasdaq</a> (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://valitsus.ee/en" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;">Republic of Estonia</a> have announced that Estonia’s e-Residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service to allow shareholders of companies listed on&nbsp;Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange,&nbsp;Estonia’s only regulated securities market, to vote in shareholder meetings. The country’s e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system used by both Estonian residents and those with business interests in the country to access government services through e-Residency digital authentication. The program marks the second official blockchain project Nasdaq is executing on after&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://ir.nasdaq.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=948326" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;">successfully delivering</a> the first private securities issuance between an investor and company via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">As part of the program’s pilot, shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian e-residents will be able to participate in the corporate governance of companies more conveniently and securely than ever before. The e-Residency platform vastly improves the ability to authenticate shareholders for the e-voting service, while blockchain technology will allow votes to be quickly and securely recorded, streamlining a proxy voting process that has historically been labor-intensive and fragmented. The pilot is aimed to launch in 2016.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">“I’m delighted Nasdaq will be using the e-Residency platform to offer shareholders a new e-voting system,” said Kaspar Korjus, Program Director, e-Residency. “When we started the e-Residency project a year ago we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship. Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance.”</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">Making it easier and safer for shareholders to participate in company meetings and votes is not just a matter of convenience or security; these interactions are the primary ways that a company’s shareholders interact with corporate management and shape the future of the company they own. By making e-voting more efficient and secure, the blockchain-based system has the potential to empower shareholders and improve their engagement.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">“On the heels of the successful execution of a Blockchain transaction in the US private market, we are pleased to further advance this technology in Estonia,” said Hans-Ole Jochumsen, President, Nasdaq. “Estonia’s robust information society and forward thinking coupled with the agility its size affords, creates a unique opportunity to premiere the e-voting pilot in Estonia. We’re excited to see the development of this project over the coming months, and look forward to working closely with the government of Estonia to set a transformative example of the future of governance.”</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;">* See more official announcement from Nasdaq&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/nasdaqs-blockchain-technology-to-transform-the-republic-of-estonias-eresidency-shareholder-20160212-00058" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;">here</a></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; font-family: cgsymphonynormaal, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #555555; background-color: #ffffff;">*More information on e-Residency&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://e-estonia.com/component/e-residency/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #43c7ed; text-decoration: none; outline: none !important;">here</a>.</p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1002 Investment Aid to Support Service and R&amp;D Centres http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1001 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Investment aid to support service and R&amp;D centres brings service centers into the spotlight.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The purpose of aid is to support international support service and R&amp;D centers to increase their international competitiveness. Sub-target is to develop and introduce (execute) services, products and technologies of higher value&nbsp;Applicants must be registered in Estonia, have a Group turnover 100+ mEUR/year, be present in at least 2 foreign countries and offer either support or R&amp;D services to company’s core activity. By the end of the project, full-time employment must have increased by at least 20 and average gross salary per employee must be at least equal to or higher than 1.5 times the county average published by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stat.ee/en" target="_blank" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">Statistics Estonia</a>.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a target="_blank" href="http://investinestonia.com/en/business-opportunities/shared-services/how-we-help" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">Read more about the investment aid</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a target="_blank" href="http://investinestonia.com/en/publications/case-studies/case/1092-estonia-the-smart-choice-for-shared-service-centres" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">Read why Estonia is a smart choice for service centers</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a target="_blank" href="http://investinestonia.com/en/business-opportunities/shared-services/case-studies-media" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;">See the case studies of successful service centers established in Estonia</a></p> Sun, 21 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1001 Estonia Embraces Uber and Taxify as First European Country to Legalize and Regulate Ride-Sharing http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1000 <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;"><img width="400" style="box-sizing: border-box;" alt="uber" src="http://investinestonia.com/images/photos/uber.jpg" /></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">While many European cities are reactionary when it comes to non-traditional taxi services, other European countries are keen to embrace new ideas as a way of proving their technology credentials and hoping to attract consequent investment in their startup ecosystem,&nbsp;<a style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; color: #43c7ed;" target="_blank" href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/montymunford/2016/02/28/estonia-embraces-uber-and-taxify-as-first-european-country-to-legalize-and-regulate-ride-sharing/#33f055bb6968">Forbes</a> writes.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">One particular country is the Baltic republic of Estonia, a country of only 1.3 million, but one that has been revolutionary in its pursuit of the Technology Dollar. Not only did it launch an e-citizenship initiative in 2014 and digitise its Government documents while others were still sending faxes, it is also likely to be the first European country to regulate and legalize ride-sharing services such as Uber, and its local and more popular taxi app, Taxify.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">Support comes from the highest level as demonstrated by the Estonian Prime Minister last week speaking on the 98th anniversary of the Estonian Republican speech.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“Wouldn’t it be reasonable at a time when a large part of the world is finding protectionist reasons to prohibit the sharing economy if we, Estonia, would be the first country to welcome Uber, Taxify and Airbnb?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“These business models do not just mean better competition and better service levels, but they may also become a part of the solution to Estonia’s sparse population issue, and incentivize more people to become entrepreneurs”, said Taavi Rõivas, Estonian Prime Minister.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The process is well-advanced. Last week a meeting was held at the Estonian Parliament to initiate amendments to the country’s transport act. If approved, the amendment will be the first of a kind in Europe, with ratification of the amendment expected in weeks, rather than months.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">The proposed amendments confirmed that private individuals can provide transportation services as long as certain conditions are met. These include provisions that all bookings are done electronically and service clients can estimate their trip price before the trip.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">This will be great news to local company Taxify, that since its launch in the summer of 2013 has seen the company become the biggest ride-booking app in Estonia and the surrounding Baltic States of Latvia and Lithuania.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #555555; font-family: Symphony, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19.6px; background-color: #ffffff;">“At Taxify, we’re proud that we were part of the hearing and provided helpful input for the parliament members and the public to assess the viability of the amendment”, said Markus Villig, CEO Taxify.</p> Mon, 29 Feb 2016 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-1000 Five Estonian summer concerts to keep an eye on http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-999 <p>The summer is full of events and concerts in Estonia. If you are visiting the country and only have a limited time, then culture.ee has made it easier to choose from by listing a number of must-attend events.</p> <p><a href="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/news/564--five-estonian-summer-concerts-to-keep-an-eye-on">Read more...</a></p> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:15:09 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-999 Estonia’s e-residency goes global http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-997 <p>On May 13, Estonia launched its global e-Residency online application portal at <strong><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><a href="http://e-resident.gov.ee" rel="nofollow" dir="ltr" data-expanded-url="http://e-resident.gov.ee" class="twitter-timeline-link" target="_blank" title="http://e-resident.gov.ee">e-resident.gov.ee</a></span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"></span></strong></p> <p><a href="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/news/563--estonias-e-residency-goes-global">Read more...</a></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 14:11:56 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-997 The new Estonian government assumed office http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-996 <p><strong>The new Estonian government assumed office </strong></p> <p>The Estonian Parliament approved Prime Minister Candidate Taavi Rõivas's new Cabinet on Wednesday, April 8 and the 14 ministers were sworn in and assumed office the following day, Thursday, April 9, 2015.</p> <p><a href="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/news/562-the-new-estonian-government-assumed-office-">Read more...</a></p> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:00:08 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-996 PICTURES: Northern lights hypnotise Estonians http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-994 <div class="entry-thumb" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;"><img src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/1024px-Virmalised_aurora_borealis-Janek-P%C3%A4rn-e1426680613288-940x681.jpg" class="attachment-single-project-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="1024px-Virmalised_,aurora_borealis Janek Pärn" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; height: auto; width: 620px;" /></div> <p> </p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a id="dd_start" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc; float: left; clear: both;"></a></p> <h3>A solar storm on Tuesday contributed to a mesmerising display of the aurora borealis, otherwise known as northern lights, across Estonia.</h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Aurora is a natural light display in the sky (from the Latin word aurora, “sunrise” or the Roman goddess of dawn), predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are caused by charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, entering the atmosphere from above causing ionisation and excitation of atmospheric constituents, and consequent optical emissions.</p> <p><strong>In Estonian, this natural phenomenon is called “virmalised” and people are eager to catch a glimpse of dancing lights when they illuminate the sky.&nbsp;These Instagram pictures catch some dazzling moments in Estonia.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0W_3HSRxmp/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0WlzGrHIEe/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0Wane4PIN_/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0WWrYNNfXy/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0WHU2KOrE8/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0WD4MwtCdh/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0Vz-2bmqJ4/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0XWZSACLdM/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://instagram.com/p/0XUMRCEWy8/embed/" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe><br /> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><br /> Photo by Jüri Looring.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;">Cover by Janek Pärn/Wikimedia Commons.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;">Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a></p> <p> </p> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-994 Estonia becomes a member of the European Space Agency http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-993 <p>&nbsp;<img src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Taavi-Torim-940x580.jpg" class="attachment-single-project-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="Taavi Torim" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; height: auto; width: 620px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;" /></p> <h3><strong>The European Space Agency (ESA) welcomed Estonia as its 21st&nbsp;member on 4 February.</strong></h3> <p>Anne Sulling, the Estonian minister of foreign trade and entrepreneurship, signed the&nbsp;accession agreement with the Paris-based space agency.</p> <p>According to&nbsp;<a href="http://aviationweek.com/blog/esa-make-estonia-21st-member-state" target="_blank">Aviation Week</a>, Estonia spends several hundred million euros annually on space activities, including new financing for national research and development&nbsp;activities decided last year and a contribution to European meteorological organisation Eumetsat.</p> <p>“The country has strong research facilities, particularly in the areas of astronomy and astrophysics, with the Observatory of Tartu and the Universities of Tartu and Tallinn,” Aviation Week said.</p> <p>Estonia spent €330 million (US$373 million) on space activities in 2009, and has been contributing about €1.2 million per year to the ESA budget as part of a cooperation contract signed in 2010. A dozen Estonia-related space development projects have been initiated since then. Tallinn also supports European space as a member of Eumetsat, a contributor to the EU Common Space development project, and to Europe’s Copernicus environmental and monitoring and security system.</p> <p>Flirting with space programmes goes back longer for the country. During the&nbsp;Cold War,&nbsp;Estonia was associated with and active in the extensive Soviet Union&nbsp;space programme. In the early 1970s, the first Soviet&nbsp;Saljut-type space station was equipped with the Estonian-built&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir" title="Mir">Mikron</a>,&nbsp;a shining night clouds observer device. Several upgrades of the device were in service until the mid 1980s. In the mid 1980s, a telespectrometer&nbsp;FAZA&nbsp;(also known as&nbsp;Phasa) was constructed in Estonia for the Soviet orbital space station&nbsp;Mir. The device was used for study of the atmosphere and pollutants.</p> <p>In 2013, Estonia became the 41st nation to have a&nbsp;man-made&nbsp;object in space, when its&nbsp;<a href="http://estonianworld.com/technology/estonia-becomes-space-nation-video/" target="_blank">first satellite, ESTCube-1</a>, was rocketed off to orbit the Earth. Around 100 students and scientists contributed to creation of the tiny one-kilogram satellite, which was nearly six years in the making. The satelliite was used as the basis for 40 research projects and three doctoral theses.</p> <p>It is hoped that Estonian enterprises and research and development institutions will benefit the most from Estonia becoming a full member of the ESA –&nbsp;and it will also help develop a smarter economy in Estonia. As a full member, Estonian enterprises will have the right to take part in the ESA technology transfer programme; they will have the opportunity to grow in the ESA business incubators and to take part in the ESA procurements of space science and other programmes. Estonian space institutions may then use the ESA research laboratory and infrastructure. Estonian citizens may apply&nbsp;for ESA jobs and students may take part in the ESA training programmes.</p> <p>Estonia’s full member status is expected to cost €2 million per year for the country.</p> <p> </p> <p>Cover: ESTCube-1 by Taavi Torim (Wikimedia Commons).</p> Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a> Tue, 03 Feb 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-993 Top 12 most outstanding Estonians in the world 2014 http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-992 <div style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;" class="entry-thumb"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; width: 620px; vertical-align: middle;" alt="418334_10150658100839415_1534367711_n" class="attachment-single-project-thumbnail wp-post-image" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/418334_10150658100839415_1534367711_n-940x626.jpg" width="500px" /></div> <p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc; float: left; clear: both;" id="dd_start"></a></p> <h2>In the run-up to the Estonian Independence Day, Estonian World has taken a look back at the previous year once more and compiled a list of the most outstanding Estonians in the world in 2014.</h2> <div style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;" class="entry"></div> <p>How did we measure it? We took into account the achievements, their presence and influence in the international media, appearances in global leading cities and the number of international followers in the social media. It is important to emphasise that this is not the ultimate list of either the most important or famous or influential Estonians in the world. There are many others – from conductors to artists to photographers, from Estonian public servants in the EU institutions to Estonians doctors in Scandinavian hospitals to Estonian accountants in the City of London – who work hard every day to make life better for everyone. Merely, we have brought out the names of Estonians who had a larger than usual clout and impact last year – that in turn helped get the name “Estonia” to the lips of more people around the world.</p> <h3><strong>12. Ilmar Raag (46), film director</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/576949_10151106276719315_34197725_n.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" alt="576949_10151106276719315_34197725_n" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/576949_10151106276719315_34197725_n.jpg" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13913" width="500" height="auto" /></a></p> <p>A former TV-executive, Raag shot to fame in Estonia with his first feature film,&nbsp;<em>The Class</em>, in 2007. The film about school violence felt gruesomely real and shook the society so powerfully that it is still stuck in the memories of many. Raag’s film career didn’t come on about completely out of blue – he had received his master’s degree in screenwriting from&nbsp;Ohio University eight years earlier. 2014 saw Raag collaborating with Belarusian and Russian filmmakers and direct&nbsp;<em>I Won’t Come Back</em> – a moving look at survival and a heartfelt exploration into the depths of friendship and the meaning of acceptance. In September, Raag’s earlier feature,&nbsp;<em>Kertu, </em>was&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/estonian-director-ilmar-raags-kertu-among-50-best-european-films/">selected as one of the 50 best</a> European films, recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards, by&nbsp;the European Film Academy.</p> <h3><strong>11. Karmen Pedaru (24), supermodel</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Karmen-Pedaru-Campaign-Francesco-Scognamiglio-FW-2014.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Karmen Pedaru Campaign Francesco Scognamiglio FW 2014" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Karmen-Pedaru-Campaign-Francesco-Scognamiglio-FW-2014.jpg" title="Karmen Pedaru campaign for Francesco Scognamiglio F/W 2014." class="alignnone wp-image-13925 size-full" /></a></p> <p>Pedaru hails from a small Estonian town of Kehra and was raised by her grandmother after her mother died when Pedaru was only five years old. Discovered in 2005,&nbsp;at the age of 15&nbsp;in Tallinn, her 10-year career is the result of impeccable management. She started&nbsp;out&nbsp;on the catwalk during&nbsp;spring 2007 at the&nbsp;Christopher Kane and Marni shows that were&nbsp;followed by a slow but a&nbsp;steady run of editorials in 2008 for V and the&nbsp;Italian Vogue. In the subsequent years, she scored advertising contracts with Gucci and Michael Kors for 2011, where she replaced the first Estonian supermodel Carmen Kass as the new face of Kors, all while maintaining a strong presence on catwalks and in magazines. In 2013, she had a number four&nbsp;ranking in&nbsp;top&nbsp;50 models and number&nbsp;17 ranking in income, according to models.com. By late 2014, models.com ranked Pedaru already among the “industry icons”, joining the honourable list of models, such as Alek Wek, Amber Valetta, Eva Herzigova, Gemma Ward, Karolina Kurkova, Stella Tennant, Agyness Deyn and&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://estonianworld.com/people/estonias-top-international-models/">Estonia’s own</a> Carmen Kass.</p> <h3><strong>10. Mord Fustang aka Rauno Roosnurm (23), electro house and dubstep producer and DJ</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mord-Fustang.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Mord Fustang" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mord-Fustang.jpg" title="Mord Fustang." class="alignnone wp-image-13928 size-full" /></a></p> <p>The only Estonian in this list who is unfamiliar to most of his countrymen, yet whose name rings a bell among hundreds of thousands dance music fans in the US and elsewhere. Mord Fustang’s Facebook page alone has 188,000 fans – the second highest number for any Estonian. The young DJ from Kose, a small village near Tallinn, broke into global scene in 2011 with “The Electric Dream”, and the rest is history. The reclusive producer has avoided media attention in his native land and lived and toured in the US in last few years, where he has also shared bill with Eric Prydz, Paul Oakenfold, Fedde Le Grand and other superstar DJs. Fustang released his new album in January, 2015.</p> <h3>9. Paavo Järvi (52), conductor</h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Paavo-J%C3%A4rvi-by-Ventre-Photos.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Paavo Järvi by Ventre Photos" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Paavo-J%C3%A4rvi-by-Ventre-Photos.jpg" title="Photo by Ventre Photos." class="alignnone wp-image-13733 size-full" /></a></p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Maestro Paavo Järvi is one of the world’s most prolific conductors. A truly global Estonian, Järvi regularly conducts the world’s finest orchestras, whether it be in Berlin or Moscow, Cleveland or Tokyo. His continuing directorship of Orchestre de Paris saw Järvi recently&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/maestro-paavo-jarvi-talks-paris-estonia-russia-music-estonian-world/">lead the opening performances of the world’s newest grand concert hall</a>, the Philharmonie de Paris. Järvi’s musicality is one which is deeply aware of the specific musical demands of a composition. Rather than applying a bland “one size fits all” approach to music, Järvi engages with the emotional, structural and conceptual essence of each piece. From his brisk and unrelenting approach to Beethoven, his grand, committed, yet nuanced, approach to Bruckner, and his aurally rich yet bucolic approach to Schumann, Järvi is a master of bringing out the most profound elements of a piece, all while making the music seem highly relevant to the modern world. Järvi’s embrace of modern and contemporary orchestral music has delighted audiences the world over and his championing of young composers and performances has made him greatly beloved amongst classical musicians.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Despite his seemingly constant travels, Järvi remains committed to promoting Estonian music throughout the world as well as staging innovative performances and producing high-quality recordings throughout Estonia.</p> <h3><strong>8. </strong><strong>Eiko Ojala (32), illustrator and graphic designer</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Photo-Eiko-Ojala-Credits-Sten-Roosvald.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Photo-Eiko-Ojala-Credits-Sten-Roosvald" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Photo-Eiko-Ojala-Credits-Sten-Roosvald.jpg" title="Eiko Ojala giving presentation at TED Tallinn. Photo by Sten Roosvald." class="alignnone wp-image-13930 size-full" /></a></p> <p>Another name on this list which is still relatively unknown in his homeland, but whose&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.ploom.tv/">illustrations</a>speak volumes in some of the most influential media outlets in the world. Ojala, who draws everything by hand, still lives in Tallinn, but his distinctive and colourful forms of shapes, playing with light and shadow, have been published by&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/opinion/sunday/goodnight-sleep-clean.html?_r=2">New York Times</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.ploom.tv/illustration/wired/">Wired</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/15410605/Eustace-Tilley-for-New-Yorker">New Yorker</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://observer.com/2014/04/the-high-fliers/">NY Observer</a>,&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.ploom.tv/illustration/sunday-times-travel-magazine-72-hour-cities/">Sunday Times</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.ploom.tv/illustration/harvard-business-review/">Harvard Business Review</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.dwell.com/post/slideshow/graphic-designer-we-love-eiko-ojala">Dwell magazine</a> and&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/16222667/EIKO-OJALA-POUR-LE-MONDE">Le Monde</a>.&nbsp;His business client list is equally impressive and global – one can find HSBC Bank, Intel, Air France and Peugeot on it. World’s most prominent art book publisher Tachen includes his illustrations in its books and they were also featured at last year’s “Stanley Kubrick Tribute” exhibition at&nbsp;Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco. Ojala was also the winner of the “55th Annual Illustration Competition”, organised by Communication Arts (US), in 2014. “There is no point in seeking recognition. The point is to do your job so good that the recognition finds you,” says Eiko Ojala himself.</p> <h3><strong>7. Anu Tali (42), conductor</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Photo-by-Kaupo-Kikkas.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Photo by Kaupo Kikkas" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Photo-by-Kaupo-Kikkas.jpg" title="Photo by Kaupo Kikkas." class="alignnone wp-image-13929 size-full" /></a></p> <p>Among the Estonian heavyweight conductors, such as Tõnu Kaljuste, Olari Elts, Eri Klas and Järvi triumphirate (Neeme, Paavo, Kristjan), Tali stands out as the only female Estonian conductor to make her mark internationally. She and her twin sister Kadri Tali founded the Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra in 1997, when Anu was only 25. The orchestra, now called the Nordic Symphony Orchestra (NSO), still performs five times a year and has members from fifteen different countries. She has appeared with the Japan and Tokyo Philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg at the Salzburger Festspiele, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, among others. Tali made her conducting debut in the US in 2005 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, but it was the Sarasota Orchestra, the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida, that named Tali as its next music director in 2013 and elevated her international career further still.</p> <h3><strong>6-5. </strong><strong>Taavet Hinrikus (33) and Kristo Käärmann (34), founders, TransferWise</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" alt="Portraits" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Kristo-+-Taavet-_DSC6116.jpg" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13835" width="500" /></p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Hinrikus and Käärmann already had promising international careers going for them, before setting up the money transfer firm, TransferWise, in London in 2011. Hinrikus was Estonian-developed Skype’s first employee and Käärmann worked for Deloitte, having set up his first company when he was 18. Two friends split their lives between the UK and mainland Europe and when the practicalities of life required them to do a money transfer between the two countries, came up with a simple scheme: Kristo put his pounds into Taavet’s UK bank account, and Taavet topped up his mate’s Belgian account with euros. To find a suitable exchange rate, the friends picked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters. This way, they avoided paying enormous charges to banks and other conventional money transfer institutions. And that’s when they saw “the apple fall”. “We suddenly started to see a business sense in this. What if we added technology and turned this scheme into a global platform? This was the start of TransferWise,” Käärmann has said.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">2014 saw the company&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://estonianworld.com/business/richard-branson-invests-estonian-startup-transferwise/">attracting an investment</a> from a British billionaire, Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson. The firm now has 250 members of staff, 292 currency routes and its customers have transferred £3 billion using its&nbsp;platform.</p> <h3><strong>4. Toomas Hendrik Ilves (61), president</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="file63708700_8c63a8cc" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/file63708700_8c63a8cc.jpg" title="Photo by Andres Putting." class="alignnone wp-image-13920 size-full" /></p> <p>There were very few globally influential media outlets that didn’t quote or interview the tech-savvy Estonian president in some form or another in 2014. CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, CNBC and al-Jazeera America led the pack of international media who wanted to hear Ilves’s views either on the Russian Federation’s role in the Ukraine crisis, Estonia’s transformation as an e-state or cybersecurity. With 43,000 followers, many of them globally influential, on Twitter and almost 100,000 followers on Facebook, Ilves has also a decent fan base on social media. Ilves has sometimes polarised opinions at home. Some Estonians see him as somewhat distant from the local matters, especially when it comes to social issues, yet Estonians abroad value him dearly, noting his international presence and ability to stand out.</p> <h3><strong>3. Kerli Kõiv (27), singer-songwriter</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="By Brian Ziff I" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/By-Brian-Ziff-I.jpg" title="Photo by Brian Ziff." class="alignnone wp-image-13939 size-full" /></p> <p>Hailing from a small town of Elva in southern Estonia, Kerli – as she is artistically known – is largely a self-made success story, but as always, luck and fate have also played a role. Kõiv was first introduced to music by her kindergarten teacher when she told her mother that Kerli had a “nice pitch” and encouraged her to take part in various singing competitions.&nbsp;By the age of 10, she succumbed into her own fantasy world, brought about by the non-healthy climate at her parents’ home. Writing stories and poems forecasted a rise of a distinctive personality, but her ambitious spirit had its first breakthrough when she won Estonian singing competition Laulukarussell&nbsp;at the age of 15 with the cover of Simon &amp; Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Around the same time, she also took part in a Baltic song contest, organised by Universal Music, and her win paved way to global path. However, a couple of years of struggle followed, which included squatting in Stockholm for three months. Her next big break came when she relocated to Los Angeles and after a year of performing and writing, finally got an audition with the American music industry legend, the record producer and executive L.A. Reid, who signed her, at the age of 19, to Island Music Group.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/By-Brian-Ziff.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="By Brian Ziff" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/By-Brian-Ziff.jpg" title="Photo by Brian Ziff." class="alignnone wp-image-13919 size-full" /></a></p> <p>In 2008, Kerli became the first Estonian pop artist – and so far the only one – to break into Billboard 200 when her single “Love Is Dead”&nbsp;charted at number 126. Another success followed when “Skyscraper”, a song that Kerli originally wrote in 2011, but sung by a British singer Sam Bailey,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/song-written-estonian-artist-kerli-becomes-uks-christmas-number-one-single/">became the Christmas No. 1 in the United Kingdom</a> in 2013. 2014 saw Kerli changing record labels, signing with the New York-based dance music label, Ultra Music, instead. The latter’s artist roster counts such electronic dance music artists as Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi and David Guetta among others. While some may argue that Kerli’s early accomplishments and distinctive style should have pointed to a more favourable stardom by now, she remains the most successful Estonian pop artist in the world, and by far the most popular Estonian in the social media – Kerli is followed by over 600,000 people on Facebook, 80,000 on Twitter and 40,000 people on Instagram.</p> <h3><strong>2. Tõnu Kaljuste (61), conductor</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/marcoanelli_gestures_31_Kaljuste.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Tonu Kaljuste" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/marcoanelli_gestures_31_Kaljuste.jpg" title="Photo by Marco Anelli." class="alignnone wp-image-13927 size-full" /></a></p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Conductor Tõnu Kaljuste played an active role in keeping the Estonian choral tradition alive during the Soviet occupation, managing to get the finance and establish the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 1981. When Estonia regained its independence in 1991, Kaljuste became a global ambassador of Estonian choral and orchestral music. He has dedicated a major part of his work to the music of Estonian composers, such as Heino Eller, Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis and Erkki-Sven Tüür, whose compositions he has&nbsp;recorded for the ECM Record label. While by now one of the foremost choral directors in the world, Estonia has remained as his home base. However, that has not stopped Kaljuste working with many orchestras and choirs all over the world, such as the Swedish Radio Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir, for example.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">2014 was a highly successful year for the Maestro. In January, Kaljuste won a&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #1b8be0; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit;" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/arvo-parts-adams-lament-wins-grammy-award-in-the-best-choral-performance-category/">Grammy Award in the Best Choral Performance</a> category for his work on Arvo Pärt’s album “Adam’s Lament” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. In late May and early June, he conducted the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, performing the music of Pärt at&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #1b8be0; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit;" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/arvo-parts-concerts-in-washington-and-new-york-pictures/">four sold-out concerts</a> in the United States – two in Washington, DC, and two in New York City, including one at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall.</p> <h3><strong>1. Arvo Pärt (79), composer</strong></h3> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/arvo_part_E7V7278.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="arvo_part_E7V7278" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/arvo_part_E7V7278.jpg" title="Photo by Kaupo Kikkas." class="alignnone wp-image-13917 size-full" /></a></p> <p>It has been said by the Estonian music journalist, Immo Mihkelson, that Pärt’s compositions address everyone, attempting to appeal to that shared aspect of human kind which rises above nationality, skin colour and culture – it is as if the music wishes to say that we are all in it together. Indeed, Pärt commands respect and admiration from classical music fans from around the world, from Italy to Iran, and Belgium to Brazil. In fact, Pärt’s music became internationally renowned before most Estonians were aware of it because he was forced to emigrate from his home country with his wife and their two sons in 1980, after a prolonged struggle with the Soviet officials. Most Estonians learned about Pärt’s fame when “Te Deum” climbed the Billboard’s classical music charts for 52 weeks during 1994-95 and was later nominated for a Grammy Award. In last 20 years, however, Pärt has been universally revered as Estonia’s most famous son.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;"><a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Maestro-Arvo-P%C3%A4rt-after-a-long-long-applause-at-the-Carnegie-Hall-concert-in-New-York-last-night.-Photo-by-Eleri-Ever.-e1408532613917.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; border-color: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle;" width="500" alt="Maestro Arvo Pärt after a long, long applause at the Carnegie Hall concert in New York last night. Photo by Eleri Ever." src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Maestro-Arvo-P%C3%A4rt-after-a-long-long-applause-at-the-Carnegie-Hall-concert-in-New-York-last-night.-Photo-by-Eleri-Ever.-e1408532613917.jpg" title="Maestro Arvo Pärt after a long, long applause at the Carnegie Hall concert in New York last night. Photo by Eleri Ever." class="alignnone wp-image-11938 size-full" /></a></p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">But Pärt’s number one position in our list is not just based on his lifetime achievement. 2014 saw Pärt been given the title of the world’s most performed living composer by the classical music event database, backtrack.com. Few weeks later came the announcement that conductor Tõnu Kaljuste had won a&nbsp;Grammy Award in the Best Choral Performance&nbsp;category for his work on Pärt’s album “Adam’s Lament” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. In addition to multiple performances around the world, Pärt’s music was performed at&nbsp;four sold-out concerts&nbsp;in the United States – two in Washington, DC, and two in New York City, including one at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall, which was also honoured by the Maestro’s own attendance. Finally, in October, the Japan Art Association presented Pärt with the prestigious&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" href="http://estonianworld.com/culture/photos-arvo-part-awarded-by-japanese-prince-hitachi/">Praemium Imperiale</a> cultural award. The award is considered equal to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture, and was presented to the Maestro by the patron of the association, Prince Hitachi of Japan.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Thanks to photographers:&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.eleriever.com/">Eleri Ever</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.kaupokikkas.com/">Kaupo Kikkas</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.marcoanelli.com/">Marco Anelli</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.brianziff.com/#/79675/">Brian Ziff</a>,&nbsp;<a style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;" target="_blank" href="http://www.roosvald.com/">Sten Roosvald</a>.</p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; text-align: justify;">Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a></p> </p> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-992 Estonia eighth in the world by economic freedom, second in Europe http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-991 <div class="entry-thumb" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;"><img src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Tallinn-III.jpg" class="attachment-single-project-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="Tallinn III" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; height: auto; width: 620px;" /></div> <h2>According to the latest economic freedom index, compiled and published by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, DC, based think-tank, Estonia has the eighth freest economy in the world, and the second freest in Europe, behind Switzerland.</h2> <p>The Heritage Foundation said that despite the eurozone crisis and a half-decade of weak regional growth, Estonia’s domestic economy has proven resilient and economic freedom has advanced. “Since 2011, economic freedom has increased in a majority of the 10 factors, with strong improvements in the property rights regime and the entrepreneurial environment,” the think-tank said in a foreword to Estonia brief.</p> <p>According to the foundation, the past three years have helped confirm Estonia as a regional leader in economic freedom, reestablished as one of the world’s 10 freest economies for the first time since 2007. “Minimal state interference has been accompanied by a prudent fiscal policy, a commitment to open markets and overall regulatory efficiency.”</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking">2015 Index of Economic Freedom</a>, compiled in partnership with the Wall Street Journal,&nbsp;showed that Estonia’s economy was the eighth freest. “Its overall score is higher than last year, reflecting improvements in six of the 10 economic freedoms, including business freedom, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. Estonia is ranked second out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages,” the think-tank said.</p> <p>Estonia was surpassed by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada and Chile.</p> <p> </p> <p>Cover: Tallinn skyline by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.genvagula.com/">Gen Vagula</a>.</p> <p>Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a></p> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-991 Taxify mobile application expands to the Netherlands http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-990 <div class="entry-thumb"><img alt="Taxify_IMG_0252" class="attachment-single-project-thumbnail wp-post-image" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Taxify_IMG_0252-940x626.jpg" width="500" /></div> <div class="entry-thumb"></div> <div class="entry-thumb"></div> <h2>Taxify, an Estonian-founded taxi booking application, is launching in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, in collaboration with Aemstel Taxi.</h2> <div class="entry">“I am truly happy to finally launch&nbsp;<a href="http://taxify.eu/">Taxify</a> service in Amsterdam. It’s a big day for the Dutch taxi customers. Amsterdam is a big deal for us, so we have invested heavily in our team and into the training of the taxi drivers in order to make this a big success,” Markus Villig, the founder and CEO of Taxify, said in a statement.</div> <div class="entry"> <p><a href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Taxify_CEO_Markus_Villig.jpg"><img width="500" alt="Taxify_CEO_Markus_Villig" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Taxify_CEO_Markus_Villig.jpg" title="Taxify CEO Markus Villig." class="alignnone wp-image-13825 size-full" /></a></p> </div> <p>“Taxify has taken such a smart approach and sensible way to tap this vast market that I strongly believe we will succeed here in the Netherlands too. We have amazing stats – on average Taxify users gets order confirmation within 10 seconds and taxi arrives in 4 minutes. With the current co-operation here in Amsterdam I believe we will be able to provide the same service level for Amsterdam taxi customers.” Matthijs Draijer, the Taxify Country Manager in the Netherlands, added.</p> <p>The Taxify app enables smartphone users easily book the closest licensed taxi in real-time and for free of charge. After the order is confirmed, one can see the approaching taxi on the map. Customers can also rate the driver and share feedback after their ride.</p> <div class="entry"> <p><a href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_9395.jpg"><img width="500" alt="IMG_9395" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_9395.jpg" title="Amsterdam." class="alignnone wp-image-13824 size-full" /></a></p> <p>The taxi market in the Netherlands and in Amsterdam has been stagnant for decades, according to Taxify. “The difficult regulatory situation has enabled the taxi dispatch centres holding the monopoly to take over the market and to lock smaller taxi companies into their system,” the company said in a statement.</p> <p>Taxify was founded in Estonia in 2013 and is growing in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. The firm is also present in Belarus, Georgia and Poland. In 2014, it was named Estonia’s best mobile application. In late 2014, the firm&nbsp;<a href="http://estonianworld.com/technology/taxify-raises-e1-4-million-expand-central-europe%E2%80%A8/">raised</a> €1.4 million in funding from multiple international investors, to expand into new markets.</p> <p>Pictures: Taxify.</p> <div class="entry"></div> <div class="entry">Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a></div> </div> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-990 Estonian-Georgian movie “Tangerines” nominated for an Oscar! http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-989 <h3 style="border: 0px; margin: -8px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; font-size: 20px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: 30px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #333333; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;"><img alt="mandariinid" height="275" width="500" src="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/images/news/mandariinid.jpg" /></h3> <h2>The Estonian-Georgian movie, “Tangerines” (“Mandariinid” in Estonian), has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 87th Academy Awards.</h2> <p>The shortlist of five nominees was selected by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and London.&nbsp;“Tangerines” is the first Estonian film nominated for an Academy Award. &nbsp;</p> <p>“Tangerines” has become the most successful film involving Estonian filmmakers, notching up tens of international awards since 2013.&nbsp;Previously, it has won Special Award of Mannheim-Heidelberg and Audience Award at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2013, Best Director Award from Warsaw International Film Festival,&nbsp;Best Estonian Film at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2013, Best Director at the Tbilisi International Film Festival 2013, Crystal Phoenix for Best Picture and for Best Screenplay at the 32nd Fajr International Film Festival 2014, and Best Picture at the Bari International Film Festival 2014.</p> <iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MMXjmYmwp-o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p style="text-align: justify;">The movie tells a story that takes place in 1992 during the war in Abkhazia in an Estonian village that was situated there. In the village, whose residents have fled from war, injured fighters from two opposite sides of the battle front happen to all be staying in the same house of an Estonian elder. The leading roles are played by Estonian actors Lembit Ulfsak and Elmo Nüganen, and Georgian actors Giorgi Nakhashidze and Mihhail Meskhi. It was produced by an Estonian film producer Ivo Felt and cost&nbsp;650 000 euros to make. The filming took place in the Guria region in Georgia<span style="font-family: tahoma, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #333333;"><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; background-color: #ffffff;">.</span></span></p> <p style="border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; font-size: 14px; color: #333333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; text-align: justify; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Tangerines.jpg" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #0099cc;"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-7915" src="http://estonianworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Tangerines.jpg" alt="Tangerines" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-size: 0px; color: transparent; vertical-align: middle; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" /></a></p> <p>Estonian World’s film critic Birgit Drenkhan said in 2013 that “Tangerines” had a potential to take Estonian filmmaking to a completely new level.</p> <p>“For me, this film opens a new chapter in the Estonian cinematic history. “Tangerines”, although war is always around, is not a war film. War just helps bring out the most important message (as white looks brighter in front of black). The story is about being human and, no matter what, believing in the human kind. The story is balanced, without being too dramatic or brutally funny. A serious subject is dealt with through subtle humour. The director knows psychology and how to manipulate with the viewer, so he takes us to an emotional rollercoaster by making us both laugh and cry. It is also an artistically beautiful movie with nice nature scenes, impressionistic sunsets and close-ups of an old man’s hands making woodwork,” Drenkhan said.</p> <p>The film was produced by Estonian film production company Allfilm and Georgian production company Cinema 24.</p> <p>The Oscars gala will be held on 22 February at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.</p> <p>The other nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film (see the “Tangerines” announcement at 42:00) are:</p> <p> </p> <p>“Ida” by Paweł Pawlikowski (Poland)</p> <p>“Leviathan” by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)</p> <p>“Timbuktu” by Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania)</p> <p>“Wild Tales” by Damián Szifrón (Argentina)</p> <p> </p> <p>Cover: Screenshot from the movie (leading actor Lembit Ulfsak). Credit:&nbsp;<a href="http://allfilm.ee/en/">Allfilm</a>.</p> <p>Source: <a href="http://www.estonianworld.com">www.estonianworld.com</a></p> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-989 The Estonian Song &amp; Dance Celebration starts today! http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-988 <p><undefined:undefined:p>If you cannot be in Tallinn, watch live via the internet.</undefined:undefined:p> <undefined:undefined:hr id="system-readmore"></undefined:undefined:hr> <undefined:undefined:img src="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/images/2009-aasta-tantsupidu-67768511.jpg" height="205" width="315" alt="2009-aasta-tantsupidu-67768511" style="float: right;"></undefined:undefined:img><undefined:undefined:p></undefined:undefined:p></p> <p><a href="http://estoniaeuadm.estonia.eu/news/546-the-estonian-song-a-dance-celebration-starts-today-">Read more...</a></p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:03:22 GMT http://www.estemb.or.jp/frontpage/news/aid-988