|Global collaboration hub for academia, industry, government and military.|
|Strong competencies and capabilities to support global defence industry innovation.|
|Highly flexible and transparent approach.|
|World-class skills in high-tech systems, real-time computing and cyber security.|
|Estonia has a unique expertise in the R&D and management of cyber security solutions and systems.|
As a small nation, the aim has always been to be agile and armed for innovation at a world-class level in all main domains such as air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. It’s a young innovation-driven nation that has quickly become among TOP10 innovators in the EU by 2021, surpassing all Eastern European and Mediterranean countries. The total defence costs in Estonia in 2023 will be over one billion euros (2.85% of GDP). In 2024, the level of defence costs will exceed 3% of GDP.
On land, Estonia has been a pioneer in having level 4 autonomous robots on the public streets since 2017. In addition, Milrem Robotics is the first and only defence industry company in Europe to conduct remote-controlled shooting exercises from an unmanned combat vehicle.
In the air, drones have been chosen as an important field of new growth for military and civilian applications. An applied research center based on AS Metrosert, whose five focus areas include drone technologies and autonomous vehicles, is currently being established by the state to push the boundaries of that frontier further with Estonian engineering talent. Eli drones have been used to monitor and protect the European Union’s eastern border since 2018 and Threod Systems drones are the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ preferred choice of technology provider for near-field intelligence collection and precision targeting.
On the sea, the pioneer of marine radio communications and rapid reconfiguration capability Cybernetica has delivered state-of-the-art marine radio communication, marine aids, and navigation systems across the world for two decades. In 2018, they partnered with European Defence Agency for the first-ever military research programme for a next-generation naval surveillance system. Baltic Workboats has taken the leadership position in Europe to develop the European standard for unmanned marine vessels both civilian and military use.
In space, the Estonian defence industry has been supported by the European Space Agency’s business incubation center since 2017. The largest blockchain company in the world Guardtime was awarded a contract to build European Space Agency’s space cybersecurity operational capability. Estonian software company Spaceit provides mission control services to satellite operators, enabling an 80% reduction of a satellite mission’s budget. In addition, together with Estonian Cybexer Technologies, they have joined forces to develop a cyber defence satellite operations simulator and signed a cybersecurity contract with the European Space Agency to strengthen the rapidly growing space sector against cyberattacks.
In cyberspace, Estonia is considered the most advanced cybersecurity country in Europe, with its unique expertise in the research, development, and management of cybersecurity solutions and systems. NATO has chosen Estonia as the home of its Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the European Union has in Estonia its European agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems (EU-LISA).
Estonia has earned a leading role in expanding with the NATO innovation accelerator DIANA (the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic). It participates in the contributing NATO innovation investment fund of 1B EUR with all 22 participating nations over the next 15 years.
The Tech community is complemented by the Estonian Defence and Aerospace Industry Association with 120 strong members, and the Estonian National Defence Industry Policy 2021-2030 objective is to create competitive advantages in focus areas of cyber defence, autonomous and unmanned systems, robotics, AI solutions, electronic warfare and surveillance, and automation.
Estonia is a cashless society with over 99% of financial transactions occurring digitally. Electronic ID and Blockchain are widely used in FinTech applications. 80+ FinTechs ranging from innovative startups such as Wise to Blockchain leader Guardtime make Estonia a global centre of excellence for FinTech.
Estonia is the world’s most digitally enabled nation, offering a unique combination of talent, environment, and innovation. Our IT R&D ecosystem enjoys global proof of concept, being trusted by global organisations such as Kuehne+Nagel and NATO and producing unicorn startups like Wise and Bolt.
Estonia has a sizeable food industry which benefits from ecological raw materials, skilled workers and modern production facilities. With an established export capability and growing application of food science and technology, Estonia is the ideal location for export and R&D oriented investment.
Estonia is not only a pioneering digital society, which has found convincing answers to the challenges of digitalization, but it also is a very green country. There is a strong societal and political will to utilize the capabilities and ecosystems. These have been developed to tackle the challenges of decarbonization of the economy and to become once again a leading player – in CleanTech and GreenTech.
Defence systems have always been a focal point for Estonia. The country has built very capable defence army consisting of a professional army, reserve forces, and national defence league, complimented by NATO allied forces. Over the years technology entrepreneurs and engineers have teamed up with the army to develop world-class solutions for the global defence industry. When we mean defence, we mean business.
Metaverse is the parallel universe or a unified universal virtual world, facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets. In addition to the fact that existing products and services can be transferred to the Metaverse, it achieves a completely new economic environment and opportunities to create and market products and services that are unique to the Metaverse. Simply said, Metaverse has no limits in Estonia.
Estonia developed X-Road, its proprietary decentralised, distributed system in 2001 and has utilised Blockchain since 2008. World-class technical skills supported by practical experience implementing public and permissioned Blockchain’s place Estonia at the forefront of the emerging Blockchain economy.
Patient records in Estonia are digitised and secured by the Blockchain, providing a single immutable data source for healthcare professionals. With a unique digital platform and collaborative ecosystem, Estonia is positioned to lead on preventative medicine, patient self-treatment and industry efficiency.
Estonia has a diversified energy sector which comprises long-standing expertise in oil shale, a sizeable renewables sector and growing CleanTech capability. World-class expertise within a highly digital, pro-business environment will see Estonia play a leading role in the energy revolution
Estonia has one of Europe’s largest bioeconomies, including world leading expertise in forest-based activity. Supported by high-quality natural resources, ultra-high use of IT and supportive policy making, Estonia offers a range of production and innovation opportunities.
Estonia’s marine sector specialises in the design and build of small and medium-sized commercial and leisure vessels. Centuries long expertise, cutting-edge application of IT and a flexible approach make Estonia a competitive location for innovation and export-oriented production.
What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?
The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.