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Germany preparing a digital transformation based on Estonia’s experience

Preparing its digital transformation, Germany finds that there is a lot to learn from Estonia. Last week, the management of ARIC, the artificial intelligence center in Hamburg, visited Estonia to meet several local technology companies, attend the Latitude59 conference and participate in the artificial intelligence roundtable with national digital advisor Marten Kaevats.

“For Germany, the digitalisation of both Industry 4.0 and the public sector has been a recurring theme in the development of the economy. Estonia’s digital history and smart solutions have helped us to attract positive attention. At the same time, we also have a lot to learn from the Germans, especially in the field of artificial intelligence, where their opportunities for financing of science and technological development are, to put it mildly, many times greater,” said Riina Leminsky, Director of Business Development in Germany at Enterprise Estonia.

“Estonia is a world wide Tech and Entrepreneur Hotspot. For Germany it is crucial to connect to such an innovative ecosystem to manage its own digital transformation. We can learn a lot about agile deployment of critical it infrastructure and the adoption of key future technologies like AI as well as the entrepreneurial mindset of the whole society,” said Alois Krtil, CEO of ARIC Hamburg.

“Cooperation with ARIC has already started and is very productive. The Germans are very interested in our activities and two visits of Estonian IT companies to Hamburg are planned in the autumn,” said Juhan Pukk, Member of the Board of the Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunications Association.

In February, Enterprise Estonia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ARIC, which unites all important technology companies and research institutions operating in Northern Germany, offering our companies very good opportunities for developing and sharing knowledge and skills related to artificial intelligence. Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, cooperation has continued in full despite the Covid-19 restrictions. The Global ITS conference in Hamburg in 2021 already has agreements to showcase our smart solutions for Hamburg’s Smart City.

“In the long run, it will certainly contribute to the attraction of higher value foreign investments as well as to the export of smart solutions to Estonian companies. Enterprise Estonia will help coordinate cooperation with various organizations and companies,” said Leminsky.

With the help of ARIC, innovation, business development and technology managers or incubators from Philips, Airbus and Ströer have already visited Estonia. While it was originally planned to come with a larger business delegation again, a number of airlines were canceled due to the corona crisis and representatives of Airbus and Ströer, for example, had to cancel their trip at the last minute, but the meetings are now virtual. The purpose of the visit is the follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February, the Latitude59 technology conference and a meeting with local IT companies.

ARIC’s partners are technology-related companies from northern Germany, such as Lufthansa, Airbus, Otto, Ströer, Nexperia, as well as smaller players, research institutes and the City of Hamburg. The main focus is on artificial intelligence, but also on digitization in general.

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