On November 8th, the Emerging Europe Awards, one of the region’s most acclaimed initiatives, awarded winners for the sixth year in a row. This year’s edition, which is part of the Future of Emerging Europe programme, recognises and celebrates the achievements of organisations, initiatives, and individuals who made outstanding contributions to the region’s future in 2022.
With the final vote set to be announced on June 9th, the shortlist has been revealed across 16 categories, ranging from education to female leadership.
Comparing with the best
For the fourth consecutive year, Estonia has been named the leader in Emerging Europe’s annual ranking of investment promotion agencies. Recognised for its digitalized society and innovative, open business environment, Estonia continues to outshine competitors in areas such as innovation, creativity, and community building.
Estonia’s consistent top performance, as noted by Craig Turp-Balazs, editor of Emerging Europe, is attributed to the diligent efforts of the Invest Estonia team. In the previous year, Invest Estonia facilitated over €351M in foreign direct investments and the creation of 1600 high-paying jobs.
“As we mark our fourth year leading Emerging Europe’s investment promotion rankings, it’s a moment of pride and reflection for us at Invest Estonia. As the world continues to evolve and face new challenges, we remain committed to fostering an environment that attracts and supports innovative businesses,” says Joonas Vänto, Head of Invest Estonia.
Estonia is also well-represented with two other exciting projects. Among the nominees for the Modern and Future-proof Policymaking Initiative of the Year, which showcases initiatives that use cutting-edge technology to support foreign direct investors, is Invest Estonia and our ComparEST service. It won the 3rd place in a tight competition.
ComparEST is an online tool that enables potential foreign investors to compare Estonia with other countries based on a range of factors, such as the business environment, labour market, and living conditions. This tool enables foreign investors to efficiently evaluate Estonia’s potential as an investment location and make comparisons with other countries that might be of interest. It helps to streamline the investment process and make it more efficient.
“Automation is the way how we work at Invest Estonia. By harnessing the power of automated data collection and measurement, our team is able to dedicate more time to delivering a truly personalised and high-quality experience. I’m extremely thankful to have Kata Varblane and Andero Kaha as the principal architects of all the automation within Invest Estonia. I want to express my appreciation to all members of our team for their support and understanding towards our robotic colleagues,” says Joonas Vänto.
Previously, Invest Estonia has been included in IRCAI’s (The International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO) list of 100 most promising artificial intelligence-related solutions for the benefit of humanity. We have also been awarded the United Nations Investment Promotion Award as, according to the U.N, the agency has shown readiness, innovation and excellence in supporting the evolving needs of investors during the COVID-19 crisis.
Education at its finest
Another Estonian success, Vivita, won in the Youth Empowerment section. It has been nominated for its commitment to teaching children to imagine and create. Located in the famous Telliskivi creative district, Vivita helps kids learn new skills through self-directed experimentation and participation in real-life projects, such as coding or modelling.
“Our global expansion is set to continue in 2024, with concurrent efforts to integrate our challenge-based experimentation methodologies into formal education. This involves aiding in the development of innovative curricula and providing teacher training, both in Estonia and globally. We are also super excited to be preparing significant creativity in education-related collaboration to be announced in early 2025,” says Mari-Liis Lind, CEO and co-founder of Vivita.
Estonia, widely acclaimed for its top spots in the global PISA ranking, is once again showcasing its dedication to fostering talent and powering the most effective educational methods. And it’s not only about kids. One more educational project of Estonian origin won the Awards. The Export Academy pilot program, spearheaded by a dedicated team including Kati Järg and Sergii Pashchukov, has been awarded the Emerging Europe People-First Economy Award 2023. It helps Ukrainian SMEs to embrace global practices and learn from the world’s most successful export economies, such as Estonian ones.
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