Resilience is the key – this is something that Estonians have known from the early ’90s and have been making the most out of every opportunity to develop its economy through e-solutions. The digital transformation has been achieved by the country’s agility, the collaboration between the private and the public sector and constant experimentation.
Resilience is the key
Digitalisation, adapting to new environments and proactively looking for new solutions has made the country’s economy truly resilient. “Despite the difficult times the economy in Estonia is still going strong,” says Viljar Lubi, the Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
Estonians have worked hard to turn the country’s size and location into an advantage. Thanks to the country’s small size, the cooperation between different interest groups is easy and facilitates finding the best solutions. The investments made so far have turned Estonia into one of the leading digital societies with strong business opportunities.
Estonia keeps investing in developing digital solutions. For example, the development of e-CMR is currently well under way – making freight truly paperless and faster. Additionally, the country is investing in AI and automation. Here, the cooperation between the public and the private sector is of utmost importance. “Numerous startups that Estonia is famous for are constantly providing new and innovative ideas and it is only a matter of time until one of them will become the next unicorn,” Lubi said.
Achievements through collaboration
Ericsson has been one of the long-time investors in the Estonian IT sector. They have adapted well to the Estonian R&D ecosystem and have made use of the digital society Estonia has to offer. The company has had numerous projects with the government and is open for collaboration as they have set up 5G network base stations for open innovation in TalTech university campus and Ülemiste City business campus. Thanks to the size of the country, it is possible to try the innovative ideas on a small scale and in case of failure, you fail fast and can swiftly move on to another solution. “It is okay to fail but do it quickly and move on to the next thing,” Engberg said.
Ericsson’s smart manufacturing implemented in Estonia has prospered through collaboration with the Estonian startups, companies, suppliers and universities, as well as through invaluable hackathons.
Achievements through agility
The ties between Estonia and its largest trade partners and foreign investors such as Sweden and Finland have been strengthened by Estonian companies’ flexibility and agility.
“European leaders trust Estonia for the high-quality on-time production,” said Anna Öberg, Investment Advisor at the Estonian Investment Agency. “As greater customisation is demanded by customers, changing the nature of the product is something that Estonia is really good at,” she added. If you want to do things quickly and efficiently, Estonia is the right place.
Cross-sectoral collaboration between mechanical engineering, ICT sector, academia, and public sector is the key to achieving the success in innovation which attracts global clients such as Daimler AG, Walmart, etc. Also, the innovation of the Estonian startup ecosystem is something global companies could benefit from. Estonia’s startups have gradually raised foreign capital over the last decade and reached 92% in 2019.
Estonia has capabilities from the manufacturing side, IT side and of course the startup ecosystem side. And when combined, it creates a perfect environment for new innovative solutions.
The webinar “Regionalisation – Discover the possibilities in close proximity” was organised by the Estonian Investment Agency (Invest Estonia) with a view to explore Estonia’s advantages and potential for being the next business destination.
Watch the recording of the webinar here:
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