Sale of new vehicles has stabilised in Estonia. In the first five months of 2014, the sale of new vehicles has annually increased by 1 per cent. In May, 1971 new vehicles were sold and in five months altogether 8696 vehicles. The most popular car remains Toyota.
(Äripäev, page 8, June 6, 2014)
Transferwise gets $ 25 million from risk capital firms and private investors, including Richard Branson. Estonian start-up is being backed up by € 18.4 million and their investors include in addition to Branson also such major investors like Peter Thiel. TransferWise will use this money to increase their number of employees and inform a wider audience of the hidden fees that banks take. Branson said in an official statement: “I’m delighted to be investing in such an innovative company as Transferwise. Financial services such as foreign exchange have been ripe for disruption for decades, and it’s great to see TransferWise bring transparency to the market.”
(Äripäev, pages 4-5, June 10, 2014)
Estonian start-up created a first 3D house plan platform. 3D Technologies R&D created a platform 3D Wayfinder that is an indoor and outdoor navigation software that is running on touchscreen self-service kiosks, mobile devices and on websites. It helps save time for creating interactive house plans.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 20, June 11, 2014)
Estonia is 12th in regards to competiveness in the EU. Based on the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness comparison “Europe 2020”, Estonia is 12th among 28 member states. Finland is first.
(Äripäev, page 3, June 12, 2014)
Hunt bought Finnish textile giant. Major owner of textile manufacturer Wendre, Peter Hunt, bought the Finnish and Russian factories and Baltic and Russian shops of leading Finnish home textile maker Finlayson. Hunt will also buy the Familon trademark with Finlayson remaining in charge of shops in Finland. Hunt said that the acquisition will make it possible for Wendre to reinforce its positions as the region's leading manufacturer and enter the retail market for the first time.
(Postimees, page 8, June 13, 2014)
Future technology is tested at Song Festival. Elisa and Japan-Estonia start-up Lampserve test an innovative new generation mobile internet during Song Festival. Yesterday two firms placed three 4G routers in the Song Festival Grounds that are connected by Lampserve’s VLC or visible light communication technology. Japanese chose Estonia as its partner thanks to the developed IT-infrastructure, e-Estonia and simplicity of business environment, noted director Thomas Nakama.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 5, June 13, 2014)
Prices in Estonia were 80 per cent of the EU average. While clothes and electronics are more expensive than the EU average; hotels, restaurants, alcohol and tobacco are cheaper.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 3, June 20, 2014)
Tartu gets I-voting centre. Smartmatic, world leader in the automation of elections, and Cybernetica, the Estonian R&D lab that built the original Internet voting system used in Estonia, have created a first-of-a-kind Centre for Excellence to study and develop Internet voting on a global scale. “Estonia has been at the leading edge of Internet voting for years and is widely acknowledged as pioneers in the field. They are the only country in the world where all voters can choose to vote over the Internet securely. When we were looking at investing in the future of Internet voting, it made a lot of sense to go to the source of the world’s best experience,” said Paul Babic Chief Strategy Officer at Smartmatic.
(Äripäev, page 3, June 20, 2014)
In May more tourists stayed in accommodation establishments than a year ago. According to Statistics Estonia, 274,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in May of whom 194,000 were foreign tourists. There were 2 per cent more foreign tourists and 9 per cent more domestic tourists than in the same month of the previous year. 64 per cent of the foreign tourists arrived from the neighbouring countries Finland, Russia and Latvia. The number of tourists arriving from Asian countries continues to increase. Compared to May 2013, twice more tourists from Japan stayed in accommodation establishments, and the number of tourists from China and South Korea increased 40 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively.
(Äripäev, page 11, July 14, 2014)
Car sales increased by 10 per cent in June. In the first six months of 2014, 3 per cent more new vehicles were sold than the year before. In June the relevant increase was 10.5 per cent or a total of 1893 cars. Toyota remains the most popular among Estonians with 265 cars sold in June.
(Äripäev, page 13, July 14, 2014)
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was awarded Japanese arts prize. The Japan Art Association announced on Wednesday the 2014 laureates of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale prize in five fields of art, with the music prize going to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The Praemium Imperiale prize is awarded by the imperial family and it is the most prominent art award in the world, considered equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture. Pärt is the first Estonian ever to receive the Praemium Imperiale. The award ceremony will take place in Tokyo on October 15.
(Postimees, page 3, July 17, 2014)
Estonia will adopt a new digital document format as of 2015. As of 2015, the documents may be signed only with digital signatures that correspond to the international standard. The new BDOC file format is safer, smaller and more easily opened than the DDOC. While it should not be complicated for the ordinary users to adapt to the new system, companies and institutions may face some difficulties in adapting it as quickly as private persons.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 4, July 18, 2014)
More women start to study IT. This year 27 per cent of future IT-students are women at the University of Tartu and 52 per cent of students are women at the Tallinn University of Technology. While the number of women working in IT sector and studying IT is going up, compared to men their figures still remain small. This is much linked to stereotypes linking the field more to men.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 6, July 21, 2014)
Research and development is on the rise. A recent study by WIPO, INSEAD and the Johnson Cornell University suggests that Estonian companies' research and development spending grew the fastest among 143 countries between 2008 and 2012. Estonian companies spent 127 per cent more on research and development in 2012 than they did in 2008, followed by Slovakian companies on 74 per cent. Estonia moved up one place in the world's innovation index and now occupies 24th place after Belgium and in front of Malta. Switzerland remains the world's most innovative country.
(Postimees, page 7, July 22, 2014)
“Skype’s mafia” – former workers of Skype create new companies. The term “Skype mafia” is used for the founders of Skype and its first key workers, advisers and contributors. Based on former Skype CEO Sten Tamkivi’s data, more than 50 of former Skype workers have founded their own start-up. Some of the most successful start-ups include TransferWise and Marinexplore. Also they have made significant investments in other start-ups, e.g. via Ambient Sound Investment.
(Äripäev, pages 16-17, July 22, 2014)
Statistics Estonia: in June 335,000 tourists or 6 per cent more than year before stayed in accommodation establishments. The number of both domestic and foreign tourists increased. More than half of the foreign tourists arrived from the neighbouring countries Finland, Russia and Latvia. 10 per cent more tourists from Russia and 5 per cent more tourists from Finland stayed in accommodation establishments than in June of the previous year. Also the number of Asian tourists continues to rise.
(Äripäev, page 7, August 12, 2014)
A special summer camp promotes programming and robotics among children. A study of IT students of University of Tartu, TUT and IT college shows that young people chose to study IT thanks to earlier contact with the field. According to Look@World foundation 95 per cent from 135,000 general education students take part in some extra-curriculum activities and only 1.1 per cent of them go to special IT-classes. The smartCamp aim is to promote IT studies in addition to art and sports activities.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 6, August 15, 2014)