Recipients of the annual prizes of the Estonian IT sector declared and International House was recognised as the deed of the year

Sander Nõmmik
Author Sander Nõmmik
international house of estonia

Estonian association of IT companies – ITL – gave the annual prizes already for the 21st time. Creation of the International House was recognised as the deed of the year. The deed of the year in private sector is the novel e-service Sille. Arno Kütt from Cleveron was recognised as the doer of the year and Anne Sulling’s idea to create an applied research centre in Estonia was awarded.

According to the President of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications Ivo Suursoo, the persons and organisations contributing to the development of the sector must be awarded.

The prize “Deed of the Year 2018” was given to AS Mainor and Enterprise Estonia for opening the International House of Estonia . In this new modern service centre, Enterprise Estonia, Police and Boarder Guard Board, Integration Foundation, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Tax and Customs Board commonly provide services for foreign specialist to help to adapt themselves. According to Suursoo, this centre created in cooperation with private and public sector helps the foreign experts and their families to pass through the necessary procedures easier. “Each and every specialist is important to us, be it someone working for our sector or a university lecturer.”

Chairwoman of the Management Board of Mainor AS Kadi Pärnits finds that the service centre active in Ülemiste City for five months has certainly mitigated the unemployment in IT sector. “Information about the fluent first reception and adaption has spread around fast in Estonia. Instead of earlier running around for one or two months, things can be done in a couple of days. By this cooperation we certainly make Estonia bigger.”

According to the manager of Enterprise Estonia´s programme Work In Estonia Triin Visnapuu-Sepp, the International House is a good example of how the public institutions cooperate well while thinking of the needs of enterprisers. “The International House is just one example but hopefully due to this cooperation we can spare the time of the enterprises and specialists employed here so that they could concentrate on their work.”

international house of estonia

The prize “Doer of the Year 2018” in the information and communication sector was given to Arno Kütt, founder and owner of AS Cleveron. According to Ivo Suursoo, the visionaries and practitioners viewing the economic environment more widely and being able to join the technology and industry sector and favour the internal work migration in Estonia, should be highlighted.
Arno Kütt finds the prize as recognition for daily activity in Cleveron. “Our purpose is to give people spare time by creating new products making life simpler and more comfortable. To be true, information and communication technology play crucial roles in our product development. Technology has actually become an integral part of our life without that we notice it ourselves so often. For this reason it is important to develop this field continuously.” According to Kütt, it has been tried to do in the product development but also wider, for example with Cleveron Akadeemy starting this autumn. “What more we can include the smart young people, the more we can find smart solutions making lives easier for us all.

Prize “Deed of the Year of the Private Sector 2018” was given to the software company Datel for creating the early warning system Sille. The service allows tracking the subsidence and rising of buildings and structures in the whole world. “The new service based on the open data of satellites helps to prevent the accidents arising from the decomposition of infrastructures and the areas of use are very wide,” Suursoo explains. “While those are rather institutions related to the state defence or security who can benefit from the space data, Sille can be useful for others, too.”
“In addition to the specialists of Datel, European Space Agency and scientists from both Estonian and foreign universities were included in the development of Sille,” explains chairman of the board of Datel Urmas Kõlli. According to him, international interest in Sille has exceeded the expectations. “We have concluded several contracts in the US as well as in Europe. There are also pilot projects carried out on different continents. Already Sille 2.0 is created.” Kõlli finds it important in Estonia to be noticed that also mature and experienced IT companies create innovative solutions aimed at the global market.

ITL recognised a former member of Riigikogu Anne Sulling for the idea of the creation of the applied research centre in Estonia with a prize “Idea of the Year 2018”. “As the special applied research centres separately from traditional universities have been created in Finland, Sweden or Germany, we must also create conditions for scientists to concentrate on helping companies and developing technologies that would be a real contribution to the enterprising,” Suursoo explains.

According to Anne Sulling, ever more enterprisers realise that in the situation of increasing labour costs it is necessary to find ways to create products and services with higher added value. “As most of Estonian companies are small and they lack internal development resources, they need assistance from outside. Our studies have demonstrated that most companies do not get any assistance from universities as the universities have a different mission – they primarily engage in science and studies based on academic interests.” Sulling admits that it is similar in other countries. In most Western European countries, apart from the universities, companies are assisted by the applied research centres in the development activities.

Photos of the prize recipients (author: Joanna Jõhvikas)