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Estonia Launches Nationwide Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Network

Scarcely noticed in the wake of the much-discussed spat between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and New York Times reporter John Broder was the opening last week in Estonia of the world's first nationwide network of fast chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).

The network of 165 DC (direct current) quick-charging stations, produced and installed by Swiss engineering giant ABB, are strategically dispersed across the country. Along highways, the stations are no more than 60 kilometers (37 miles) apart, installed at gas stations, cafes, shops, and other high-visibility spots.

In towns, stations are installed at shopping centers, gas stations, post offices, banks, and parking lots. Every city of more than 5,000 inhabitants hosts at least one station; the capital, Tallinn, population 423,000, hosts 27 stations. The quick-charging stations can deliver a 90% charge to the battery in less than 30 minutes, according to KredEx, the national foundation that operates the EV network.

Read more from Forbes


Estonia – a state, founded on IT

computer programmingEstonia is an innovative state, the infrastructure of which is built on IT – each citizen can manage state matters through a bank link and start a business with a digital signature provided online, all of this supported by fast Internet, Wi-Fi coverage throughout Estonia, and an extensive 3G network. All of these possibilities will be introduced by Estonia at the Mobile World Congress 2013, to be held in Barcelona. Attendance of the Estonian companies at the fair is supported by Enterprise Estonia via European Regional Development Fund.

Seventeen different companies will be demonstrating Estonia’s modern technological solutions and openness for testing the new solutions, at the joint stand, from 25-28 February.

Estonia’s display involves companies offering software development as well as IT services: Cannedapps OÜ, Dream Grupp OÜ, Elvior OÜ, Girf OÜ, Yoga OÜ, Oskando OÜ, Fabulonia OÜ, Nutiteq OÜ, Positium OÜ, TaxiPal OÜ, Fortumo Ltd, Yep OÜ, NOW!Innovations OÜ, Mooncascade OÜ, Sertfitseerimiskeskus AS, Surface Labs International OÜ, Regio AS.

“Estonia already has the status of a brand in the IT world. That which is our substance, can be viewed by each visitor themselves,” noted Mr Martin Hirvoja, a member of Enterprise Estonia’s management board and the organiser of Estonia’s joint stand. “Estonia’s mobile services are well ahead of our competitors – we have plenty of smart developers and entrepreneurs, and we promise to remain competitive,” Hirvoja added.

Estonia’s display is located in hall 8.1 (AppPlanet), display C40. Hall 8.1 is aimed at companies developing app-products (applications), housing approx. 200 exponents.

The Mobile World Congress 2013 is the most important event in the mobile arena, bringing together the leaders and visionaries of the world’s most successful operators, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and brands.

OÜ Malmerk Klaasium is introducing new improved balcony glazing system

merk 3dOÜ Malmerk Klaasium, a former balcony department of AS Malmerk Fassaadid, has in cooperation with a Finnish product developer, completed the development of a new high quality balcony glazing system. The new system passed Finnish VTT tests at the end of 2012 and currently the CE-marking is in formalization phase.

 The main advantages of the new system are:

1. shortened mounting time;
2.wider glass area, which enables more light to the balcony;
3.narrower glass profiles,
3.ball-bearing rollers enable smooth movement of the glasses.

Even though the system is launched for sales, the development will continue. The next version will be equipped with one-hand opening system.

The developments are believed to strengthen the company’s presence in Baltic markets and open up new markets in Scandinavia. For growth in Scandinavia, the company is starting to search distributors in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The new balcony glazing system will be presented in Malmerk Klaasium booth at the Estonian building fair “Eesti Ehitab / Estbuild 2013” in April (03.-06.04).

Malmerk Fassaadid AS is an Estonian capital based company whose main area of activity is manufacturing and installation of aluminium constructions. Company’s history reaches back to 1991 and the balcony glazing systems of different suppliers has been offered since 1997. As the new balcony glazing system has been launched, the Malmerk Group had made a decision to put an extra focus on the new product and therefore two business lines of the company (balcony and facade) has been separated.

On February 1st, 2013, next to Malmerk Fassaadid AS, Malmerk Klaasium OÜ was established. The new company continues with 15 years of experience of the former balcony department and is offering balcony and terrace glazing systems, balcony railings, glass partition walls, sliding doors and glass-aluminium roof constructions. Malmerk Fassaadid AS continues mainly with manufacturing and installing the glass-aluminium constructions and aluminium doors and windows with the main focus on Finland, Norway and Sweden.


International companies choose Estonia for IT development partnership

Estonia has earned itself an image as a place for European IT development companies to locate. As a recent example, Swedish IT cloud service company Cloudmore is opening its analysis and development department in Estonia.

Cloudmore has just registered itself as a company in Estonia and is currently in the process of hiring employees. Its managing director, Michael Wicander, said that one of the many reasons that made the company pick Estonia as the location was a good connection with Sweden as well as cultural resemblence.

IT college lecturer Linnar Viik said that a lot of international companies have given their IT development work to Estonian specialists, including banking and telecommunications sector companies, not mentioning Skype, now part of Microsoft.

"One source of pride throughout history has been Swedbank Estonia’s IT development department. Today, practically all Northern European banks which are operating in Estonia have IT development specialists employed, with responsibility expanding to the corporate level. Same examples can be found in telecommunications companies, including Eesti Telecom, Elisa, Tele2 and others," said Viik.

Source: Linnart M. (2013). Mitmed rahvusvahelised firmad eelistavad arendustegevuseks Eestit. ERR uudised, 18. jaanuar.

Industrial sector exports slightly up in 2012

Estonian industrial sector 2012 exports increased 3% while domestic sales decreased by 2%, according to the preliminary annual data released by the Statistics Office.

All summed up, the 2012 production of industrial enterprises remained almost at the same level of the previous year. At the year’s end, production volumes increased because of exports. The sector exports 70% of its production.

The growth was positively influenced by electronic products producers – the whole sector was up by 4% compared to the year before. Also, manufacturing of wood and food products supported the overall figures – the production in both of these sectors grew by 1%. The figures were impacted negatively by the fall in the manufacturing of metal products, chemicals, furniture and motor vehicles.

In  2011, industrial production grew by 18% according to preliminary data.

Source: Statistikaamet. (2013). 2012. aasta oli Eesti tööstuses eriliste muutusteta. 31. jaanuar.