Interactive map and drone video: TTÜ scientists developing better method of navigating sea ice
Over the course of the current Maritime Year of Culture, volunteers from the Estonian Maritime Academy of the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian shipping company Tallink, and other organizations related to the maritime industry will be visiting schools in order to persuade the country’s young people that the sea also offers opportunities for careers and steady work. As of today, over 150 interested parties from across Estonia have signed up to be guest teachers on the subject.
Speaking with “Aktuaalne kaamera”, Director of the Estonian Maritime Academy Roomet Leiger promised that students will surely be convinced just how interesting and relevant maritime studies are.
“The learning process is really interesting,” he explained. “It utilizes different training methods and technologies, like simluators of the bridge and engine rooms of a ship, and laboratories, which allow for one to simulate different scenarios involved in the maritime industry.”
Over 150 maritime specialists will be sharing their experiences, introducing navigation in physics classes, as well as sharing other basic seaman skills.
In addition to ship navigation, Tallink employees will talk to students about what other skills are needed in the maritime industry.
The effort will be introducing related onshore fields of activity as well. For example, Andrus Poksi, an international sailing judge, will be sharing about his experiences with the Tallinn Voluntary Sea Rescue.
“Nowadays access to the sea is relatively unrestricted,” said Poksi. “Anyone can go there, and more and more we are seeing schoolchildren down there sailing around on scooters, yachts, and motorboats. And then conditions change—weather conditions change, something technical goes wrong—and suddenly these same young people realize that they are in danger. And generally speaking you can’t just walk off the sea.”
In addition to the Maritime Academy and Tallink, there will also be lecturers from the Port of Tallinn, the Estonian Maritime Museum, the Estonian Maritime Administration, the Estonian Navy, the Ministry of Rural Affairs, as well as the Police and Border Guard Board.
Estonian defense contractor Milrem signs agreement with Singaporean company
Milrem and Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd. (STK) came to an agreement on Thursday at the Singapore Airshow. They will develop unmanned tracked vehicle applications.
The agreement concerns the integration of STK's remote weapon station ADDER into Milrem's unmanned tracked vehicle THeMIS. The companies expect to carry out the first trials of the weapon system in the fall, Milrem said.
“The partnership with ST Kinetics is especially interesting and significant for us because it's a new technology trailblazer in the field of the defense industry, with a long-term vision of the application of innovative solutions," Milrem CEO Kuldar Vaarsi said.
THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) is an unmanned tracked vehicle intended to assist or replace infantry and increase capability in dangerous combat situations. The tracked system can be used with various superstructures for fire support, reconnaissance, transport of ammunition to the line of fire and transport of the wounded to safety.
Milrem is an Estonian defense contractor whose core business is the development, repair and maintenance of military vehicles.
Singapore Technologies Kinetics is the land systems and specialty vehicles arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd., one of Asia's largest defense and engineering groups.
Nasdaq Baltic to adopt shareholder e-voting based on Estonian e-residency platform
Nasdaq and the Estonian state announced that Estonia's e-residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service. This will allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq's Tallinn stock exchange to vote in meetings without being physically present.
As part of a pilot program, Estonian nationals and e-residents will be able to participate in the corporate governance of companies more conveniently and securely than ever before, Nasdaq said.
The e-residency platform vastly improves the authentication of shareholders for the e-voting service, while blockchain technology will allow votes to be quick and securely recorded, replacing voting by proxy, which has been labor-intensive and fragmented. The program is set to start in 2016.
"I'm delighted Nasdaq will use the e-residency platform to offer shareholders a new e-voting system," said Kaspar Korjus, program director of the e-residency project. "When we started the e-residency a year ago, we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship. Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance," he added.
"On the heels of the successful execution of a blockchain transaction in the US private market, we are pleased to further advance this technology in Estonia," Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of Nasdaq, said.
"Estonia's robust information society and forward thinking, coupled with the agility its size affords, creates a unique opportunity to premiere the e-voting pilot in Estonia. We're excited to see the development of this project over the coming months, and are looking forward to working closely with the government of Estonia to set a transformative example of the future of governance," he added.
The program marks Nasdaq's second blockchain project after Nasdaq Linq, its own blockchain-enabled platform.
State might approach EU funds for money to fix Väike Väin dam
External finance is being considered as an option for the project of overhauling the dam across Väike Väin Strait between the West Estonian islands of Saaremaa and Muhumaa, the regional newspaper Saarte Hääl reported.
At a meeting of the dam work group on Monday, options were considered to apply for money from international funds, such as the funds for the development of the Baltic Sea area or the EU's LIFE program, Berit-Helena Lamp, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment, told Saarte Hääl.
Merike Linnamägi of the Ministry of the Environment's department for environmental protection, said that in environment-related projects the EU Commission covered 60% of eligible costs in 2016–2017, which meant that at least 40% of the money needed had to be found by the parties carrying out the project.
The environmental conditions in the areas surrounding the dam are deteriorating. Up until bigger restoration works in the 1990s, the dam didn’t completely separate the waters of the Gulf of Riga and Muhu Strait, but since then, it has turned into an actual barrier. Eutrophication has led to rampant growth of bladderworts and other plant species that give the water a putrid stench in summer and keep tourists away as well as making it near to impossible to go swimming there.
Creating openings in the dam would help, work against eutrophication, and fit in well with the areas of preference set out for the environment programs that may be able to partially fund the works.
Linnamägi added that the LIFE program was generally willing to support projects like this, as they have a concrete outcome. Calls for proposals of projects under the LIFE program take place once every year. The dates for 2016 have not yet been published.
An existing plan of the Environmental Board suggests that work on the dam would be taken up only in 2019, the municipalities bordering on the strait want the work to start immediately, Lamp added.
40,000 square meters of new retail area to be completed in Tallinn in 2016
Approximately 40,000 square meters of new retail area is to be completed in the shopping centers of Tallinn during 2016, and most of it will be located in the less-saturated boroughs of Lasnamäe, Mustamäe and North-Tallinn, an overview compiled by the Uus Maa real estate company says.
The Mustamäe Center entertainment and shopping center will start vigorously taking away market share from other shopping centers in area, analyst Igor Habal said.
In the eastern borough of Lasnamäe, a new center called Kärberi Center will open in 2016, along with a Selver in Tähesaju City. In North-Tallinn, phase one of Arsenal Center will be completed, which in addition to 10,000 square meters of commercial space will offer 5,000 square meters of office space.
Since 2016 will also see the launch or continuation of several large-scale developments, such as Porto Franco and the Peterburi Road shopping center of Pro Kapital, and more clarity is expected when it comes to plans for Tallink City and Gate Tallinn, a couple of hundred thousand square meters of new commercial area is to be added in the coming few years.
"The arrival of new centers on the market would mean first and foremost a redivision of existing market and someone inevitably losing out," Habal said.
It is characteristic of the new shopping malls that they seek to establish themselves as the leisure centers of their respective area. This is causing difficulties for the older centers with a stagnant business concept, whose owners must make investments to remain competitive.
The rental for smaller spaces in the more popular shopping malls of Tallinn may reach 55–65 euros per square meter this year, the peak being from 80–100 euros per square meter.
"Rentals in the shopping centers are nearing the level of the Nordic countries, although the sales that stores generate per square meter are significantly smaller," Habal said. Even though operating costs in the Nordic countries are higher, such as 6.4 euros per square meter in Finland compared with 3.5–5 euros per square meter in Estonia, tenants of shoping centers still get 2–3 times less in sales here than in the Nordic countries.