Uued mündid Ukraina toetuseks

Eesti Pank lasi ringlusse kaks miljonit uut metallraha ehk münti. Mündid on 2-eurosed.
Münt on pühendatud Ukrainale ja vabadusele. Mündil on tekst „Slava Ukraini“ ja neiu, kes hoiab lindu. Mündil on ka viljapead. Mündi autor on noor sõjapõgenik Daria Titova. Daria on pärit Harkivist, ta õpib praegu Eesti Kunstiakadeemias.

Eesti Pank tegi suvel ka Ukraina-teemalise mündikaardi. Mündikaart on kaart koos 2-eurose mündiga. Mündikaardil on Ukraina lipp ja päevalill. Kaardi kunstnik on Vladimir Taiger. Mündikaart maksab 18 eurot. Eesti Pank on müünud juba üle 30 000 mündikaardi. Tulu läheb Ukraina toetuseks.

Ringlusse tuleb 2 000 000 münti. Mündid on tehtud Soome rahapajas. Inimesed kasutavad neid münte nüüd igal pool - poes, kohvikus ja turul. Sa võid mündi ja mündikaardi osta ka Eesti Panga Muuseumi poest või Omniva an international post and logistics company based in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). , Estonia. e-poest.


Cleveron Academy is a heaven for young robotics enthusiasts

Cleveron, which develops and constructs parcel robots, started something last year in Estonia that has never been done before. In cooperation with the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS) is an Estonian higher education institution. , the company started an applied higher education curriculum called the Cleveron Academy. The academy aims to train software developers with a specific focus on self-driving cars.

There was already enormous interest in the Cleveron Academy in the first year with a total of 101 candidates applying for 20 places. Although it’s a private school, all of the tuition fees (5500 euros per year) are paid by Cleveron itself. On top of that, all of the students get free housing, free lunches, and a monthly stipend of 400 euros.

The focus is self-driving cars: Cleveron is developing a parcel robot that is based on one. Even if you have not heard of Cleveron, you still might have used their robotic parcel terminals without your knowledge. Cleveron’s solutions can be found in Asda stores around the United Kingdom and the world’s largest fashion retailer Inditex has used their click and collect pickup solutions in many different countries. To date, their biggest international client has been Walmart with 1600 Cleveron terminals around the USA.

Cleveron CEO Arno Kütt has stated that the aim of the academy was for education and business to go hand in hand. According to Kütt, students of higher education often take internships in companies that are not related to their studies and only start them after the theoretical portion of their training is coming to a close. At Cleveron Academy, the theory and internship are equally proportioned and start right away.

Cleveron Academy, like Cleveron itself, operates out of the small, southern Estonian town of Viljandi Town in southern Estonia (pop.17,000). , known internationally for the Viljandi Town in southern Estonia (pop.17,000). Folk Festival and other cultural events. Laido Valdvee, the academy’s internship coordinator, talked with Life in Estonia Life in Estonia Magazine appeared first in 2012. about how students are converting an ATV into a self-driving vehicle.

Learning together with the students

Laido Valdvee previously worked at Viljandi Town in southern Estonia (pop.17,000). Jakobsoni School as well as vocational training institutions; Cleveron asked him to join. His decision to join came quickly, said Valdvee, because he wanted to be a part of something that had never been done before in Estonia. He started last October and since then time has flown.

“As an internship coordinator, time has passed quickly for me. Just like the students I’ve also had to learn a lot. A curriculum like ours has never been done before in Estonia. A great deal of emphasis is on practice. The weekly study session is divided by three days of practice and two days of theory, the following week is vice-versa,” says Valdvee.

Practice started right off the bat alongside theory, which are balanced 50/50. This means that students may not have all the theoretical knowledge in the beginning to use in practice. Valdvee says that students talk about their friends who study similar curriculums at well-known universities; they say that they do not receive a comparable amount of practical training and mainly use simulators that do not represent the positive or negative effects of the real world.

“In the first semester’s practice, the students got a miniature robot car that had to be rebuilt so that the robot could deliver small balls that were placed in a four-metre diameter circle into smaller circles. At first, the robots were controlled by the students via a computer, they maintained a line of sight with the robots by standing next to them while operating them. In the next stage the control had to be done via a camera image, so no line of sight anymore, and in the third stage the robots had to independently bring five balls together in one circle. That meant the robots had to understand where they and the balls were and where the circles were,” Valdvee describes.

Most of the students were successful with these tasks. Valdvee made an interesting observation during the presentation. While the systems were checked and the students were evaluated everything worked without any problem, but the next day when they decided to perform a race against time, the robots started to fail.

During the described practice, the students also created their own navigation system, a homemade GPS so to speak. To achieve this, a camera was placed at a height, markings were affixed to each robot, and the balls were identified by colour.

“The built system shared real-time information about where the balls, robots, and circles were located. The robots were programmed to go to the nearest ball or the most easily accessible ball,” says Valdvee.

At Cleveron Academy the students are presented with a problem and the solution to it is wholly up to the students. This makes students keener to work on cooperation and creativity skills.

The second semester’s practice was remarkably bigger – the students were given an electrically powered ATV and different tasks they needed to achieve with the ultimate goal of making a self-driving ATV that can be used for parcel freight. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic affected studies, and the task was put on pause until August of this year when studies continue.

Their first task was to make the ATVs controllable via remote like drones. All of the functions such as indicators, horns, brakes, and accelerator pedals had to be functional via the remote. The internship supervisor has big plans for the ATVs.

“At first, the ATVs have to be controllable via remote control. In the next phase, the students need to add a computer to the remotes so the vehicles can be controlled via Wi-Fi. The ATVs will then have cameras attached and the driving needs to be done through a steering wheel that is connected to a computer. This was meant to be ready by this spring,” describes Valdvee.

As mentioned, the final goal is to have a self-driving parcel freight vehicle based on an electrically powered ATV. To test all of the self-driving capabilities, a mini-city will be built next to Cleveron’s factory in Viljandi Town in southern Estonia (pop.17,000). with crosswalks, roundabouts, and other real-world obstacles.

Cleveron and its Academy working hand-in-hand

During the first weeks of the emergency situation that was announced by the Estonian government on the 12 th of March, Valdvee provided the students with Arduino development boards so they could continue to work on their practical skills. As the aim is to teach students skills to develop a self-driving car, the lecturers quickly decided to put the practical portion of the studies on pause until the situation settles, then resume in August.

Like many schools in Estonia and around the world, studies had to be carried out online. It’s too early to say what kind of an impact the distance studies had on students, but Valdvee sees that students are coping with it differently – some of them enjoy it, but some are not so keen on the idea. Every week the students meet with their lecturers through video conferences.

Even though Cleveron manufactures robotic parcel terminals of different sizes, Valdvee does not want to use the students in manufacturing during this difficult time as it would not fulfil the purpose of the learning objective.

The Cleveron Academy and Cleveron itself are intertwined, which means that the students and workers share working and studying facilities. It also means that when a student or a group of students develop something that could be used in Cleveron’s products then they can start using it.

“The students work side-by-side with Cleveron’s self-driving car team. We share the rooms in our office. The students see daily what the employees work on and vice versa. That means they can ask for help from each other. This should be a very good added value as you are not somewhere in the lab but part of the real development process. Maybe thanks to immediate feedback, you will have a better idea, and you can implement it immediately,” says Valdvee.

Based on his previous work experience in vocational education institutions, Valdvee points out that the motivation of the students enrolled in the Academy is considerably higher. This is also reflected in the fact none of the students have dropped out by the end of the first year.

The next batch of students will be admitted to the Academy for sure, but whether the focus will be on self-driving cars or something else is yet unknown. Although a large proportion of the programs the students need to work with are in English, the studies are conducted in Estonian, which means that a person interested in attending the academy needs to be proficient in it. There are no other limitations for candidates.

Eestis sõidavad varsti elektriautod ilma juhita

ELMO Rent on Eesti firma, mis rendib elektriautosid. Firmal on üle 100 elektri- ja gaasiauto. Varsti tuleb tänavale auto, mis ise, ilma juhita sinu juurde sõidab.

Autode rentimine ja jagamine on keskkonnasõbralik. Tänaval on juba liiga palju autosid. Auto on ka kallis – maksab palju, ka bensiin ja diiselkütus on kallid, parkimine samuti. Kui sul ei ole oma autot, lae alla äpp ehk rakendus. Kui sul on autot vaja, siis rendi äpiga auto. 

Kolme kuu pärast sõidavad tänaval autod ilma juhita. ELMO uued autod on kaugjuhitavad – see tähendab, et autojuht ei ole autos, vaid juhib autot kaugelt. Kui sa rendid auto, siis auto sõidab ise sinu juurde. Kas pole fantastiline?!

Ilma juhita autod tulevad tänavale 2023. aasta talvel või kevadel. See teenus on kõige esimene maailmas.

The American Dream of Nortal, the company that built a third of e-Estonia

Three years ago, Oleg Shvaikovsky, one of the board members of Nortal, began travelling between Estonia and Seattle in the northern part of the US West Coast. The time difference caused some sleeping disturbances and, at the time, he was unaware of how right this move would turn out to be for the company. The IT-centre of Washington state is the mecca of world cloud technology. However, the first steps towards Nortal’s American dream can be traced even further.

Shvaikovsky talks about Elastic Path – a large e-commerce platform provider and a good old partner of Nortal – which has its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver is a mere two-hour drive away from Seattle.

“We have been their long-standing partner in implementation and supporting services in Europe, especially in the Netherlands and Sweden. The company invited us to participate in an exciting procurement. It took us to Miami, Florida and to the largest cruise company in the world Carnival Cruises,” begins Shvaikovsky. Albeit a subcontract, it was the first contract on the large continent. The practical work was carried out by Nortal employees in Estonia and Lithuania.

The jackpot came in the form of a new client – one of the largest mobile operators in the USA, which back then ranked third in the United States but today is closing in as the market leader.

“Using the Elastic Path platform, we began to create a B2B e-commerce system and, later on, a retail customer solution for them. This has been an enormous project and our collaboration is developing and expanding,” says Shvaikovsky.

Nortal’s operations apply the following logic – after being convinced of the relevance of the service for local clients, you enter the market and set up a representation which you will develop whilst simultaneously hiring staff and looking for more clients. Subsequently, you will look for opportunities for organic growth on the road to M&A (mergers & acquisitions). Nortal’s decision-makers understood quickly in the USA that one cannot create waves in the same way on a large market. In order to make the developmental leap, you need someone with the local know-how, team and customers. The aim was to acquire a strong and acclaimed player on the local market. After a long process, two companies made it to the final and the deal was made with Dev9. This was the step that put Nortal on the map.

Nortal’s DNA was taken to the USA

Today, the Seattle office has grown to nearly a hundred employees. Nortal believes in the synergy that their branches in different states are able to create. Dev9 was one of the leaders in the cloud transformation field in their country and this know-how has been transferred to Nortal’s European offices.

“They are fantastic in that and they’ve always been a step or two ahead of their counterparts in Europe. Therefore, we have brought our US people to our offices in Finland in order to transfer knowledge. We exchange best practices and know-how,” says Shvaikovsky.

Shvaikovsky adds that, in turn, they took Nortal’s way of doing business to the United States. An important principle is that nobody in the company is playing the role of the boss; a general hands-on approach applies to everyone. The second important keyword is ‘entrepreneurship’, which means the ability to improvise and to show initiative. 

They work on the so-called fast fail principle, meaning you will work from the basis of best knowledge and analysis, but if something is not working, you will find an alternative fast. The aim is always to find the best possible solution. “It does not mean that you are not good enough. It means probably that the approach was not right. What we learn from our attempts and how we move on are what matter,” he says.

Seattle on the way up

Why did they choose Seattle as their landing place? Partially, it was chance because their important partner was active in Vancouver and their first client came from Seattle. At the same time, Seattle is a very exciting location. Shvaikovsky points out that albeit in the context of tech companies people only talk about Silicon Valley, Seattle is where many technology giants and other players are located. Among others, the headquarters of Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and T-Mobile are based there.

“Seattle attracts cloud topics. It is the second ranking tech hub in the USA, but after the current crisis it may turn out to be the main location. The global giants Microsoft, Amazon and Google have chosen Seattle as the place where their cloud solutions are created,” he emphasises.

As an Estonian company in the USA

Oleg Shvaikovsky admits that it is not easy for a company from a small and relatively unknown country to make it in the USA. Generally, Estonia has a good reputation in certain circles. Those who have dealings with Microsoft know about their connection with Skype. Nevertheless, Nortal has been an unknown name until now. 

Yet it is not general awareness that matters, but being known in a specific community and, in this field, it is the people, talents and inspiring experts that matter. They are the ones who make big projects happen and attract employees and customers. At first, Nortal’s recruiters needed 30-45 minutes in order to introduce Nortal and Estonia to potential employees.

“Today, we are starting to make a name for ourselves. Estonia’s reputation in e-state projects is strong. In the USA, we have a unique market we do not have a single public project. This is likely to remain so in the near future. But our clients include several Fortune500 companies,” says Shvaikovsky. 

This is indeed a great thing, considering that Nortal is not offering the cheapest price. The company works on the principle that they are working in accordance with local rules, they offer a top level service and, hence, also charge appropriate prices. This also means that expectations on them are as high as expectations of local companies.

“Our most impressive competitor in this area, which mostly works only in Seattle, has 7000 staff. Nortal, with its 1000 employees, is a small player,” says Shvaikovsky. However, the company is growing organically together with the increase in clients.

Nortal has built many e-state solutions

Nortal, which gets its name from the words Nordic and Talent, offers the service of data-based simplification of business processes for both public and private sector clients. Nearly a third of the Estonian e-government solutions have been developed by Nortal and its predecessor Webmedia.

For example, in Estonia the company has created the operative system of structural funds for the Ministry of Finance and the employment information system for the Employment Board. Other significant goalposts have been the e-Tax Board and e-Health solutions for the country. The most recent e-state innovation – the proactive services of the Social Security Board – have also been created by Nortal. Since 2005, the company has gradually taken its know-how abroad and, today, already ca 75% of the turnover of Nortal comes from outside Estonia.

In Oman, where Nortal has been active since 2008, the company is helping to reform the state and create an e-state. This is not simply software development, but the application of a best practice from Estonia. Among other things, Nortal has created an e-tax system for the Oman Tax Board and the portal Invest Easy for entrepreneurs.

In Finland, Nortal works with large industrial clients like Neste, Boliden and Outukompu in addition to the public- and healthcare sector. This summer, Nortal launched an e-prescription pilot project in Hessen, Germany together with some partners. Those are just a few examples.

Estonian e-state expertise

At the moment, client companies in the USA are offered two main solutions. The first is e-commerce solutions and the second is cloud transformation. If a person visits the webpage of our large client in the US and purchases a phone or carries out another kind of transaction, they will do so in the system built by Nortal. 

The turnover in this field reaches billions of dollars. When you move your service into the cloud, you need to rebuild your applications. “This is where Nortal excels,” says Shvaikovsky.

Although Nortal is also very strong in the field of internet security, they do not offer this service separately in the USA. Security is an important part of each project. Nortal designs its system to minimise vulnerability. This is where the Estonian e-state expertise comes in handy.

“A foundation of our e-state is the principle of data distribution. When Estonia suffered cyberattacks in 2007, they reached some sub-segments but could not take down the whole. This is the principle we always work with. I am a firm believer in security by design,” explains Shvaikovsky.

Secret behind the success

It is no secret that Nortal’s first years in the United States have been a real success story. A small company in terms of local market has grown rapidly, found clients and recruited talents. Shvaikovsky makes no secret of the fact that luck has also played its role in their success, but more im-

portantly it has been solid consistency. He says that, from the Estonian point of view, the Seattle area with its 7 million people seems huge. In addition, there are the aforementioned company headquarters.

“In three years, we got the sense that in this sector everyone knows everyone. Just like in Estonia. In terms of GDP, it is equivalent to a larger European country. But the rule that ‘people know people’ is also relevant there. The message spreads that those men and women do quality work,” Shvaikovsky explains that hard work and consistency is the basis for reaching one’s goals.

Expansion plans

Nortal is also growing in Germany, which is about two years behind the States in this area. Nortal is large enough to be able to take risks and experiment. More interesting projects in Europe are planned.

Also, in the USA, they are not only staying in Seattle. Even during the Corona crisis, a large client was added to the portfolio and more staff was recruited during the most difficult times. In the next few years, they are likely to expand to the East Coast of the States. There are also talks about entering the Canadian market.

Shvaikovsky himself has recently moved back to Estonia from the USA in order to get a European project underway. An American remained in the States to lead the troops. After Finland, the USA has rapidly become the second largest market for Nortal.