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Ilves and Silverman: Estonia needs a new Tiger’s Leap – bring the brains home


President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Skype CEO Josh Silverman held a public debate on technology, economics and the future of Estonia in the course of the President’s “Chautauqua” in Tallinn yesterday.

President Ilves and Josh Silverman recognised that educated and inventive people are the basis for everything. “Estonia needs a new long-term, but very specific, plan for recruiting recognised scientists and bringing our scientists back to Estonia,” the Estonian Head of State said.

They both found that making some improvements in business as usual is not enough for making progress. “We must turn Estonia into a blossoming ecosystem where talented people want to work in innovative companies,” President Ilves stressed.

According to the Estonian Head of State, in addition to favourable economic and legal conditions, such a society harbours highly qualified human capital, research centres at the universities, and a generally desirable living environment.

Josh Silverman noted that there is no reason why small Estonia couldn’t be on the forefront of advancement of innovation in the European Union. "Internet has enabled global competition and very few countries and companies in Europe have yet had breakthroughs in this competition with the US and, increasingly, Asia."

President Ilves and Josh Silverman called upon the government, entrepreneurs and universities to cooperate for the sake of this goal. “We must create advantages for the branches of science that will create the future economy and shape humankind hereafter,” the Estonian Head of State emphasized.

Pirko Konsa, who is a board member of Tallinn’s Tehnopol Technology Park and one of the organizers of the President’s “Chautauqua”, stated that fertile ground must be created to promote the development of clever ideas. “Tehnopol provides an environment that unites higher education schools with technology-based business acumen – cooperation that will result in innovative ideas. Fertile ground for the birth of ideas is the basis for attracting brains and enterprise from foreign countries,” Konsa said.

The President’s “Chautauqua” was held in Tallinn, Estonia at the Tehnopol Technology Park, which celebrated its sixth year of activity in March. The “Chautauqua” was moderated by Ott Pärna, CEO of the Estonian Development Fund.


Read more:

"Estonia's e-President hails the Skype effect", DPA 19 Mar 2009


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