Pat Breen T.D. Minister of Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection opened the Ireland-Estonia Tech Bridge event in Enterprise Ireland on Thursday 31st August 2017.
The event takes place at the beginning of the Estonian delegation’s two-day visit led by Estonian Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems Simm Sikkut and Estonian tech companies led by Enterprise Estonia.
The focus of the visit is the creation of links between Irish and Estonian tech companies and the exploration of joint opportunities in fintech, e-government and cybersecurity.
15 Enterprise Ireland client companies will attend the event and will be joined by Estonian companies; Cybernetica, Guardtime, Estate Guru, Goswift, Icefire, Finora Technologies, Paytailor, TreasuryView and Key Capital.
Opening the event, Minister Breen said “Ireland and Estonia have great synergies in the digital technology sector which this event aims to develop further. Estonian institutions and companies are globally recognised for their expertise in cybersecurity and fintech technology. Ireland is an important European hub for both sectors, thanks to the presence of multinational and Irish-owned cyber security enterprises and the Irish Financial Services Centre. Trade initiatives, such as this Ireland-Estonia Tech Bridge, are central to the drive to open doors and create new business alliances within the EU as part of the Irish Government’s strategy to reduce our overall reliance on the UK and give Irish companies the innovation and marketing muscle to pioneer and expand into existing and new markets in the EU and globally.
There are already growing tech links between firms in Ireland and Estonia according to Bartosz Siepracki, Manager of the Enterprise Ireland office in Warsaw who co-organised today’s event.
“MalwareBytes, Arvato Financial Services and TransferWise are companies that are active in both Ireland and Estonia’ said Siepracki. ‘We also have the first case of a UK/Estonian startup – Travatar – establishing its business in Galway. Our aim is that this visit will encourage more Estonian companies to consider Dublin as a viable alternative to other leading European cities. In addition to opportunities in cybersecurity – NATO has its Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallin – Estonia is very attractive as a location for wider Baltic/Nordic export activities. This initiative is part of Enterprise Ireland’s Eurozone strategy which aims to help Irish exporters increase exports into the zone by 50% to €6.15bn by 2020’, concludes Siepracki.
The Ireland-Estonia Tech Bridge will be followed by B2B meeting sessions in Enterprise Ireland’s headquarters in Eastpoint, Dublin 3 on 31st August 2017 and the following day Irish and Estonian fintech startups will have the opportunity to pitch to the Credit Union Development Association which is launching a digital transformation programme. The initial focus is on core process automation but the initiative extends to other areas including member experience and digital payments.
In 2016, Irish CSO data showed a 65% increase in Irish goods exports to Estonia as compared to 2015 from €26m to€43m. In 2016, Enterprise Ireland clients generated over €8m of exports to Estonia, with food representing 48% of Irish indigenous exports to Estonia.