This year, Tallinn is the European Green Capital and in close collaboration with the Tehnopol Science and Business Park the city launches the "Test in Tallinn" project, which creates an attractive business environment, where various green technologies can be tested, with the goal of helping both domestic and international companies.
Tallinn's "Test in Tallinn" initiative invites companies from around the world to test their smart technologies in three core areas: mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
"We are especially keen to support technology that we can implement in this city," the mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, said at the press event on Friday January 27.
"We support both new model solutions that are ready for testing and tech products that have been developed and tested elsewhere," Kõlvart added.
"We know very well today that public sector decision-making must be based on knowledge and science, which means we need more academic and business partners," the mayor said.
"The new platform is part of our Tallinn European Green Capital 2023 agenda, because new technologies can and must support environmental goals," Kõlvart continued.
The mayor said that he sees the role of the city of Tallinn as essentially providing an environment for the development of synergies between private and academic sectors and aiding in the municipal implementation of the products and services.
"According to my understanding, it is our responsibility to shape an environment, to provide opportunities, which may be even more critical than financing product development," he said. "We want to establish the new platform for structural cooperation between academic, business start-ups and public sectors."
Kõlvart said the city sees the new initiative establishing a model of collaborative practices that could also help the city government to improve its administrative efficiency.
"As a mayor, I especially welcome projects that can help increasing the efficiency of Tallinn city government," he said, adding that the cross-sector cooperation could be much better streamlined to ensure long-lasting results.
R8 Technologies' building efficiency diagnostic IT tool was one of the more advanced tech products showcased at the "Test in Tallinn" press event. The diagnostic tool provides an overview of the municipal building's room temperatures, automation, heating, cooling, ventilation, condition of the air conditioning systems and a list of improvements that would enable savings, more advanced fault detection and better energy consumption overview.
Tallinn starts the project in partnership with Tehnopol Science and Business Park that supports state-of-art technology entrepreneurship in Estonia.
Indrek Orav, CEO of Tehnopol, said that the testing phase is the most crucial in the development of new products and services.
"For technology to be ready, it has to undergo multiple tests to ensure that it is safe, complies with rules and finally has all the functionality necessary to meet the needs of the market," Orav said.
Tallinn and Tehnopol provide companies with the opportunity to implement their products in a living city environment, which serves as a bridge between testing new technology in a lab and bringing it to a larger global market.
"Tehnopol has over 20 years of experience working with a wide range of businesses. We have seen how critical this testing phase is for learning from mistakes, changing business models and implementing new technology," Orav said.
While the platform is intended for testing well-developed ideas or expanding the business portfolios of already-established tech companies, young entrepreneurs with new plans are also welcome to participate. Orav explained that new ideas would first go through the development phase at the Tehnopol Start-up Incubator.
Tehnopol has already an experience cooperating with municipality (Tallinnovation) on helping several companies to implement their technologies in the areas of data collection, road temperature detection, energy efficiency measurement, etc. "Tallinn is very open to innovation and new ideas and at least tries to implement them," he said.
The city chose three major areas — mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energy — because they have the most impact and legislative readiness, and because they are where cooperation between the city and local entrepreneurs is most effective.
What is an expectation for a good idea? Can anyone propose one? In what phase the company needs to be? Watch the video of the platform's launch event to learn more.
Editor: Kristina Kersa