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Renewed: 21.01.2011, 16:43

Government Communication Unit, 20 January 2011 16:40

Innovative ideas discussed for improving quality of life and economic growth

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 20 January 2011 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip today took part in the Nordic Baltic summit in London between the prime ministers of Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania, which took place on this occasion in an unconventional format – a brainstorming session with members of the research community, business leaders and visionaries on what can be done to bring about better well-being and economic growth.

Prime Minister Ansip said at the summit that even though the economic crisis hit the northern Baltic region hard, all of the countries are recovering. “We have a good opportunity to be the engine behind new growth in the entire European Union. We have proven that innovation, openness and continuous attention to competitiveness will result in success,” said Ansip.

Among other things, the prime minister said the topics of the summit – technological development and innovation, well-functioning labour market and family policy and green economic growth – are of key importance in raising people’s quality of life. “The discussions brought up many interesting ideas and new initiatives that together we can develop further,” said Ansip. For instance, Ansip noted a software program developed by academician Mati Karelson for analyzing the effects of chemical compounds that would obviate the need for testing on animals. As another example, Ansip noted the need for developing new-generation energy infrastructure such as the need to develop a so-called smart network. A total of 45 ideas and initiatives were introduced at the meeting from different countries.

One important topic discussed at the summit was opportunities for development of the digital market and e-services. Prime Minister Ansip said that the shared potential of the Baltic and Nordic region is underused in this field although it is one of the most important factors in achieving new economic growth. Cross-border digital opportunities will expand well-being for both people and companies. “Estonia’s experience in developing e-services was seen by all of the countries as very valuable,” said Ansip in comments on the discussions.

Estonia’s initiatives were introduced at the international forum: Linnar Viik: “Digital single market as a new engine of Europe’s growth – priorities on the European level and the role of the public sector”; Hannes Astok: “Enhancing democracy & participation in society through e-elections & other e-initiatives”; Madis Tiik: “Improving health services & people’s health through electronic & digital policy tools”; Siim Raie: “Entrepreneurial education as a key tool for job creation” and Mati Karelson: “Synergy of IT and Life Sciences in testing for new medical treatments and control of the chemical environment”.

For more on the summit, visit: www.fco.gov.uk/news;

The presentations can be viewed on the summit website: http://uknordicbaltic.readandcomment.com

Photographs from the summit: https://valitsus.ee/et/uudised/pildialbum#692-1

From London, Prime Minister Ansip will travel on to Austria to meet the head of Austrian government Chancellor Werner Faymann on Friday.

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