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Innovation hub competition winner aims to convey the Estonian experience via holograms in Abu Dhabi

22. February 2021 - 13:43

From 18 to 20 February, Tehnopol and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted an ideas generating session for innovation hubs. First prize was won by the Abu Dhabi team comprising Silja Kõiv, Kristi Roosimägi, Lehari Kaustel and Madis Sassiad, who came up with a comprehensive concept for a showcase venue at the embassy to convey the Estonian experience by combining technology and nature.

The aim of the session was to come up with nine concepts for innovation hubs – public showcase venues planned to be added to nine Estonian embassies. The aim of the innovation hubs is to present contemporary solutions created in Estonia to the world, both in business and creative industries, and also boost their exports in host countries and attract foreign investment to Estonia.

The 48-hour session that began on 18 February included 13 teams with young and established architects, designers, IT experts and entrepreneurs, who came up with a tailor-made design for each country to provide both form and content for each innovation hub. Innovation hubs are planned for nine cities: Tokyo, Toronto, Berlin, London, Seoul, Riga, Nairobi, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.

The Abu Dhabi team was awarded first prize for their concept Experience Estonia, which aims to raise the profile of Estonia and its companies, and boost interest in Estonia’s products and services in the Middle East, team member Silja Kõiv said.

“The concept includes multifunctional premises with five innovation rooms presenting Estonia’s e-state services, cybersecurity, defence industry, green economy, and education and culture. Hi-tech and innovative solutions are used to present the Estonian experience: LED-walls, holograms, chatbots, and laser beams. The concept has a dynamic focus to make it easy to switch between various domains and topics. We would like to thank KNM Eesti and architect Osvald Nuter for the visualisation,” Kõiv said.

Second prize was awarded to the Seoul I team that created multifunctional spaces for work, meetings and events. According to the team, augmented reality engages the visitor interactively and presents the soul of Estonia. Using the ARN augmented reality technology and QR codes, visitors can look at Estonian products, heritage and main attractions.

Berlin II ranked third with their removable and sustainable Koda-Kond business incubators, which provide emerging Estonian companies, creatives and international e-residents with work and meeting spaces to make it easier for them to enter the German market.

An expert panel assessed the designs and awarded €5000 to first prize, €3000 to second prize and €1500 to third prize. A special mention was given to the Nairobi team who was awarded six-month access to the Turunduslabor training platform. The second special prize went to team Singapore, who won free entry to the flagship startup event, Latitude59.

Indrek Orav, CEO of Technopol and member of the panel, said he was happy the event, which was held in a quick-fire format and in difficult physical conditions due to the pandemic, brought together concepts of such high quality. “I was impressed by the considered, original approach of the teams and how they combined the visual and the functional. Participants had consulted with the experts of host countries and proposed solutions that would work in real locations. I believe we gained enough ideas here that we, in cooperation with Estonia’s foreign representations, could develop further and turn into reality,” Orav said.

The session for generating innovation hub concepts was held in a hybrid format in the Tehnopol science and business campus.

Gallery and winning concepts are available here:


Silja Kõiv (HoloFitZone), Kristi Roosimägi (HoloFitZone), Lehari Kaustel (Global Virtual Solutions) and Madis Sassiad (GoSwift)

Alexander Bitskov (ARN), Anastasiya Rozenfeld (ARN), Eduard Vassilyev (ARN), Kristina Kudryavsteva (ARN), Tiina Pärtel (Narmla Disain)

Mia Tamme, Paul Grünenwald, Hannah Segerkrantz, Boris Lancelot, Priit Kruus (Dermtest)

Special mentions:

Germo Ausin (EKA), Karolin Kull (Estonian Academy of Arts), Andres Meesak (Estonian PV Energy Association), Britta Saks (ReloEst), Aliine Lotman (NPO Mondo)

Kristel Mõistus (Education and Youth Board), Annely Tank (NPOEdTech Estonia), Kaia Kirs (Bruce Platform OÜ), Priit Pint (Astro Baltics OÜ), Rain Ant (Astro Baltics OÜ)

Additional information:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department

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