The goal of EST_IT @ 2018 development monitoring was to find out in which areas information and communication technologies can contribute most to the development of the Estonian economy and society over the next decade.

The Estonian ICT Development Survey started by identifying the global ICT and socio-economic technology trends that are most affecting Estonia. In order to map the major developments in the external environment and their potential impact on Estonia, as well as the most important ICT applications related to local developments, interviews were conducted with twenty of Estonia’s most influential ICT specialists and decision makers from higher education institutions and the public sector. In parallel, major trends in ICT developments in the world were analyzed on the basis of major US, European and Japanese sources.

Workshops were held to present the conclusions of the interviews, the findings of the interim report EST_IT @ 2018, and to discuss Estonia’s major socio-economic challenges and to discuss key ICT development opportunities in Estonia. Based on the results of interviews and workshops, a web survey was conducted in September 2008 to determine Estonia’s ICT development priorities. 136 experts from all major Estonian ICT development organizations participated in the survey. The survey found both the most important directions of action to increase Estonian ICT education and research and six focus areas for more effective implementation of ICT solutions in Estonia. A representative forum with more than 130 participants was held in Tallinn on 11 December 2008 to discuss the results of the ICT monitoring exercise. At this event, Estonia’s ICT visions were discussed and additional input was collected to finalize the results.

The report gives an overview of the major ICT development trends in the world and assesses the need to strengthen Estonia’s ICT competence base in the light of the investment priorities of the leading IT countries. In addition, the role of ICT in economic development, the current development of the Estonian ICT sector and the opportunities for ICT companies to move to foreign markets will be addressed, looking at the major socio-economic challenges facing Estonia and identifying potential new market opportunities for smart ICT solutions. Finally, the main conclusions of the first phase of the Estonian ICT Development Monitoring are summarized and recommendations for further action are made.

Main findings of the Estonian ICT Development Surveillance:

  • The potential of ICT to support the restructuring of the Estonian economy and the modernization of the public sector is huge
  • In order for Estonia to have the wisdom to use and develop ICT, at least 5 to 6 world-class professors must be brought to Estonia and ICT higher education must be brought to a strong international level
  • In order to support product development and export, high-quality international technology and business management training must be launched in Estonia
  • Longer term ICT roadmap for education, health, industry, energy, financial services and ICT security systems.