Estonia Test in Tallinn smart city programme

  • February 1, 2023
  • William Payne

Estonian capital Tallinn has developed the Test in Tallinn programme, which aims to showcase Tallinn as an environment for smart solutions. The city wants to position itself as competence centre at the European level where promoters and specialists in smart city development and sustainable urban management can model and test new solutions.

The main test areas of the title year are urban mobility and energy efficiency, chosen by the city as the areas with the greatest impact and legislative readiness, and where today’s cooperation between the city and local entrepreneurs has been the most effective.

The city sees Estonia and Tallinn’s strength as its smallness. It claims this favours the development and implementation of innovative solutions, including testing prototypes that have passed trials in a real-life environment on a smaller scale. The city believes that both Tallinn and Estonia allow rapid scale up and modelling of smart city solutions from small scale trials in a very flexible way.

A number of smart city testing programmes have already been implemented in Tallinn in a range of different formats.

In both Ülemiste City and Tehnopol, a number of campus-based pilot projects in innovation centres have been implemented in cooperation with campus owners. There have also been a number of regional pilot projects carried out in urban environments, such as testing AuveTech self-driving buses in city districts, in cooperation with district governments and city organisations.

Winners of the Tallinnovation competition have piloted products/services in an urban environment organised in cooperation with the city and Tehnopoli, such as Thinnect’s smart community solution in Kalamaja, which provides the community with an overview of the traffic situation and noise level in the area, and is also helping to improve road safety. Another format is that of bilateral agreements between the city and private companies to test products and provide services, such as goodwill agreements with companies that rent electric scooters, including Bolt and Tuul, who can use bicycle parking spaces in the city centre for free.

The Government of Estonia also provides digital services testing opportunities on the state Digital Testbed Framework, which allows everyone to build or try their new ideas, prototypes, products or completely new digital services in the state.

The aim of the Test in Tallinn programme is to make the capital an attractive business environment where various smart and green technologies can be tested, with the aim of helping both domestic and foreign companies reach other urban environments globally with their products and services.