2015 Estonian American Innovation Award Winners Announced!
In the competitive competition looking for the best and brightest in innovative thinking and cooperation between Estonians and Americans, Planet OS Inc. took home the 2015 Estonian American Innovation Award, at a ceremony that featured Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Jeffrey Levine, BAFF Board Member Andres Trink and President of the American Chamber of Commerce Estonia Andrus Alber.
Planet OS’s efforts to draw, integrate and make searchable all data on oceans has profound implications for people and companies focused on weather, transportation, currents, as well as the machine data industry in general, by transforming data into real-time insights.
Bikeep, a company that combines personal bike-locking, bike-sharing and C2C bike rental into one Smart Bike-Rack, rode away with the Newcomer Award. This award recognizes start-ups and up-and-coming companies that have demonstrated innovative thinking and creativity in collaboration with a U.S. partner.
There was a new award presented this year, the Creativity Recognition Award, that showed the U.S-Estonia partnership also extends beyond technology. Eugene Birman and Scott Diel were honored with the Creativity Recognition Award for their operatic work “Nostra Culpa.” Nicknamed the “financial opera,” this Estonian-American project looked at the age-old economic debate of austerity vs. stimulus. It also generated international media coverage, giving wide exposure to Estonia’s art and economic fields.
Other finalists in the competition this year included Pipe Drive, a sales tool that simplifies the sales process, and Vertex Estonia AS, which produces one-of-a-kind structures and components for Ground Stations Antenna systems.
The annual award is a cooperative project of AmCham Estonia, the U.S. Embassy, the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF). Initiated in 2011, it recognizes innovation by Estonians in partnership with Americans in a broad range of fields. As winner, Planet OS Inc. will receive 10,000 euros. The Newcomer Award winner, Bikeep, will receive 5,000 euros. The Creativity Recognition Award, sponsored by Facebook, comes with 2,000 euros. More information on the awards is available at www.innovationaward.ee
Estonian American Innovation Award Organizers: