Smart nation visits smart company

Marika Linntam, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia in Germany, visits Heidelberg iT

Press Release Heidelberg iT: Heidelberg, December 14, 2023

Marika Linntam, the Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Germany, visited the headquarters of the cloud and data center provider Heidelberg iT Management GmbH & Co. KG on December 11, 2023. She met with Managing Director Matthias Blatz to discuss digitalization, AI, and sustainability. The Estonian Ambassador, who has been in office since September, followed the invitation of Prof. h.c. Dr. Karl A. Lamers, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia for Baden-Württemberg, to Heidelberg, accompanied by Consul Kristi Kraavi-Käerdi. During the company tour by IT expert Blatz and the inspection of the data center "Serverhotel 2", Ambassador Linntam praised the innovative spirit at Heidelberg iT. She was particularly impressed by the potential for CO2 savings and the recyclability of concrete used in the construction of the world's first data center in a 3D-printed building, "Serverhotel 4" by Heidelberg iT. She expressed hope for more innovative buildings within the European Union, similar to the 3D printed construction.

In Baden-Württemberg, there are more innovations than in other federal states, especially in the field of AI, was her impression. In Estonia, many things have been done well, but progress and further improvements must always continue. She expressed a desire for lively exchanges between Estonia and Germany and the EU countries in general, with the goal of learning from each other. Estonia is among the top three global "Smart Nations" and a pioneer in digitalization in all areas of life. For instance, authorities are connected via the data highway "X-Road", using this infrastructure for digital communication between public services and citizens, and for data exchange. "But only when necessary. The authorities can always see who has accessed the data and when," said Ambassador Linntam. Businessman Blatz emphasized that a change in mentality is necessary in Germany to further advance digitalization, especially in public administration. He advocated the concept of Digital-by-Default and the possibility of reusing existing data according to the Once-Only principle, meaning that data only need to be provided once by citizens to the authorities.

The Estonian Ambassador thanked host Blatz for the warm reception, enlightening discussions, and interesting insights into the smart IT service company Heidelberg iT. "We look forward to Heidelberg iT's visit to Estonia," said Ambassador Linntam.

Foto: Matthias Blatz, Geschäftsführer der Heidelberg iT Management GmbH & Co. KG, empfängt die estnische Botschafterin (v.l.): Konsulin Kristi Kraavi-Käerdi, Honorarkonsul Dr. Karl A. Lamers, Botschafterin Marika Linntam und Matthias Blatz. Foto: Heidelberg iT

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