1960

the institute of cybernetics is founded

1988

production of the first estonian-built PC “juku” begins

1989

the personal identification code system is established

1991

estonia restores independence

this is the story of the world's most advanced digital society

We trace the most important events that led us here. It is not a path that can be copied, but the challenges we faced and the opportunities we found can inspire others to discover their own.

For us, e-Estonia has led to a society with more transparency, trust and efficiency.

Challange:
to build a fully functioning country from scratch, while knowing we cannot afford the bureaucracy of a developed democracy

1960

the institute of cybernetics is founded

1988

production of the first estonian-built PC “juku” begins

1989

the personal identification code system is established

1991

estonia restores independence

1994

first draft of “principles of estonian information policy”

Strategic outline for IT development, ratified by parliament 4 years later.

CHALLENGE:
politically turbulent times, establishing IT as essential to solving societal challenges.

EFFECT: 1% of GDP earmarked as stable state funding for IT.

1994

1996

launch of the tiger leap initiative

Country-wide IT infrastructure development initiative.

CHALLENGE:
catching up to the West by updating local IT infrastructure and establishing computer skills as a priority in schools.

EFFECT: 90% of the population uses the Internet regularly; #1 in the Digital Development Index.

1996

1996

first e-banking service

Online banking solutions developed by private banks.

CHALLENGE:
low population density means high cost for a nationwide network of bank o ices.

EFFECT: development of high-quality e-banking services encouraged people to get online, to embrace government e-solutions and to later use e-ID.

1996

2000

e-cabinet meeting

Database and scheduler for streamlining governmental decision-making processes.

CHALLENGE:
reducing government bureaucracy, making e-solutions part of decision-making.

EFFECT: the average length of cabinet meetings of the Estonian government has been cut from 4-5 hours to as little as 30 minutes.

2000

2000

e-tax board

Online tax declaration.

CHALLENGE:
maximising state tax revenue to support the growing needs of the developing society.

EFFECT: declaring taxes now takes about 3 minutes online; 98% of people declare their income electronically.

2000

2000

m-parking

A system that enables drivers to pay for city parking via mobile phone.

CHALLENGE:
managing growing traffic in densely populated urban areas, creating a modern and low-cost parking infrastructure.

EFFECT: 90% of parking fees are paid via mobile phones, Estonia’s m-parking solution has been adopted in countries around the world.

2000

2001

x-road

Distributed data exchange layer for registers and information systems.

CHALLENGE:
limited resources to create a national integration platform, ballooning data exchange costs, public data leaks from existing unsecure databases.

EFFECT: X-Road has become the backbone of e-Estonia, allowing the nation’s public and private sector information systems to link up and operate in harmony. 99% of public services are accessible online 24/7.

2001

2002

e-id and digital signature

Digital identification based on the mandatory ID card.

CHALLENGE:
securely identifying residence using public and private e-services.

EFFECT: 98% of Estonians have an ID-card; digital signatures save 2% of GDP annually.

2002

2005

i-voting

maximising accessibility to local and general elections.

CHALLENGE:
politically turbulent times, establishing IT as essential to solving the challenges facing society

EFFECT: one third of the votes in parliamentary elections are cast online; votes are cast from over 110 countries.

2005

2007

cyber security

Concerted effort to enhance IT security.

CHALLENGE:
In April 2007, Estonia was hit by the largest organised cyber-attack against a single country. International cooperation was needed to contain this new threat.

EFFECT: Estonia has become one of the leading nations in cyber security. Both the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence and the EU IT Agency are situated here in Tallinn.

2007

2008

blockchain technology

Scalable blockchain technology KSI is developed by Estonian cryptographers.

CHALLENGE:
Following the cyber-attacks in 2007, Estonia needed to mitigate threats of insider data manipulation in its registries.

EFFECT: Estonia has become a pioneer of blockchain technology. Several government registries are backed by the KSI Blockchain.

2008

2008

e-health

A nationwide system integrating data from Estonia’s healthcare providers.

CHALLENGE:
improving the quality and efficiency of health care provided under public health insurance.

EFFECT: the electronic health record has created a comprehensive pro le of each patient, reducing bureaucracy and giving access to time-critical information in emergency situations.

2008

2010

e-prescription

A centralised paperless system for issuing and handling medical prescriptions.

CHALLENGE:
minimising paperwork for prescribing and dispensing medical drugs.

EFFECT: 99% of medical prescriptions are handled online; routine refills can be issued without appointments.

2010

2013

public services green paper

Mapping challenges and solutions for developing state e-services

CHALLENGE:
addressing the e-state’s current shortcomings to assure its sustainability and future development.

EFFECT: a better understanding of the public’s needs and the clear definition of goals and principles for the development of e-services.

2013

2014

road administration’s e-portal

One-stop online service for drivers and owners of vehicles

CHALLENGE:
simplifying and reducing the costs of the Road Administration’s service provision.

EFFECT: the e-portal provides services six times faster, 20% cheaper, and increases transparency.

2014

2014

e-residency

A borderless digital society for any global citizen to join.

CHALLENGE:
finding new and innovative ways to attract international business and talent to Estonia.

EFFECT: e-residency is the first digital nation for global citizens. The number of e-residents and their businesses is steadily increasing.

2014

2015

world's first data embassy

Estonia green-lights plan to create the first data embassy outside its borders

CHALLENGE:
assuring the digital continuity of Estonia and our statehood in worst-case scenarios like critical system failures or external threats

EFFECT: Estonia is the first country in the cloud, our critical databases and services are backed up in a high-security data centre in Luxembourg

2015

2017

NIIS X-road consortium

Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) ensures the development and strategic management of X-Road and other e-governance solutions

CHALLENGE:
ensuring the interoperability of e-governance solutions and platforms both nationally and internationally

EFFECT: founded by Estonia and Finland NIIS is a pioneer of cross-border e-governance solutions, intent on providing better content and services for the public

2017

2018

seamless services roadmap

Proactive government services that react to life events requiring minimal bureaucracy

CHALLENGE:
reducing bureaucracy and human resources to manage essential routine state services

EFFECT: seamless services provide a more natural relationship with the state; the first seamless service goes live in 2018

2018

2019

Government AI strategy

Outlining the current and future usages of AI in government and private services

CHALLENGE:
creating the legal and strategic framework for accelerating AI development and making Estonia a trailblazer in the field

EFFECT: a detailed strategic plan for promoting implementation of AI solutions in public and private sector

2019

WORLD
The first version of Netscape Navigator internet browser is released.