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Ambassador Michael C. Polt announced on July 4 at the U.S. Embassy’s Independence Day Reception the creation of a new Estonian American Innovation Award to highlight innovation in Estonia and collaboration between Estonia and America toward this end.  
The new award is being sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, the American Chamber of Commerce in Estonia (AmCham) and the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF).  The three sponsors expect to make this an annual initiative.
Ambassador Polt encouraged “active participation and spirited competition.”

All Estonian residents, firms, and non-profit organizations that have distinguished themselves through innovation in collaboration with a U.S. counterpart are eligible to enter this new competition.  The sponsors seek entries from the broadest range of sectors, including business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, the arts, media, education, and civil society.
The decision criteria will be based on several factors, primarily creativity, impact or clear potential impact of the innovation, and demonstration of collaboration with a U.S. entity.
The winner will receive 10,000 euro; and the runner-up, 5,000 euro.  The prize money is being provided through the generosity of the BAFF.
 The winner will be announced at a special event in December.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Tallinn (Am-Cham) is a non-profit organization of close to 100 members focused on facilitating trade, increasing investment, and developing local and international relationships between Estonia and the U.S.
The Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) is a U.S-based organization founded in 2010 to enrich the ties between the U.S. and the three Baltic countries through programs of education and exchange for top talent centered on economic growth and democratic processes.  The BAFF was established through funds left from the Baltic American Enterprise Fund that was initiated by the U.S. Government in the 1990’s to support private ownership and economic development in the Baltic countries.   
Specific details on the Estonian American Innovation Prize competition will be available on the AmCham and U.S. Embassy websites – at www.amcham.ee and www.estonia.usembassy.gov  –  beginning August 1.  Applications for the award will be accepted from August 1 until October 31.

U.S. Embassy Press Release

 
 

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