Construction of Rail Baltic may start already in 2017

Indrek Sirk who manages the Rail Baltic project at the Ministry of Economic Affairs says that in the most positive scenario, rapid rail passenger service connecting Tallinn with Warsaw could become operational in 2023 or 2024, writes Eesti Päevaleht. There are still many uncertainties and obstacles for the project.

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Bitter battle on Estonian sugar market

The Estonian market of sugar has transformed beyond recognition, with several new players that are offering so-called black sugar taking market share away from old traders, writes Äripäev.

One of the biggest winners in the battle for customers is VMV Trade, a sugar wholesaler, that increased its sales four times in a year.

VMV main shareholder Maksim Vassiljev says that the secret of success is cheap purchasing price.

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Danish and Estonian company merge to become the leading vehicle fleet management service provider

Estonian fleet management services provider Oskando, owned by Ambient Sound Investments (ASI), and Danish company Autolog are merging to create the leading vehicle fleet management service provider in the region.

According to the merger agreement Oskando and Autolog are to create holding enterprise EcoFleet Holding and bring to the market a new brand, EcoFleet, spokespeople for ASI said. After a two-month transition period the company will start to use the name EcoFleet instead of Oskando and Autolog on all markets. The company’s business activities will continue with the current teams and management structure.

ASI and Autolog will own 50 percent of EcoFleet each, according to the merger agreement. The members of the management board of EcoFleet will be CEO of Autolog Robert Holm, production director of Autolog Stig Lyngsie and investments administrator of ASI Indrek Jaaska. Jaaska will become the CEO of EcoFleet.

The main activity of both Oskando and Autolog is offering vehicle fleet management services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Oskando and Autolog have a total of 50 employees and together they manage about 35,000 vehicles in the Baltic countries and Scandinavia.

Autolog is a leading Danish software company founded in 2006. Oskando was founded in 1995 and since 2006 it is owned by ASI. ASI is an investment company that was created by Estonian co-founders of Skype: Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn, Ahti Heinla and Toivo Annus.

Source: Estonian Review / BNS

Estonian University of Life Sciences presents transgenic clone calf

The Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences is to hold a public seminar today to mark the birth of the first transgenic calf in Estonia.

In addition to presenting the transgenic calf named Juuni (June in English), the seminar will examine the development of cloning technology in Estonia and its links to the pharma industry, spokespeople for the Estonian University of Life Sciences said.

A transgenic female calf was born at the Estonian University of Life Sciences on June 22, 2013 whose genome contains the gene of human growth hormone. It is expected that in the future she will produce human growth hormone in her milk.

“There are only a few cows in the whole world whose milk contains human proteins that can be used to produce medicine,” Ulle Jaakma, vice rector of research at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, said. She added that in the pharmaceutical industry introduction of transgenic technology is of revolutionary importance, as it allows to produce high quality drugs at a lower cost.

As a result of research, the competence for cloning and transgenic technology has been developed in Estonia. Transgenic technology also offers new possibilities for future breeding, allowing to breed animals that are more resistant to diseases or produce milk that is enriched with certain health promoting components, said Jaakma.

The transgenic calf was born as a result of scientific cooperation between the Estonian University of Life Sciences, the University of Tartu and the Competence Center for Reproductive Medicine and Biology.

Development of transgenic cloning technology was financed by Enterprise Estonia (EAS).

Source: Estonian Review / BNS