BERLIN Since Enterprise Estonia, a technology promotion agency, opened a Silicon Valley office in December, director Andrus Viirg has felt the Skype effect.
Skype was developed in Estonia and eventually acquired by San Jose-based eBay Inc.
"Skype is quite well known here," said Viirg, who is based in San Jose. "This leads to quite a few questions such as 'Are there any new Skypes?'"
He added that the buzz supports what his office is trying to do -- bring small Estonia tech companies over to Silicon Valley to expand in the US market.
So far Estonian two companies, in biotech and electronic measuring instruments, have begun setting up in the San Jose area.
His office is also cooperating with Nordic technology agencies in Silicon Valley on a cleantech conference. Solar panels, fuel cells and the monitoring of energy efficiency are some areas in which Estonian researchers are working.
Enterprise Estonia is part of a network of similar offices worldwide aimed at making Estonia’s technology more competitive in world markets and bringing foreign investment to Estonia. The San Jose office was opened late last year during a visit to the US by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who also found time to stop in at Cisco Systems.
Estonia, population 1.3 million is nearly the same size as San Jose, about 1 million. But the small country is tech savvy and has become something of a testing ground for innovations in IT and electronics.
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