The Estonian business and software development company Net Group introduced Estonian public sector software solutions, which have helped Estonia become one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world, to Belgium public sector representatives at the Estonian Embassy in Brussels.
Net Group opened its subsidiary in Belgium in October and according to Mr. Dave Koopmans, Net Group BV’s Managing Director, “Belgians have an increasing interest and willingness to digitize work processes and services in the public sector. It’s a hot topic.” As Estonia is one of the frontrunners of e-governance in the world, “we showcased to Belgian public sector representatives how Estonia has done it,” Koopmans said. “Estonia has closely cooperated with private sector software development companies, which has been a wise decision,” he added. “This has led to the results, where today 99% of Estonian public services are online and Estonians only have to leave their homes to get married or enforce a divorce."
Koopmans continued, “Thus, with 23 years of experience, we have created innovative systems for countries such as Finland, Sweden, and The Netherlands to name a few. We have a solid background to create software solutions in Belgium that will support the ambitions of our community improvement.”
At the Embassy, emphasis was placed on Estonian e-solutions that are time, energy, and cost-efficient. "Special emphasis was placed on TEELE, the legislation information system created by Net Group for Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. With the help of TEELE, Tallinn prepares, manages, and processes all legal acts digitally in a unified environment and also makes the legislation documents public," said Koopmans. Since 2020, TEELE has been used for lawmaking, which changed the work with the legislation of the city government and their disclosure, to simplify the work of officials as well as citizens' communication with the city.
Today in Estonia, more than 600 e-services are available to citizens, and companies can use more than 2,400 of them. H.E. Mr. Artur Kink, the Estonian ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, pointed out that outside of Estonia, the great advantage of Estonian public sector e-services and technology solutions is that e-solutions really work for the state and companies. "Estonians have been trusting digital solutions, and the state has been transparent in what we do. This has provided an opportunity to create an ecosystem like no other in the world. The mutual work of people, institutions, organizations, and companies has always been at a high level, and now there is great interest in this experience internationally. However, to remain at the forefront of digitalization, we must continue to stand up for the fact that we always move on the wave of innovation," said Ambassador Kink.
On Thursday, November 24, at the Estonian Embassy in Belgium, the meeting of Net Group and public sector leaders was attended by more than 20 representatives of the Belgian Flanders local governments. At the event "Smart Cities and Digital Government - Stories from e-Estonia?" presentations were made by Ambassador Artur Kink, who introduced the use of Estonian e-services at the national level, Ms. Evelyn Tohvri, Head of the Legal Department together with Mr. Gert Väli, Chief Technology Officer at the Tallinn City Government talked about digital initiatives at the local government level and introduced the legislation information system TEELE case study, Net Group presented the services offered by the company on the Belgian market.
Net Group, which expanded to Belgium this year in October, offers service design with digital software solutions for the Belgian public sector and private companies. Before opening a subsidiary in Belgium, Net Group had been working in the Benelux region and had created ten years of IT strategy for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, including user interface and work process design.
Net Group has been at the forefront of digitalizing the public sector in Estonia by providing service design and developing software for state-owned, legal, healthcare, and education information systems and environments. In addition to the information system of Tallinn legislation TEELE, Net Group has modernized the information system of the North-Estonian Regional Hospital (PERH) with the possibility of sending a new type of referral, which makes it easier for specialists to form referrals and communicate with each other. Currently, Net Group, in cooperation with Microsoft, is developing the world's unique national chatbot and virtual assistant Bürokratt, which allows people to communicate with public sector institutions around the clock and get a centralized answer to all questions from one place. Net Group has also created a digital study materials environment for the Ministry of Education and Research, the E-school bag, from which schools and students can get the study materials they need for their studies free of charge.
Net Group is an internationally operating business and software development company. The Estonian software company with 23 years of experience offers companies and organizations solutions that combine innovative business models with technology. Today, Net Group's solutions are used in more than 20 countries around the world - in addition to Europe, the company has designed and built services in, for example, Iraq, Tanzania, and Oman. In addition to Estonia, Net Group has foreign offices in Finland, Belgium, and Tanzania.