Since forming after the Soviet Union collapse in 1991, perhaps it’s fitting that Estonia has a young prime minister – a 36-year-old, who embodies the energy and enthusiasm of his fellow citizens.
The Honorable Taavi Rõivas recently visited Bell and Howell’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, to help introduce PackRobot – Estonian postal technology company Cleveron’s new solution for parcel and delivery pickup, to the U.S. market.
Estonia has forged an identity as a tech-savvy Baltic nation that is creating innovations that are revolutionizing electronic communications, file-sharing, e-commerce and government. Some of the groundbreaking technological advances that have come out of Estonia are Skype Internet videoconferencing and Kazaa file-sharing.
Now you can add the PackRobot intelligent locker system to that list. Both Cleveron and Bell and Howell see the potential for 15,000 parcel terminals in North America in the next five years.
That’s why Rõivas, Estonian Ambassador Eerik Marmei, and Cleveron Co-Founder Indrek Oolup led a delegation of Estonian business and academic leaders to unveil the new technology.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (left), presents Bell and Howell CEO Dr. Ramesh Ratan with stamps bearing the first postmark in Estonia's history.
Also in attendance were representatives from U.S. Senator Richard Burr and Thom Tillis’s offices, former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Aldona Wos, and officials from the North Carolina Chamber, the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership, and Bell and Howell’s parent company, Versa Capital.
CEO Dr. Ramesh Ratan remarked that Bell and Howell had a rich history of more than 100 years of technological innovation – from movie cameras and slide projectors to mailing equipment and parcel-delivery solutions.
Additionally, Cleveron and Bell and Howell staff provided a compelling demonstration of the PackRobot, and the officials shared candid remarks about technology, encrypted data cards, electronic signatures and government regulations.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (left), participates in Cleveron's PackRobot demonstration at the Bell and Howell headquarters in Durham, NC.
Rõivas said that following Estonia’s liberation from the former Soviet Union in 1991, they had a blank slate to create new systems of payment, commerce and government transactions. He shared that Estonians can file their tax returns electronically in as little as three minutes.
It’s that type of forward-thinking innovation that Bell and Howell seeks to tap globally to help shape the future of mail and commerce.
See more photos from the event on our Facebook page.