U.S.-Baltic Foundation

US-Baltic Technology Forum to Highlight
Cyber Security, Energy Conservation

April 14, 2008

Contact: Trevor Dane
Tel: 202-785-5056
E-mail: [email protected]


WASHINGTON, DC – When Russia engaged in a political cyber-war on Estonia’s computer system last April, the world realized with some surprise that the Baltics are among the most plugged-in societies in Europe. To help refine and share strategies in such technology, the U.S.-Baltic Foundation (USBF) is gathering a remarkable panel of Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian  and America experts here on April 18, 2008. Among the panelists will be Lt. Gen. Johannes Kert, the Estonian defense official who was instrumental in dealing with the strong Estonian response.

The gathering, called The U.S.-Baltic Technology Forum, will analyze and debate today’s cutting-edge subjects:

  •  Cyber security
  •  Technology commercialization
  •  Energy conservation
  •  Green technology

Part of an overall Business Program sponsored by USBF, the Forum will be held at Washington’s Capital Hilton Hotel, 1001 16th St. NW, from 0900 to1500. Building upon last year’s successes, the 2008 program will allow U.S and Baltic businesses to form partnerships, establish stronger ties, and discuss strategies for financial services, energy, research partnerships, and information technology.  The program will allow business leaders to learn about trends in the United States and important issues affecting trade between the two regions. 

The Forum will coincide with the 2008 U.S.-Baltic Gala on April 18- 20 in Washington.  Since its inception in 2002, the Gala Awards Dinner and Silent Auction has become the premier annual event for American friends of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will be our Guest of Honor and deliver the Keynote Address. In addition, distinguished Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and American luminaries in business, education, the arts and public affairs will be honored at the dinner. Previous honorees have included Latvian President Vaire Vike Freiberga (2006) and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus (2007).

Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, the Chairman of the 2008 U.S.- Baltic Gala Committee,  has announced that USBF Board member Egils Milbergs will chair the Business and Technology programs.

Mr. Milbergs is president and founder of the Center for Accelerating Innovation.  He is a noted thought leader and strategist in global innovation, advanced manufacturing, competitiveness and public-private partnerships.  He has been an active participant in the National Innovation Initiative (NII) co-chaired by Sam Palmisano, chairman, IBM and Wayne Clough, president, Georgia Tech University.  Mr. Milbergs is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for productivity, technology and innovation at theU.S. Commerce Department.

“Since 2000 the Baltic States have become members of the European Union and have established strong business and commercial ties with Europe ,” said Mr. Milbergs.  “Our strategic vision for this program is to reinvigorate U.S.- Baltic economic relations.  Our tactical approach is to build business to business partnerships in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and throughout the United States.”

The Forum’s first session, from 9:00 to 9:45, will be an “Overview of the state of competitiveness and business cooperation in the United States and the Baltic States.”  Milbergs will moderate, and members of the panel will include Juhan Parts, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness, and Paul Dyck, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The second session, from 9:45 to 10:30, will discuss “Energy Conservation and Green Technology.” Moderated by Mr. Milbergs, the experts will include, Craig Goodman, Executive Director of the National Energy Marketer’s Association, and Andrius Viirg, International Project Manager of  Eesti Energia, Estonian Energy.

The third panel, from 10:30 to 11:15, will discuss “Cyber Security.” The Facilitator will be Krista Altok Tassa, president of the Estonian American Chamber of Commerce, former Lt. General Johannes Kert of the Estonian Defense Ministry, who was instrumental in the response to the Russian cyber-attacks of 2007, and Kimberly Zenz, iDefense Security Intelligence Services.

From 11:15 to 12:00 a panel facilitated by Gustav Plato, the CEO of iiGrowth, will discuss “Technology Commercialization.” Serving in the panel will be Paul Corson, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce, Marshall Ferrin, Director of  International Business Development at The Mason Enterprise Center, George Mason University.

The business program will also include one day business matchmaking visits to enable Baltic business leaders to learn more about the diverse economies of Maryland and Delaware.  To see a complete schedule and to purchase tickets for the business program and the U.S.- Baltic Gala, please visit www.usbaltic.org

For more information or to set up interviews, please call Trevor Dane at (202) 785-5056, or e-mail at [email protected].

[ Please click here for a pdf press release]