NINETEEN YEARS OF THE LBSA: THOUSANDS OF PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED, BILLIONS OF EURO INVESTED
Not many people know that the carillons in the tower of the capital’s Church of Apostles St. Philip and St. James (the Dominican Church) rang out thanks to an LBSA-funded project of EUR 0.6 million, and the significantly dilapidated Sapieha Palace was revived thanks to the agency’s EUR 2 million in EU funding.
In Kernavė, a scientific reconstruction of a fragment of the thirteenth/fourteenth-century town was carried out with the help of around EUR 1 million of EU investment and in Trakai, one of the most visited sightseeing areas of the Potato Road (Bulvių kelias) was constructed with the help of over EUR 0.8 million in funding allocated by the LBSA.
Thanks to the investment of EU funds together with the LBSA, new companies have emerged or existing companies have expanded, e.g. Umaras (expansion of an innovative production base), Umega (modernisation of the production base), Sakuona (expansion of the production base), Kitron (creation of a centre for the development of new R&D products), Bio Circle Balticum (investment in new production areas) and hundreds of other companies, which have benefited from the EU’s investment opportunities several times each.
The impetus to create, modernise, expand
‘The projects funded by the LSBA have created value throughout Lithuania in all spheres of life – from innovative engineering, medical technologies and new product development to the development of tourism infrastructure and the revitalisation of historical heritage sites; from major energy and business modernisation projects to support for the viability of the smallest enterprises’, says Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA.
According to him, throughout the nineteen years the LBSA has been increasing the quality of its activities and project management by improving processes to make project implementation clearer and more productive for the client, trying to reduce the administrative burden on business and being a reliable assistant to its clients despite the increasing workload.
‘In the financial period 2007−2013, we administered 37 measures, and in the last financial period 2014−2020 it is already 50. The total of 447 applications received under the measure ‘New Opportunities LT’ was a record a few years ago, and the most recent number of 1,670 applications under the measure ‘E-Commerce Model Covid-19’ and the budget of the call under the ‘Creative Vouchers Covid-19’ measure has been exceeded by seven times and is no longer a limit’, says Merkys describing the increased volume of work.
To the Innovation Agency – with sustainable luggage
Under the agreements with the LBSA, the energy sector has received EUR 1.151 billion – the largest amount of EU investment since 2004. Business projects have received EUR 881 million from EU investment funds, research and experimental development (R&D) projects have received EUR 660 million so far and the tourism sector has received over EUR 407 million.
Currently, the LBSA is working with almost 4,500 clients with most of them – close to 1,000 – implementing projects under the measure ‘E-Commerce Model Covid-19’, and not all contracts have been signed yet. The number of contracts is also high under the measures ‘Pramonės skaitmeninimas LT’ (Digitisation of Industry LT), ‘DPT pramonei LT+’ (High Impact Technology (HIT) for Industry LT+), ‘Eco-inovacijos LT’ (Eco-innovations LT), ‘Naujos galimybės LT’ (New Opportunities LT) and ‘Eksperimentas’ (Experiment).
According to Merkys, this year, by becoming the Innovation Agency, LBSA says goodbye to its name but retains the most valuable assets it has accumulated over 19 years – rich experience, the high qualification of its specialists, the ability to undertake and successfully perform unusual functions, creative work on projects and respect for its clients.