When the international community celebrates the World Science Day for Peace and Development for the nineteenth time, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) will be recognising projects in this field and the EU investments that have been allocated to fund them. Scientific institutions hold conferences dedicated to that day and companies organise open days.

Since 10 November 2002, UNESCO has been promoting the celebration of this day around the world to raise awareness of the importance of science, to introduce innovations and to encourage young people to take an interest in science and pursue it.

According to Aurimas Želvys, Director of the LBSA, it is necessary to strengthen national R&D project capacities in smart specialisation and breakthrough areas. This includes health technologies and biotechnologies, information and communication technologies, new production processes, materials and technologies. It needs to be done in a comprehensive way through mission-based programmes to overcome the complex challenges of the future and the export interests of national businesses.

‘On the one hand, technology becomes morally obsolete without new scientific inventions, so new bright minds in science and research institutions and energetic creators are needed in this field to bring as many bold ideas and sustainable solutions as possible. On the other hand, it is especially important not only to strengthen the management capacity of business product development projects but also the legislative environment that has a significant impact on R&D incentives’, says Želvys.

We are approaching one billion

During the 2014–2020 EU funding period, EUR 443.2 million was allocated from the LBSA portfolio to research and experimental development (R&D) under 738 contracts. The total value of the projects was EUR 721 million. At present, 258 projects have been completed with almost EUR 90 million of EU investment.

The largest number of contracts were awarded under the measure ‘Intellect. Joint Science-Business Projects’ (Intelektas. Bendri mokslo–verslo projektai) – at 268, with EUR 142 million in EU funding. A total of 176 projects with EUR 71.2 million of EU investment have already been completed.

All 213 projects are ongoing under the measure ‘Experiment’ (Eksperimentas), with EUR 144 million in EU funding and 42 projects under the measure ‘Covid-19 R&D’ (COVID-19 MTEP).

Research projects have also been funded under ‘Smart FDI’, ‘Pre-commercial Procurement LT’ (Ikiprekybiniai pirkimai LT), ‘Smartinvest LT+’, ‘Intellect LT-2’ (Intelektas LT-2) and other measures.

Some of the 738 projects

According to Želvys, EU funding goes to progressive, promising projects that not only meet the requirements but also develop advanced, competitive technologies, tools and equipment, and create ‘brain centres’ for developing and implementing new ideas.

With EU funding, companies have been able to realise innovative ideas for the future. For example, UAB Biotechnological Pharmaceutical Centre Biotechpharma (UAB Biotechnologinės farmacijos centras Biotechpharma) received funding under a contract with the LBSA for the project ‘Development of Biosimilar Monoclonal Antibody Production Technologies’, and UAB Stem Cell Research Centre (UAB Kamieninių ląstelių tyrimų centras) for ‘The Development of Technology for Culturing/Proliferation of Stem Cells up to Therapeutic Cell Count’.
EU funding supported UAB Femtika for ‘Development of Laser Technologies for the Integration of Optical Microstructures in Fibre Optics’ and UAB Altechna R&D for ‘Investments in R&D for the Development of Microfluidic Cuvettes’.

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