THE GOVERNMENT PAVED THE WAY FOR INNOVATION REFORM
The reform will consolidate into a single agency all state functions related to innovation and business promotion, which are currently carried out by several bodies – the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), Versli Lietuva and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA). Versli Lietuva and LBSA will be merged into one new agency, which is scheduled for the first half of next year.
‘Lithuania’s innovation ecosystem is still lagging behind other countries of similar development and size. Lithuania is ranked as a moderate innovator in the European Union’s Innovation Scoreboard 2021. Relatively modest public investment in research and experimental development in business, export of technology and innovative services are identified as weaknesses of the country. To make progress, we have launched an innovation reform for the reorganisation of the institutional economic sector and establishment of an agency responsible for the development of innovation,’ said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation.
The Minister hopes that by amending some of the existing legislation and reorganising the state institutions that support business, Lithuania will begin to create a coherent system for promoting innovation activities, ensuring effective innovation development and creating the conditions for the international breakthrough of our country’s companies.
The Innovation Agency will have the status of a public body. This will allow for a flexible implementation of functions related to the promotion of technology and innovation. In addition, the Agency will assist the government in coordinating strategic and inter-institutional decisions.
‘The merging institutions have worked well, but by creating a single agency we want to update the system and make better use of the available state resources. I have no doubt that Lithuanian businesses will soon reap the benefits of these changes,’ said the Minister.
The consolidation of innovation promotion functions in a single agency will help to provide a one-stop shop for businesses. A coherent, systematic and clear business support system will be created, allowing businesses to access all the services they need – from advice to support for the development of new innovative products – in one place.
Currently, exports of high-value-added goods and services account for around 14% of Lithuania’s total exports. The innovation reform is expected to double this figure by 2030. Another objective of the reform is to increase the productivity of the country’s enterprises, including support for the development of innovative products and services, and the development of start-ups and intensification of cooperation between science and business.
The amendments to the Laws on Technology and Innovation, Science and Studies and Small and Medium-Sized Business Development approved by the government will be submitted to the Seimas.