Innovation Agency Lithuania, established by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation based on best practices of foreign countries, has opened for business. Romualda Stragienė, who has extensive experience in business, was introduced as the Head of the Agency at the opening event of the new office on Monday.

On opening Agency, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė referred the Government’s ambition for Lithuania to be a flexible country, able to react quickly to changes and to implement innovations:

‘We need to continue to highlight our strengths and be consistent and creative, which is why it is so important to use innovation. Clearly, this is one of our current priorities. We are well aware of the importance of bringing in the best professionals in this field, putting together a talented and a strong team to keep up the pace. Indeed, economic development is not a sprint competition but rather a marathon that requires endurance and resilience. But there comes a time when we need to increase the pace and show that we can deliver what we set out to do. The opening of the Innovation Agency and the new office is a very significant event, to which we have devoted a lot of effort and have high hopes’. She thanked the entire team of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport for their contribution, as well as the social partners who have contributed to the discussions and provided valuable comments.

Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation: ‘We already know how far we need to be in innovation by 2030 – with a doubling of the share of high value added in exports, a tripling of private investment in R&D, and one in two companies being more productive than the EU average. In addition, we have set a target of rising to 20th place in the Global Innovation Index. Such changes would generate more than EUR 12 billion of additional gross domestic product over five years, or an extra EUR 5,000 per capita. The task of Innovation Agency Lithuania and its new head is to achieve these goals, increase business breakthrough rates and grow globally competitive and innovative businesses’, she explained.

Stragienė has worked in business for many years and managed ‘BIOK laboratorija’ – the largest cosmetics manufacturing company in Lithuania. She beat 28 other candidates for the position of Director of  Innovation Agency Lithuania.

Having started her career in advertising and media planning agencies, Stragienė has been working at ‘BIOK laboratorija’ since 2005. She has held the positions of Marketing Manager, Director – and, in recent years – Chair of the Board, and has been responsible for the implementation of the business strategy. In 2015, she was elected the Marketing Manager of the Year by the Lithuanian Marketing Association, and she is an active member of the business and education communities.

‘My personal mission is creativity. I like to create in different ways in different fields, I like to help others to create, to create with others, to see the value that is created together. The mission of the Innovation Agency resonates very much with my personal mission, because the effectiveness of the innovation ecosystem will be determined by nothing less than co-creation – the exchange of value between the players in the innovation ecosystem. The merger of the three agencies implementing business promotion policies into the Innovation Agency is a promise that the innovation ecosystem in Lithuania will be clear, coherent and cohesive, and now is the very beginning of the creation of all this. I believe that together with the Agency’s team of innovation enthusiasts and the co-founders of business services, we will help Lithuanian business to create, grow, innovate and to prosper the Lithuanian economy’, said Stragienė.

Innovation Agency Lithuania, which was launched in April, is responsible for Lithuania’s innovation ecosystem and for promoting innovation at all stages of business development – from developing ideas to delivering products to end users. It will provide start-up and business development advice, international business development opportunities, build business competences, access to finance and networking resources, and connect developers of business services.

Agency will administer a wide range of business support measures totalling over EUR 500 million over the next few years. To increase exports and competitiveness, the focus will be on promoting the internationalisation of Lithuanian companies, enhancing export competences, finding new contacts and expanding the network of partners, and diversifying export markets. More than EUR 80 million will be invested in export promotion by 2030.

Agency will employ more than 300 staff and have regional offices in 13 Lithuanian cities. Agency is based on Enterprise Lithuania and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA), and by consolidating the innovation functions previously performed by the Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (SITA).

Innovation Agency Lithuania is located in the Technopolis business park, on the 7th floor of the Beta building.

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