The Innovation Agency, set up by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, has officially launched its activities. The agency will be responsible for Lithuania’s innovation ecosystem and for fostering innovation at all stages of business development – from developing ideas to delivering products to end users.

‘Innovation is a key tool to drive us forward and our goal is to create the most advanced public sector organisation in Lithuania. Improving public services for business, making aid more efficient and encouraging investment in the implementation of innovation in business are vital to achieving a breakthrough’, says Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation.
The Innovation Agency was established on the basis of the Versli Lietuva Agency and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA), and by consolidating the functions of innovation activities carried out by the Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (SITA) (Mokslo, inovacijų ir technologijų agentūra (MITA).

According to the Minister, from now on, the innovation promotion ecosystem in Lithuania will be clear, seamless and coherent as the functions, activities and resources that have been distributed among different institutions will be concentrated in one institution. There will be no more overlapping functions and undefined responsibilities, and businesses will know where to apply for help. Both start-ups and advanced companies will be able to get all the answers, expert help and funding here on a one-stop shop basis.

The new agency will administer a wide range of innovation, digitisation and other business support measures worth more than EUR 500 million over the next few years. The focus will be on promoting the internationalisation of Lithuanian companies, increasing export competences, searching for new contacts and expanding the network of partners, and diversifying export markets to increase exports and competitiveness. More than EUR 80 million will be invested in export promotion by 2030.
‘The establishment of the agency is an important impetus for the development of innovative business. Our ambition is that by 2030, every second company will be more productive than the EU average, private investment in research and experimentation will triple, and the share of exports of high value-added products and services will double. The highest standards of transparency will be set for the new agency and the latest management methods will be introduced’, said Eglė Markevičiūtė, Vice-Minister for Economy and Innovation who supervised the establishment of the Agency.

The Innovation Agency will provide entrepreneurship, export and innovation promotion services to businesses, and businesses will be served according to the level of their maturity: start-up, growing or mature. Appropriate service packages will be developed accordingly. The agency will focus on the provision of expert and advisory assistance, project financing, business-science cooperation and the development of relevant infrastructure.

It is planned to publish a notice in the near future inviting applications for the position of director of the Innovation Agency. The agency will have more than 300 employees. Headquartered in Vilnius, the agency will have regional offices in thirteen Lithuanian cities.

The European Commission and the OECD have repeatedly noted that Lithuania’s innovation policy system is inefficient and that support is difficult to access, and has therefore recommended the creation of a single organisation responsible for innovation. The Innovation Agency is based on the best practices of foreign innovation agencies.

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