Openness to innovation

Openness to innovation
International cooperation
Smart city solutions

As a dynamic and nimble nation, Lithuania has been able to build flexible institutions that are hard-wired to respond quickly to the challenges and needs of the local, regional and global economy.  And this flexibility, speed and decisiveness is brought to the way the country is eager to co-create with business to facilitate growth that benefits all. We have learned from the best role models – from Ireland to Singapore – and we are now happy to share our best practices with the global community.

Digital solutions that make life easier for all

Lithuania is fast on its way to becoming a truly digital society. 95 percent of public sector services have been digitised and public uptake is huge, with more than 80 percent of the country’s citizens using e-government services. Meanwhile, for business that penetration is at 97 percent. Of particular note is the country’s online tax registration and payment system, i.MAS, which allows users to submit and pay tax returns with just a few clicks.

Public invitation to experiment

Society, businesses and academia are openly encouraged to not only use digital services, but also to contribute to the development of innovative solutions. The GovTech Lab was set up to engage the latest technologies, startups and innovative businesses in further improving public sector services. There, a team of ambitious professionals is organising a series of challenges whose goal is not just to seek solutions to public sector problems, but also to actively foster and expand the govtech community. The solutions developed so far in this format are a major step forward in terms of breaking down barriers and stereotypes related to collaboration between startups and the public sector.

Where talented people are empowered to improve their country

Create Lithuania is the first-of-its-kind programme for creative, proactive professionals who want to contribute to shaping the modern future of Lithuania. Participants with international experience can use the knowledge and innovative ideas they’ve gained abroad to help improve Lithuania for everybody.

Over the decade of its operation, 282 projects have been implemented, 236 professionals have returned to live and work in Lithuania, and as many as 40% of the participants have remained in the public sector. In total, projects have been implemented in as many as 50 institutions in the country.

The latest project of Create Lithuania is joint teams with Ukrainians to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine.

A government that loves innovation

Lithuania provides a safe and supportive environment for entrepreneurs or incumbents to sandbox their innovations. Heading the charge here is The Bank of Lithuania, which opened the first sandbox in Lithuania in 2018, which was targeted at the fast-growing fintech sector. Today in Lithuania you’ll find successful fintech sandboxes, an energy sandbox, a transport solutions sandbox, and a proptech sandbox for real estate initiatives. There are also a number of active innovation collaboration hubs, like the AML Centre of Excellence.

The Lithuanian authorities were quick to seize the opportunities that the post-Brexit landscape presented. With the Bank of Lithuania at the helm, and strong cooperation from the government, a regulatory infrastructure was soon put in place that was designed to provide the best conditions for fintech growth. And the results were almost immediate, and in only a few short years the country has become both a European and global hub for the sector.

Lithuania is an EU leader in private investment into public scientific institutions, with the amount that businesses have invested into R&D almost doubling over the last decade.

In order to make the conditions for innovations easier for businesses, the State is working hard to formalise the open data principles and to simplify the process both for the institutions opening data and for data users.

The portal Open Data in Lithuania publishes all open data and also registers the need for data to be opened, i.e. which data institutions should open. The best example of the use of open data is the travel planning and public transport ticketing app Trafi, without which Vilnius residents could not imagine how to get around the city.

In the 2023 report released by the Data Europa portal, Lithuania’s open data policy and its execution soared to 7th place out of 35 countries, a significant leap from its 24th position in 2019. Labelled as a ‘fast tracker’ since 2020, Lithuania’s remarkable advancement underscores its steadfast commitment to leveraging open data’s potential for societal advancement and economic growth. Additionally, the OECD placed Lithuania in the 10th position in the Open Data Index for 2023. The projected estimation that the utilization of data could potentially contribute 1.71% to Lithuania’s national GDP by 2026 further highlights the profound impact and transformative potential of this approach.

Fixing the environment with actions, not slogans

By 2030, we aim to have the first climate-neutral city, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, to reduce waste to landfill from almost 25% to 5%, and to increase the area of protected territories from 17% to 30%. It is a long way to go, but in some areas Lithuania is already a role model for other countries, and we are eager to share our experience.

Vilnius is among 100 European cities selected to implement an experimental innovation programme to become a climate-neutral settlement by 2030 under the prestigious EU’s Mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities”.

When it comes to recycling plastic packaging, Lithuania, together with Slovakia and the Netherlands, leads the EU (Eurostat, 2022).

The country has over 3,000 collection points where people can return single-use plastic packages. Thanks to the deposit system, 9 out of 10 beverage cans, one-way glass and plastic bottles, with the deposit system mark, are returned.

In early 2021, Vilnius University took the historic step of becoming one of the first large organisations in Lithuania to use only green electricity for its operations. Vilnius University will reduce its CO2 emissions by around 7,500 tonnes every year.

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is one of the strategic goals for the Lithuanian airports. Vilnius Airport has achieved significant recognition from the international environmental programme Airports Carbon Accreditation (ACA). Lithuania’s largest airport has managed to reduce its average carbon dioxide emissions per passenger by more than a third in just a few years. This and the results of various environmental projects have enabled the airport to reach the third stage of the international programme – the best rating among the Baltic airports.

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