The Innovation Agency Lithuania established by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation has officially been launched. The agency will be responsible for the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem and the promotion of innovation at all stages of business development – from developing ideas to delivering products to end users.
“Innovation is the main tool leading us forward, so our goal is to create the most advanced public sector organisation in Lithuania. In order to achieve a breakthrough, it is vital that we improve public services for business, streamline aid, and encourage investments in business innovation,” says Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė.
The Innovation Agency Lithuania was established on the basis of Enterprise Lithuania and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency and consolidating the functions for the promotion of innovative activities performed by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology.
According to the minister, the ecosystem for the promotion of innovations in Lithuania will finally be clear, coherent and harmonious, as the functions, activities and resources previously allocated to various institutions will now be concentrated in one. There will no longer be duplication of functions and vague responsibilities, and businesses will know exactly where to go for help – both entrepreneurs and established companies will be able to get answers, expert assistance and funding here based on the one-stop-shop principle.
The new agency will administer a range of innovation, digitisation and other business support measures with a total value over the next few years of more than EUR 500 million. In order to increase exports and competitiveness, considerable attention will be given to promoting the internationalisation of Lithuanian companies, increasing export competencies, looking for new contacts and developing a network of partners, and diversifying export markets. More than EUR 80 million are planned to be invested in export promotion by 2030.
“The establishment of the agency will be an important impetus for the development of innovative business. Our ambition is that by 2030, one out of two companies will exceed the EU average in terms of productivity, private investment in research and experimentation will triple, the share of high value-added products and services in exports will double. The new agency will be subject to the highest standards of transparency, with the latest management methods being introduced,” says Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation Eglė Markevičiūtė, who supervised the establishment of the agency.
The Innovation Agency Lithuania will be responsible for the provision of entrepreneurship, export and innovation promotion services to businesses, and business representatives will be served according to the level of business maturity: starting, growing or mature. Service packages will be developed accordingly. The agency will focus on the provision of expert and consulting assistance, project funding, cooperation between science and business, and the development of relevant infrastructure.
A competition for the position of director of the Innovation Agency Lithuania is planned to be announced in the near future. More than 300 employees will work for the agency. The agency has its headquarters in Vilnius, and will have regional offices in 13 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 therefore recommended the creation of a single organisation responsible for innovation. The Innovation Agency was established on the basis of best practices of foreign innovation agencies.