Since 2008, the Lithuanian S3 action plan has the goal and primary action of “Increase cooperation in business and science” as this gives allow motivation of universities or any research institutes and business companies to engage better into implementation of the new policy instruments. This also can facilitate new funding opportunities (for DIH, for engaged universities/research institutions and companies) and have impact on improvement of governance of the policy instrument (by providing feedback on the piloted cooperation models to the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

The impact of COVID19 was not substantial enough to decrease the motivation of companies to invest of R&D. We have measured the indicator "Business sector expenditure on R&D per capita" for the InoStartas scheme. In the beginning of 2019 year, indicator was 38.74 Euro/per capita and in the 2021 - it was 60.70 Euro/per capita. It is clear to say that because of the "InoStartas LT" scheme the business sector expenditure of R&D per capita almost doubled during 3 years.

In addition, we have measured the indicator "Number of enterprises cooperating with research institutions". Thus, from the beginning of year 2019 there were 4 enterprises applied for support were already working with national research institutions and during the past 3 years that number increased into 60. Almost half of supported SMEs are from the central regions like Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda, and the others from the rest of the region of Lithuania.

There were 15 SMEs from Sunrise valley Science Technology Parks (STP) cooperating in new projects with universities, research and science centres.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Lithuanian businesses were and are constrained by a combination of unique and unprecedented constraints on supply and demand. Recognizing that innovation is needed not only to manage the pandemic and its aftermath, but also to accelerate economic recovery and further increase economic resilience, its promotion has become priority for several Lithuanian policies (e.g. R&D, Digitalisation, Creative arts and Culture).

In Lithuania, the widespread practice of promoting COVID-19 among the international community has been applied as well for health-related innovations firstly. Secondly, the pandemic has made it clear that companies must change established business models and digitize business processes. Sunrise valley STP have implemented online tools to encourage these processes both in Lithuania and abroad (e.g. digital maturity assessment tool). Thirdly, in order to address the challenges of COVID-19, Lithuania has carried out various hackathons to bring together different stakeholders (business, science, public sector) and use innovation as a potential tool to address them (e.g. Hack4Vilnius). Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global value chains, forcing many countries to rethink their ability to attract FDI. In this context, Lithuania, in response to the resulting situation, a financial instrument (SMART FDI 3) for foreign direct investment and innovation was launched, which aim is to attract foreign investment in R&D and innovation to Lithuania.

It is important to emphasize that most of the tools listed above in the world and in Lithuania could be used in the future, depending on the challenges that hinder the innovative activities of companies. Some of the measures listed above could be adapted in response to the situation (e.g. targeted financial incentives for R&D).

To reduce the impact of the economic downturn on innovative business activities, Lithuania has the best possible use of the newly introduced schemes. The structural shock can help the Lithuanian economy to transform to better added value and resilience to various crises, so targeted and effective promotion of business innovation through the EU Cohesion Policy Funds and the Recovery and Resilience Fund will be extremely important.

For Further information on updated Lithuania Action plan please follow the Analysis of the impacts of Covid-19 or contact Mr. Laurynas Braskus from Sunrise valley Science & technology park by e-mail [email protected].