The Innovation Agency in Lithuania should be launched early next year; it will be the only body responsible for the development of the entire innovation ecosystem and for all stages of innovation activities from concept development to introduction to the market. Laws related to the Innovation Agency are currently being debated in parliament.
‘Currently, innovations in business fall within the scope of responsibility of several unrelated institutions; so there is a vital lack of a systematic and long-term approach to the promotion of potential innovators. To create an innovation-friendly climate that allows us to compete globally we need to hand the innovation tools over to the responsibility of one institution. Then the innovation promoting ecosystem will become harmonious; no overlapping of functions and unclear responsibility will be left; businesses will know where to apply for the development of ideas or required support,’ says Minister of the Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė.
This agency is developed in line with the European Commission and the OECD recommendations to create a single structure responsible for innovation. These international institutions have repeatedly noted that the Lithuanian innovation policy system is too fragmented and inefficient, while the support system is difficult to access.
The Innovation Agency will implement and administer key measures to stimulate innovation activities, including expert and consultancy assistance, access to funding, support tool coordination, the development of infrastructure, etc. The Agency will cover innovation, start-up development, business and science partnership, innovation in the public sector, as well as general business development (business establishment, development, export).
One of the highlights of the new agency is the Breakthrough Department. It will fuel those areas where the greatest progress and economic benefits can be achieved. One of the newer areas to be overseen by the new department is public sector innovation govtech), as well as space technology and green technology greentech). During the planned transformation all state functions related to the promotion of innovation and business will be consolidated into one agency, which is currently performed by three separate institutions – the Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (MITA), Enterprise Lithuania and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LVPA)
According to the representatives of the Ministry, the consolidation of the functions for the promotion of innovative activities in one agency will help to create an efficient business service according to the “one-stop-shop” model. A coherent, systematic and clear business support system will be created, enabling companies to get all the services they need, from advice to support the development of new innovative products, in one place. Merging agencies will reduce their administrative costs.
It is expected that after improving the legal framework and reorganizing the state institutions supporting business, Lithuania will start to create a coherent system for the promotion of innovation activities, ensure the effective development of innovations and create conditions for the breakthrough of our country’s companies internationally.
The reform aims to increase the share of high value-added products, exceed the average productivity of EU companies and triple investment in research and experimental development (R&D).
The Innovation Agency is planned to start operating in Q1 2022. The Innovation Agency will take the legal form of a public body. It will be directly subordinate to the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation.