Innovation Agency Lithuania moving to a new office, the Agency head introduced
Innovation Agency Lithuania, established by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation based on best practices abroad, started operations. On Monday, at the opening event of the Agency’s new office, the head of the Agency, Romualda Stragienė, who has extensive experience in private business, was also introduced.
On the occasion of the opening of the Agency, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė noted the Government’s ambition for Lithuania to be a flexible country, able to respond to changes and implement innovations promptly.
“We need to continue to build on our strengths and be consistent and creative, which is why innovation is so important. This is one of the priorities of our current activities. We understand how important it is to attract the best professionals to this area and to build a talented and strong team so that we can accelerate our pace. Indeed, economic development is not a sprint but rather a marathon that requires endurance and strength. However, there comes a time when we need to speed up and show that we can deliver what we have planned. The opening of Innovation Agency Lithuania and the new office is a very significant event, to which we have devoted a lot of effort and for which we have high hopes,” said the Prime Minister, who thanked the entire team of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, as well as the social partners. They took part in the discussions and provided valuable input.
“We already know how far we need to be ahead in innovation by 2030, with a doubling of the share of high value-added in exports, a tripling of private investment in research and experimental development, and every second company – more productive than the EU average. We have also set ourselves the target of reaching 20th place in the Global Innovation Index. Over five years, such changes would add more than EUR 12 billion to GDP, or an extra EUR 5,000 per capita. The challenge for Innovation Agency Lithuania and its new head is to achieve these goals, increase business breakthrough rates and grow the globally competitive and innovative business,” said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister for the Economy and Innovation.
R. Stragienė, who has worked in the business for many years and managed the largest cosmetics manufacturing company in Lithuania, BIOK laboratorija, won the competition for Innovation Agency Lithuania post director against 28 other candidates.
Having started her career in advertising and media planning agencies, R. Stragienė has worked with BIOK Laboratorija since 2005, holding positions of the marketing manager, director, and, in recent years, the board chair and was responsible for the implementation of business strategy. In 2015, the Lithuanian Marketing Association elected R. Stragienė as the Marketing Manager of the Year; she is an active member of the business and education community.
“My mission is creative work. I like to create in different ways in different fields and help others create, create together, and see the value we create together. The mission of Innovation Agency Lithuania resonates very much with my mission because the effectiveness of the ecosystem will be driven by nothing but co-creation – value exchanges between the innovation ecosystem actors. The merger of the three agencies implementing business promotion policies into Innovation Agency Lithuania promises that the innovation ecosystem in Lithuania will be clear, coherent, and cohesive, and now is the very beginning of the creation of all this. I am confident that together with the Agency’s team of innovation enthusiasts and the co-creators of services for business, we will facilitate the start-up, growth, and innovation of Lithuanian business and the prosperity of the Lithuanian economy,” says R. Stragienė.
Launched in April, the Innovation Agency is responsible for Lithuania’s innovation ecosystem and promoting innovation at all stages of business development – from developing ideas to delivering products to end-users. It will provide start-up and business development advice and international business development opportunities, build business competencies, provide access to finance and networking resources and connect co-creators of business services.
The Agency will administer a wide range of business support measures with a total value of over EUR 500 million in the next few years. The focus will be on promoting the internationalization of Lithuanian businesses, enhancing export competencies, finding 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 Agency will employ more than 300 staff and have regional offices in 13 Lithuanian cities. It was founded based on Enterprise Lithuania and the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LVPA). It consolidates the functions of innovation activities carried out by the Agency for Science, Innovation, and Technology (MITA).
Lithuania rebounded to its former highest place in the world competitiveness index published by the Swiss Institute of International Management (IMD). In 2022, it ranks 29th among 63 countries.
Last week an impressive number of startups and investors gathered at Startup Fair. Connect 2022, the long-awaited major international startup event in Lithuania, during which as many as 40 innovative businesses competed for the title of the best startup. Whelp, a startup founded in Azerbaijan and now operating in Lithuania, which is an artificial intelligence-based customer service platform, won the tough Pitch Battle competition.