Web based magazine, No. 2, June 15, 2006

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National Programmes and Initiatives

 

 

National Lisbon strategy implementation programmes and RTD in Lithuania

The Lisbon strategy, approved at the European Council (EC) meeting in Lisbon, Portugal in 2000, set a new strategic goal for the EU for 10 years “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world”. This is to be achieved by speeding up technological progress, development of an informational society, completion of necessary economic reforms and minimising social exclusion.
The challenges revealed themselves more difficultly than believed when the slowdown of the world economy started. When considering the execution of the Lisbon agenda for the first five years on March 2005, the EU reoriented the Lisbon strategy by taking the decision to focus priorities on economic growth and job creation. The newly oriented strategy combines three aspects (economic, social and environmental) and is introduced as the strategic vision in the areas of macroeconomic, microeconomic and the employment policy. The Lithuanian National Lisbon strategy implementation programme was prepared and approved by Government in October 2005. In this strategy, the RTD policy and innovations are seen as an instrument to increase the national competitiveness.
Therefore it is foreseen to increase of investments, primarily of private business, into scientific research and experimental development (R&D), upbringing of innovation culture in business and the increase of innovative capabilities for companies. When perceiving the importance of innovation both for companies and competitiveness of a national economy and economic growth now in a number of strategic documents of Lithuania, the emphasis is put on the necessity to promote the use of innovation and knowledge for the creation of competitive products and processes and to introduce them into the market. At the same time, it is acknowledged that insufficient activities of the companies, when investing into scientific research, experimental development and innovation, may have an adverse outcome for long-term development of the national economy and economic growth. Insufficient funds for R&D and not sufficiently and effectively using the imperfect mechanisms to promote business investments to R&D have also had a significant influence on the present situation. The outcome is depicted by structural indicators characterizing the R&D.

Comparison of key R&D indicators with the average of the EU Member States (* EU –indicator 15)

Indicator

Year

Lithuania

EU average

Non-uniformity level

Approximated innovation index  -SII (scores)

2004

0.26

0.44*

High

Total investment level to R&D (GDP%), out of them:

0.68

1.94

High

Public sector funds

2003

0.54

0.67

High

Business sector funds

2003

0.14

1.27

High

Number of investigators per thousand of workforce

2003

4.0

5.68**

High

Percentage of companies in business, %

2004

6.7

49.7**

High

Number of employees engaged in the industry of high and medium-high tech (percent out of total number of employees)

2004

3.03

6.60

High

Number of employees engaged in the service sector of high tech (percent out of total number of employees)

2003

1.66

3.19

High

Number of requests submitted to the European Patent Office per 1 million of citizens (units)

2003

2.6

133.6

High

Number of the requests submitted to the USA Patent Office per 1 million of citizens (units)

2002

0.5

59.9

High

When promoting the innovative activity of the State regions, currently 2 projects have been carried out which are related to the preparation of regional innovation strategy (hereinafter referred to as the RIS). It is anticipated that these strategies promoting the “bottom-up” initiatives, co-operation of various institutions, including institutions of business, business and innovation support, municipality institutions and institutions of the Government, implementation of modern technologies and creation of new products for the market will contribute to the increase of the development of regional and national innovation and competitiveness.

          The assessment of the current situation allows for a statement that the Lithuanian R&D system lags behind the system of the leading EU Member States. It is related to these basic issues:

  • R&D results of the science and study systems of Lithuania are not sufficiently used in the business sector because the trends of scientific research are poorly related to business development and demand.
  • The system of science and study does not sufficiently react to the state needs for long-term development, the amount of high qualification specialists conforming to the demand of modern industry and business proves insufficient.
  • Business investments to R&D are small and the promotion to do it is insufficient.
  • Higher schools and institutions of scientific research practically do not generate new innovative companies.

Spread of information and communication technology, the ease of effective use and the creation of a universally receptive knowledge-based society

The key factor of economic growth, job creation and social welfare is the creation of a knowledge-based society. The development of information and a knowledge-based society in Lithuania is one of the strategic objectives. However, for Lithuania, as well as for the majority of the new EU Member States, the use of information and communication technology  remains quite actual, notwithstanding the more extensive use of internet and computers.

Comparison of key ICT indicators with an average of the EU Member States (2004).

Indicator being analysed

Indicator unit

Value (Lithuania)

Value (EU average)

Non-uniformity level

Permanent internet users

Citizens of the country using internet at least once per week, %

26

39

Medium

 Household internet

Internet in household, %

12

42

High

 Subscribers using broadband communication technology

Households using broadband communication technology, %

4

15

High

Level of public electronic services

Basic public services, reached by the Internet, %

59

72

Medium

Public mobile telephone subscribers

Number of public mobile telephone subscribers per 100 citizens, %

79

83

Low

Rather big differences of ICT use still remains in Lithuania in geographical and in social respects (between the inhabitants of cities and villages).
Insufficient level of IT use among the inhabitants of Lithuania, development of infrastructure, transferring of public services provided by the State into an electronic medium.

The stimulation of investments, primarily of private business into R&D, the development of innovative culture in business and the increase of innovative capabilities of enterprises

Lithuania is seeking to create a knowledge-based society and to keep a way of harmonizeddevelopment and to create and develop a modern, dynamic and competitive economy.The basic provision of the implementation of such an objective is the universal strengthening of national scientific research, development of technologies and innovation systems to increase the potential. Basic political initiatives in the areas of scientific research, experimental development and innovationare regulated in the strategies and programmes of the State (see Annex 3).
Essential principles of Lithuanian innovation policy are set out in innovation business programmes and in the measures of its implementation in the years 2003-2006. The measures are approved by Resolution No. 911 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette), 2003, No.71-32250) dated July 15, 2003. The objective of the programme is to increase the competitiveness of Lithuanian industry and business by providing supportive conditions for the renewal of operating enterprises and the establishment of modern enterprises and also providing conditions for the enterprises to use the potential of science for the creation of high value added and to compete in global markets.
Taking into consideration that the portion of enterprises using high tech is very small in the
industry of Lithuania, the role of science institutions when developing the industry of high tech is very important. The enterprises of high tech shall emerge from the State scientific research sector.In addition, the institutions of science shall co-operate with enterprises existing in Lithuania. It is also necessary to co-operate with multinational high tech companies from other countries as this may encourage the latter to invest in the innovation system of Lithuania.
Taking into consideration the present expenditure level of Lithuania for scientific research and experimental development, the current and future support from structural funds and the general tendencies of the national economy development, it is acknowledged that it will be difficult for Lithuania to achieve that the 2010 expenditure for scientific research and experimental development reaches 3 percent of the GDP, especially in the business sector. In any case, the attention of the institutions of Lithuanian authorities and organizations of business and science, the efforts and financial funds will be focused on the achievement of the result under which the expenditure level for scientific research and experimental development makes up the GDP share indicated in Table.

The basic objectives of Lithuania expenditure for scientific research and experimental development in 2008 and 2010 (GDP %)

Indicator
Situation in 2003

Objectives of Lithuania

2008

2010

Investment into R&D (GDP %), including:

0.68

1.2

2.0

Public sector funds

0.54

0.7

1.0

Business sector funds

0.14

0.5

1.0

The programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the years 2004-2008 includes the undertaking to speed up the progress of national science and technologies, the development of information and a knowledge-base society. When seeking these objectives, the main priorities of this area are set in the strategy of the development of information society of Lithuania approved by Resolution No. 625 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette), 2005, No. 73-2649) dated June 8, 2005.

Announcements

 

5th International Conference NANO 06
"Nanostructured Materials for Functional, Structural and Bio-applications"
Brno, Czech Republic,
November 13-15, 2006.

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