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2013-12-04 THE FIRST INNOVATION FORUM LAUNCHED IN CAPITAL CITY VILNIUS

Today, 4 December, the first Vilnius Innovation Forum (Innovation Drift), organized by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania and the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) has been launched; for two days more than 600 participants will discuss the importance of innovation in Europe's economy. The discussions will be supplemented by science and technology exhibition, and during the third day of the Forum, the participants will visit the most innovative Lithuanian companies.

 

‘Europe is engaged in a global competition for knowledge, research and innovation. However, The EU intellectual and scientific potential does not always translate into new products and services that can be sold on markets. Therefore, we have to look for new scientific results and innovation-based opportunities. In preparation for the new funding period 2014-2020, it is important to pay attention to the whole innovation cycle and to strengthen one of the main phases - activities of experimental development, carried out in businesses, educational and research institutions’, said Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas  addressing the participants of the Forum.

 

According to Minister Evaldas Gustas, improving access to finance and skills as well as focusing on the policies promoting clustering and networks can create the environment, where European enterprises may flourish further contributing to growth and jobs. 

 

The inventor of the World Wide Web sir Tim John Berners-Lee, the key speaker of the forum said, that the open platform is really important. That is the key to all the innovation that goes on internet. It is also very important for the democracy - it has to be open.


The Minister of Economy says, that ‘the main current European Union's innovation policy is the Innovation Union, Europe 2020 flagship initiative’. EU Innovation Union strategy sets out the strategic approach to innovation, which aims at promoting the activities of research and innovation in Europe, seeking for quicker ways of promising ideas and discoveries to the market.

 

During the EU Competitiveness Council meeting on 2 December, the Regulation aimed to stipulate the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 was adopted. This Regulation is a document of considerable importance for the whole Europe. In the new financial perspective, support for research and innovation activities will be carried out under the umbrella of Horizon 2020, the most significant programme for research and innovation. With the approach of the new Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 all the EU Member States were obligated to formulate Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization which will guide further R&D and innovation system development in every Member State. We believe in its positive contribution to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and the EU industry. Also, we acknowledge that investment in research and innovation fuels productivity and is key for job creation’, highlighted Minister Evaldas Gustas during the press conference.

 

The Vilnius Innovation Forum, inspired by similar events held in different parts of the world, seeks to launch a high-level debate on innovation, scientific research and their impact on Europe’s future and competitiveness in the capital of Lithuania. ‘We want to attract attention to the Baltic Sea Region. We are talented and creative. Science has the knowledge and business can make the knowledge money’, says Arunas Karlonas, the Head of MITA.

 

On the first day of the forum, during the session on women innovators, participants will discuss female contribution and involvement in business, science and technology development. The founder of ‘Zen Digital Europe’, Cheryl D. Miller, a frequent business event speaker, will speak on female entrepreneurship. Cheryl D. Miller loves the saying, ‘girls will save the world’ and claims that seeking for the global implementation of the concept of sustainability half the world's population, i.e. women, must seriously engage in future development in the areas that are traditionally considered as masculine.

 

The leader of the German capital‘s start-up community, the founder of Berlin Start-up Academy, Christoph Räthke will give a presentation on when not to found a start-up to the participants of another thematic session. The session will continue with the practical issues of start-ups, pitching investors, several success stories will be introduced.

 

The second day of the forum will be devoted to eco-innovation, sustainable development and environmental sustainability issues; the main speakers are those actually involved in green innovation projects. The key speaker of the second day of the forum is a fellow of R. Branson and the COO of non-profit organization Carbon War Room, Peter Boyd, encouraging businesses to make decisions that help reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and thus combat climate change.

 

The Vilnius Innovation Forum will be held in various thematic sessions: the Ministry of Economy and the Baltic Sea states’ representatives will discuss the promotion of innovation in the region and its correlation with smart specialization, to be implemented within the next financial perspective 2014-2020.

The Lithuanian Business Confederation (LBC) is to hold a session on new business models, the Lithuanian Innovation Centre is to cover a session on regional innovation, the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry is to hold a session on innovation in health and life sciences, on the effective implementation of innovation through public-business partnership projects.

 

More than 600 participants, 100 speakers from around the world are gathered in Vilnius Innovation Forum. More than 10 topics are discussed, the speakers will give dozens of presentations, will participate in dozens of debates. The event involves senior officials of the European Commission, CEOs of the most innovative businesses, business and science leaders of Lithuania and the world, public sector representatives.

 

During the Forum, a science and technology exhibition is open in the Radisson Blu Lithuania hotel; Lithuanian and international enterprises, science and technology parks, government and business representatives, and professionals in different fields present innovative solutions, ideas and inventions. At their stands, almost 40 exhibitors demonstrate the wide range of exhibits ranging from the electric bike motor, smart toys, robots, special innovative widgets to mobile laboratories and the first Lithuanian space satellites. The exhibition is open to Vilnius residents and capital guests on 4 December, 4-8 p.m., and 5 December 3:30-6 p.m. More information about the exhibition is available on www.vif2013.com (column ‘Exhibition’).