Open R&D Lithuania represents the largest network of excellence of innovation infrastructures, services and competencies within the Baltic States.
One important challenge for R&I infrastructure and capacities in the innovation-driven agri-food sector are connected with lack of communication and information about innovative actors within a country in one platform that would help for potential partners to find relevant information on private and public companies, academia, NGO’s and other interested parties that work in requested area (for example, in agri-food sector). Also there is lack of publications/communication of results of research and accessibly to interested parties who would benefit from it including the context of the innovation driven agri-food sector for a European industrial renaissance.
“Open R&D Lithuania” platform is a good example that provide solutions to the above mentioned problems. “Open R&D Lithuania” connect 12 Lithuanian universities, 13 public research institutes as well as 7 science and technology parks. All these institutions united their high-level R&D intellectual potential, infrastructure and resources in order to provide scientifically based solutions to the problems raised by business and society. Concentration of resources allows to create new technologies and products as well as provide R&D services. Through this platform they have united their respective R&D intellectual potential, infrastructure and resources in order to provide scientifically based solutions. Collectively the network is able to offer over 2.500 services for scientific research and experimental R&D.
The Open R&D Lithuania network brand was created in 2014 to showcase the country’s scientific potential on the national and international scale. Further support came in 2015, when a budget of 2.1 million euro of the European Social Fund was allocated to enhance the Open R&D Lithuania platform.
Evidence of success
The platform has been able to attract huge interest from abroad and has resulted in business contacts in China, Israel, the USA, Germany, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. This international attraction has resulted in over 80 targeted visits and meetings with potential partners amongst which are some of the largest international companies such as Siemens, IBM and Microsoft. Between 2013 and 2015 alone, the R&D centres provided 56 services to customers generating 11 million eur in income.
– Supporting businesses in R&D projects;
– Covering operational costs of equipment.
Lithuania is a small Member State within the EU, nevertheless is holds a vast amount of opportunities for businesses, R&D and scientific experimentation.
Potential for learning or transfer
Various public organisations (including ministries) responsible for innovation-driven sectors for a European industrial renaissance (including agri-food sector) within a country should be interested in this good practice if they want to have all R&D resources located in various organisations in their country to be available for the public in one platform on the basis of open access.
Ministries can initiate creation of similar network connecting various R&D players across the country that operate as a one-stop-shop, enabling customers (private companies from abroad) to contact the network directly with innovative ideas that could lead to various results by enabling the network to find researchers from different fields.
Initiators should aim to create a platform which is easy and practical to use by businesses. This platform can serve as the main access point to R&D infrastructures, Universities and Research Institutes which are all able to promote their facilities and know-how.