„Fast action“ in research and innovation through collaboration


2019 02 07

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Is the focus on collaboration in research and innovation important or not? This question served as the basis of a workshop hosted by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) on the 6th February.

Ričardas Valančiauskas, the head of RDI Programmes and International Cooperation Department (MITA), opened the workshop. He overviewed current research and innovation system in Lithuania and stressed that Lithuanian research organizations and companies must extend cooperation with international partners if they want to stay competitive.

One of the key questions addressed in the workshop was the role of national contact points (NCPs) as providers of information and partner search assistance. „Lithuanian excellence lacks visibility and is one of the reasons of insufficient involvement of Lithuanian researchers in European technology platforms and other networks,“ – noticed PhD Edita Bagdonaitė, Bio- and Health NCP (MITA).

„Research and knowledge are increasingly developed and transferred through international collaboration which provides opportunities to work with the best in the world, exchange students and researchers, and gain access to large scale international facilities. If you are looking to work with researchers or innovators in the UK or Denmark then please get in touch with us,“ – invited PhD Birgitte Faber, UK Science & Innovation Attaché - Nordic & Baltic Lead on Life Sciences.

Miglė Masaitytė, Science & Innovation officer for Baltic States, emphasized that the model of open collaboration allows universities and companies to regularly share knowledge and exchange ideas with other stakeholders.

„Researchers are working together to address some of the most complex disease areas, where there is a serious and unmet need, including various infectious diseases like hepatitis, HIV, influenza, meningococcus, tick born encephalitis and Lyme diseases, as well travellers diseases and low adult vaccine uptake. It is harder for a single player to have an impact, so the focus on cross-border collaborations is very important,” said prof. Ligita Jančorienė, professor of Vilnius University Medical Faculty and Head of Centre of Infectious Diseases.

Martynas Survilas, MITA, informed that "Open R&D Lithuania" – the open access R&D network that unites all of the country’s universities, research institutes and open access centres – provides more than 2.5 thousand different services in various fields of technology. Through the Open R&D Lithuania Contact Centre it facilitates cooperation of researchers and businesses from Lithuania and beyond. The Centre is open to inquiries from UK companies and science institutions looking for potential partners in Lithuania.

The takeaway from the workshop was that collaboration – of government, industry and universities – is vital for the successful development of innovation.