Science and Business Professionals Present the Development of Bioeconomy and Life Sciences in Lithuanian Regions
On 15 October 2020, the Lithuanian Biotechnology Association started an event tour of Lithuanian regions “Bioeconomy and Life Sciences Development Opportunities in Lithuanian Regions”. Researchers and biotechnology industry representatives invited regional municipalities and local businesses to discuss regional involvement in the development of innovative technologies.
The bioeconomy and life sciences play an important role in Lithuania’s economy. Lithuania’s bioeconomy sectors employ more than 240 thousand employees, almost 18% of the country’s total workforce, and generate almost 5 billion euros value added every year. However, compared to other countries of the European Union, the productivity of Lithuania’s bioeconomy is very low. On May 2020, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) presented a report on the potential of bioindustry in Lithuania. BIC noted that Lithuanian agriculture produces extremely high side biomass flows of around 8 million tons per year, and forestry sector – 270 thousand tons of residues per year. These raw materials could be converted into raw materials for the bioindustry and used in the production of biofuels, biogas, food additives, bio-based fertilisers, protein products, and various materials needed for the chemical industry.
Meanwhile, Lithuania’s life sciences sector is growing rapidly, and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania aims to promote even more active growth with the goal of a 5% share of this industry in Lithuania’s total value added in 2030. This ambitious goal requires looking at the potential of Lithuania as a whole to develop the life sciences industry.
The Lithuanian Biotechnology Association goal was to meet with representatives of Telsiai, Siauliai, Panevezys, Taurage, Marijampole, Alytus and Utena to discuss the possibilities of regions to become more involved in the development of circular bioeconomy, to assess the potential for development of innovative technologies. By promoting cooperation between science and business in the regions, the development of bioeconomy and life sciences, regions could become involved in international projects, develop high value-added production, increase the number of employees and, of course, reduce regional socio-economic exclusion.
“Bioeconomy and Life Sciences Development Opportunities in Lithuanian Regions” event tour was co-organised by the Lithuanian team of the BalticBiomass4Value project and also kindly supported by the Research Council of Lithuania.
On 5 November 2020, LBTA organised a virtual event in Taurage, during which representatives of Taurage District Municipality and local industry discussed opportunities for the development of the bioeconomy in the region with our Vice Presidents. The Taurage District Entrepreneurs Association introduced companies that produce bio-based products and shared their experience. We hope to extend the dialogue with the Taurage region in the future, especially considering that this region has one of the greatest potential to develop the bioeconomy and descends only to Kaunas and Vilnius counties.
A virtual meeting with Marijampole took place on 12 November 2020. LBTA presented opportunities for the development of the bioeconomy in the region and together with representatives of Marijampolė Municipality and Enterprise Lithuania initiative “Spiecius” discussed further steps of cooperation.
On 13 November 2020, LBTA organised a meeting with the College of Alytus. During the meeting, opportunities for bioeconomy development in Alytus region were presented, the establishment of Alytus STEAM Training Centre was discussed and further idea of cooperation between LBTA and Alytus College was put forward.
On 17 November 2020, LBTA, together with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, organised a seminar on “Opportunities for the Development of Bioeconomy and Life Sciences in Panevezys Region”. During the event, Dalia Miniataite, the Chief Adviser of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, presented the Lithuanian bioeconomy and potential of biomass resources. Representatives of LBTA presented the prospects for the development of the bioeconomy and biotechnological solutions. The event was attended by Mayor of Panevezys Rytis Mykolas Rackauskas, representatives of Panevėžys City Municipality, Panevėžys College, Panevėžys Chamber of Trade, Industry and Crafts, Utena College, KTU, VDU, LAMMC representatives, regional companies. During the active discussion, issues related to the development of the bioeconomy, cooperation of municipalities, business and scientific institutions with a view to empowering the potential in Panevėžys area were covered.