Discussions about business at Vilnius Innovation Forum: From Startups to clusters

More than 600 participants discussed innovation importance for the entire Europe’s economy during the first Vilnius Innovation Forum ‘Innovation drift’ on December 4-6, organised by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania along with the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). Significance of companies’ clusterization was highlighted, problem of science and technology parks was disputed, measuring innovation in small regions was considered, and importance of private and public sector partnership for innovation promotion was reviewed at the sessions of the forum.
A lot of attention was also drawn to smart specialisation, a new direction leading towards attractiveness and competitiveness of each country separately and all the Europe together.
Baltic Sea Region Strategy programme “BSR Stars” and 5 flagship projects were introduced to the Forum participants. In the discussion, session participants stated that “BSR Stars” was able to create innovation policy bounds and became a bridge that connected innovation institutions in the neighbouring countries in order to start to create innovative products and services.

Participants from different European countries shared their experience creating and implementing region innovation policy at measuring the innovation in the small regions session. The main conclusion reached in the panel discussion hosted by Lithuanian Innovation Centre were that regional authorities have to take ownership of the innovation process in their region by connection people at regional, cross-regional and international level.

It was also emphasised that current innovation indicators are however too narrow and leave out social capital, people and business model innovation, therefore, the attention to new business models and social innovations should be drawn.

In the first Vilnius Innovation Forum, themes and new business models of start-ups and women innovators were widely discussed. In one of entrepreneurship sessions, a perspective project “Smart women” unifying a wide circle of women who create and encourage others to create innovation based businesses was introduced. Concern on the lack of women in high additional value creating sectors was expressed.

Vilnius Innovation Forum discussions were complemented by science and technology exhibition, where public entity „Sunrise valley“ and project KTForce were presented. Meanwhile, on the third day, the participants visited the most innovative companies of Lithuania: UAB „Altecha“, UAB MGF„Light Convertion “, UAB „Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics“ and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
This Forum, was one of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU events and it was supported from the European Regional Development Fund. More than 600 participants discussed innovation importance for the entire Europe’s economy and had a chance to receive information about KTForce.