Virginijus Sinkevičius: Lithuanian companies will be able to participate in NASA’s acceleration programme


2019 06 07

cropped V. Sinkevičius su NASA atstovu Al Condesu.jpg

Lithuanian innovative companies generating solutions for the space industry will be able to participate in the NASA’s acceleration programme, says  Minister of the Economy and Innovation Virginijus Sinkevičius at the meeting with NASA’s representatives in the US.

‘Solutions which serve for the space industry and which are worked out in Lithuania are used globally and Lithuanian satellites are becoming the norm. Many Lithuanian companies already work with NASA, ESA and other space-related organisations. But we plan to further expand cooperation with NASA: we plan to start the acceleration programme promotion campaign to help the country’s businesses and science to more easily access NASA’s projects and to offer our knowledge and solutions,’  says Minister Sinkevičius.

At the meeting with NASA’s International and Inter-Agency Liaison Officer Al Condes on Thursday, the Minister discussed wider cooperation possibilities in space technology. Virginijus Sinkevičius indicated IT, optics and opto-electronic technology and robotics as areas with most potential for cooperation.

Space industry is nothing new for the Lithuanian science and business community because some companies have worked or are working now with NASA, ESA or other organisations associated with the space industry. These are Ekspla with their advanced lasers, laser technique testing Lidaris, opto-mechanical product manufacturer Standa, geo-informatics company Geomatrix, who develops maps on the basis of space data and others.

Cooperation between Lithuania and NASA began in 2014, when the spacecraft was launched with a cargo cartridge Cygnus with the first two Lithuanian satellites LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1. The same year,  MITA and NASA signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on an international traineeship programme and Lithuania was among 3 European and 12 world countries which have agreements with NASA and can send their students for  traineeships there. To date, 21 Lithuanian students have already participated in this programme, and this year it is planned to send up to 8 students from Lithuania for NASA traineeship.

Space activities have a very high potential for innovation, and horizontally cover all scientific areas and technologies. Space technology is among of the most advanced ones and accordingly makes the country more competitive by improving its general innovation culture. On the basis of space technology, systemic products and services of the highest added value are being developed in various industrial sectors.