A. Armonaitė: Lithuania can become one of the most favorable places for life science research in Europe


2023 09 01


In order to stimulate further development of the life sciences sector, the Life Sciences Sector Roadmap has been prepared and approved on the initiative of the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, together with the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, the Ministry of Health, research and study institutions and business. It outlines a long-term strategy for the development of the sector and sets out specific measures to attract talent, investment and improve the business environment and infrastructure. 

"The life sciences sector is one of the priority sectors of the Lithuanian economy, accounting for around 2.6% of the country's GDP. We have set a strategic goal to reach 5% of GDP in the near future and become one of the leading countries in this field. That is why, together with more than three hundred representatives from interested parties, we have developed a roadmap for the Life Sciences sector to help create more opportunities for its rapid development. I have no doubt that Lithuania can become one of the most favourable places for life sciences research in Europe," said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister for the Economy and Innovation.

In addition to the public sector, business and science representatives have also been actively involved in the development of the Life Sciences Roadmap. According to the Association LithuaniaBio, the target of 5% of GDP generated by the life sciences industry by 2030 is ambitious but realistic.  

"We are pleased that the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation actively contributes to the organisation of international business missions and helps to establish partnerships not only at the level of companies but also at the level of international ecosystems. The Roadmap is a good reflection of the actions that need to be taken to develop the sector, but it should be stressed that state support is critical to maintain this leadership and to foster internationally-renowned centres of excellence in the life sciences in the fields of gene therapy and genetic engineering, metabolic engineering, protein design, pre-clinical and clinical trials, industrial biotechnology and others. The sector is important for the Lithuanian economy. It is a significant taxpayer and its importance will only grow in the future," says Tomas Andrejauskas, President of LithuaniaBio. 
The proposals for the development of the sector identified in the Roadmap are focused on improving the regulatory and tax environment, creating, developing and empowering infrastructure, ensuring the supply of skilled professionals, and promoting research and experimental development (R&D) and innovation. 

"Many EU countries can only envy our life sciences sector - Lithuania is probably the only EU Member State where it has been growing in double digits for almost a decade. However, we need to be open to ourselves and to others - to achieve this goal, the state must make a clear and unequivocal commitment to financially stimulate one of Lithuania's most important innovative industries. According to various estimates from business and academia, to achieve a significant change, the State should invest at least EUR 20 million annually over the next ten years," says Eglė Markevičiūtė, Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation. 

The Roadmap proposes to promote the development of the life sciences sector through financial instruments for the creation and development of innovation infrastructure through biotechnology incubators and accelerators. Public services and assistance provided there would encourage the creation of new life science companies, reduce business risks for start-ups, help them to establish themselves on the market and establish partnerships with research and public sector institutions.  

Around 90% of Lithuanian biotechnology production is exported to more than 100 countries. The largest export markets for Lithuanian biotechnology are the USA (29%), Germany (14%) and the UK (4.7%).