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U.S. research centres and businesses: interested in cooperation with Lithuania

Date

2014 03 06

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During his visit to the Unites States on 16–21 February 2014, Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas met with Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Charlie Bolden and shared ideas on current space policy developments in Lithuania as well as discussed cooperation possibilities. In the succeeding meeting with the NASA experts, the areas, in which Lithuania would like to cooperate, as well as NASA’s international cooperation policy were presented in more detail.

According to Minister Evaldas Gustas, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA is devoting increasingly more attention to international cooperation with new space-oriented countries, including also Lithuania.

‘Bilaterial cooperation with NASA in the field of space has considerable unreleased potential. We see cooperation possibilities in the field of smart materials and structures and all-in-one measurement technologies, medical examinations in space, mechatronic equipment for small satellites and autonomous systems as well as optoelectronics and lasers,’ Minister Gustas said.

The delegation led by Minister of Economy Gustas took part in the Innovation Forum, which was organised by  Charles Wessner, the U.S. National Academy Director for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Forum held discussions on the innovation policy of the United States and Lithuania and potential areas for cooperation between the two countries; also, the experience was shared in enhancement of economic competitiveness, efficient innovation system development and the promotion of innovation in economy. Discussion were held on how it could be possible to successfully commercialise research products, strengthen the relationship between science and business and increase the private sector’s share of investment in research.

During the visit, the Minister of Economy met with the representatives of the European American Chamber of Commerce and introduced the business environment of Lithuania; also, he talked about the results achieved during the Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union and welcomed high international ratings for the Lithuanian business environment.

The delegation led by Minister Gustas presented to the representatives of U.S. companies public and private sector partnership projects implemented in Lithuania and invited the investors to participate in international tenders.
 
During the meeting with representatives of the American and Lithuanian Business Council, the Minister of Economy introduced works on the improvement of business environment carried out in Lithuania, better regulation of business conditions and improved efficiency of business supervisory authorities as well as territory planning, labour market competitiveness and pursuit for the promotion of regional development. Also, the plans were introduced aimed to contribute to the improvement of the national investment environment. The business representatives who were present at the meeting shared information on their activities and plans in Lithuania and made offers on the improvement of Lithuania’s business environment.

During his visit in the United States, the Minister of Economy met with the Lithuanian community in Washington; in the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York, he had a meeting with American Lithuanian business representatives. At the meetings, the overall Lithuanian macroeconomic situation and business opportunities in Lithuania were presented with emphasis placed on the post-crisis stabilisation of public finances, restored investor confidence and increased funding opportunities for companies in Lithuania. During this meeting, a lot of discussions were held on the issues of the improvement of business environment.

‘The improvement of business environment is among the priority areas of the Ministry of Economy. Currently, the Ministry of Economy is carrying out the reorganisation of the authorities, which supervise business activities, and is working on the preparation of a consolidation plan of supervisory authorities; moreover, the Ministry is in process of reviewing licencing procedures seeking to give up excess licenses and simplify licencing in certain areas. All this will help reduce supervisory burden on business and will enable easier start of business in the country and more efficient use of budget funds’ - said Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas.

According to Minister Gustas, improving business environment in Lithuania, better access to business financing sources, modifying of public areas to satisfy the investment needs are expected to encourage the establishment of companies in Lithuania.

Also, the Minister of Economy visited the 1776 Business Incubator, which unites the start-ups in Washington. During this visit, the activities carried out in the incubator were presented and discussions were held on how this experience could be used in Lithuania. The delegation also visited the Alexandria Centre for Life Science designed to foster innovative collaborations among New York’s world-renowned academic and medical institutions and businesses.

The aim of the visit of the Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas paid to the Unites States was strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation, developing of innovation and investment and addressing relevant business issues.