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Ūkio ministro E. Gusto sveikinimo kalba forume „Life Sciences Baltics 2014“


2014 09 10

Forumas E. Gustas_.jpg

Honorable colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen

Welcome to all our guests – speakers and delegates from all around the world. We have more than 800 participants gathered here today at the second Life Sciences Baltics forum in Vilnius.

Science and technology remains the main pillars driving up the quality of human life in the world full of challenges. To bring innovations to life we need talented people, infrastructure, strategic approach, developed ecosystems, right amount of rules, regulations and much more. In addition to all this, we need one more very important element - communication. Communication, networking, best practice exchange, business and science cooperation leads to new ideas, new projects, new products and innovations, which help billions of people to have better life.

There are almost 300 companies and numerous R&D centers working in the life sciences sector in all three Baltic countries, offering significant opportunities for researchers, companies and investors. Increasing numbers of companies usually are the spin-offs from the well-established local universities. These companies became successful in the area of their activities, thereby catching the attention of several global leaders in the area of biotechnology. As a result, successful Lithuanian biotechnology companies were acquired by foreign leaders of the market, such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Moog, and Sicor/Teva Group.

Lithuania with 22% annual growth within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical research and production sector has been skyrocketing over the last two decades. Moreover, Lithuania has 17% export growth of biotech production in 2013 and around 90% of Lithuania`s biotechnology production is exported to more than 100 countries all around the world.

More than 15000 R&D researchers and scientists in various fields of life sciences built the platform for a great number of success stories. Moreover, Lithuania has more than 8000 life sciences students and 1200 graduates each year - tremendous talent pool, strategic investments into the modern infrastructure and favorable environment for R&D highlighted the vitality of the industry in the region.

All this has been achieved by having a business-friendly environment. For example, favorable tax incentives for investments into R&D were given, including: triple deduction of expenses incurred by companies while carrying out R&D; super-accelerated depreciation – the acquisition price of fixed assets used in the R&D activities can be written-off within two years; investments into substantial technological improvements, entitle companies to reduce taxable profits by 50%. Lithuania’s strategic location and well developed logistics was part of this success as well.  We are very proud that The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2014” report ranks Lithuania in the highest position in Central and Eastern Europe, and the 6th highest in the European Union. Lithuania has been ranked the 17th best country in the world.

A great number of scientists, working in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia or Diasporas, gaining experiences in foreign universities and R&D centers have a proven track record of inventions and projects which we are proud of and would like to share with you during the next 3 days.

The wish to expose the potential of the life sciences and to put the Baltic Region on the world’s life sciences map comes together with the strong will to learn, share and exchange the best practices, to cooperate and innovate. Therefore, it is a great honor to see such a wonderful combination of experts here today, who came to share their experiences and their insights.

Starting with the world-wide known scientists, innovators and researchers, doctors, students, start-ups, who gathered together with the CEOs of pharma and biotech companies, investors, representatives of Governments, European agencies, national regulatory bodies, venture capital funds, science and technology parks and other eminent experts, looking for new experiences, knowledge and new ideas.

I encourage all the guests to take the advantage of this platform, to participate actively in the conference, exhibition and partnership event and to explore opportunities in Baltic countries over the next 3 days. I wish everyone a successful time in Vilnius, enjoy Life Sciences Baltics 2014!