President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

Welcoming Remarks by Gitanas Nausėda, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, at the conference “Horizon Europe: opportunities for Lithuania”

2021-03-30

Dear Commissioner, Mr. Director General,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you at this event.

The launch of the new Horizon Europe programme marks a wonderful new opportunity for Lithuania. By encouraging countries and researchers to work together, it will give a new impetus for innovation that we so clearly need for our future prosperity.

By participating in Horizon Europe, we can unlock our country’s potential and create a greener, healthier, more digital, and more inclusive future.

Exactly a year ago, I launched broad consultations on how to reach a breakthrough in Lithuanian innovation, research and development policy. 16 recommendations had been prepared and broad agreement had been reached that business as usual was no longer an option. Some of the recommendations have already been included into the Government’s programme and its action plan.

Everything depends on us. Now is the time to show our ability to concentrate on research, researchers, and research institutions. To make Horizon Europe work for Lithuania, we need to have a clear plan.

First, we need a systematic effort to increase national funding for research and innovation. We have to be target-oriented. We need to identify the most promising areas of innovation for the Lithuanian society. The success of our investments relies on the competent and dedicated human resources. Adequate infrastructure should empower those who will use it!

Secondly, we need to address the fragmentation of research and innovation institutions as recommended by the European Commission and the OECD. We need to develop consistent research and innovation policies, coordinate the activities and build stronger links between policy makers and implementors. All this can be achieved by setting up the office of Chief Officer for Research and Innovation.

Thirdly, we need to place a stronger emphasis on developing global relevance of Lithuanian science and business. This can be achieved by strengthening their competence. A crucial part of this effort relies on the framework set by Horizon Europe.

I wish for this new programme to become a catalyst for new ideas and better lives. I strongly believe that our researchers, entrepreneurs, public and private institutions have both potential and capacity to successfully participate in Horizon Europe. Let our thirst for innovations help us create a solid basis for future prosperity!

I wish you all an inspiring discussion. Thank you!

Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Last updated 2021.03.30 16:34

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