Last week, the European Commission released the European Innovation Scoreboard, an annual document which analyzes the ‘innovation ecosystems’ of all 28 EU members. Sweden remains in first place followed by Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands, respectively. Lithuania has jumped 8 places to be listed as number 16 (last year they were 24th)! Lithuania is followed by 12 other countries including Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary and Spain.

The Scoreboard gives some really great insight into the Lithuanian economy and how it has evolved over the past few years. From 2010 to 2016, non-technology innovation received the most attention and led to a 157% increase in Research & Development spending as well as a 1,031% increase in venture capital investment. Their venture capital investment previously portrayed only 7.5% of the EU average but rose to 84.8% in 2016!

According to Invest Lithuania, “Lithuania’s business ecosystem offers an innovation-friendly environment, strong ties between business and universities, and excellent human resources.” Their business ecosystem will continue to improve following the adoption of the Pre-Commercial Procurement measure, which will soon be presented. The Pre-Commercial Procurement measure should rise authorities’ purchases of Research & Development services in order to create new products, services, materials, or processes aimed at improving social and ecomomic problems of the Lithuanian public.

Social and economic change is a huge trend throughout Lithuania. Vilnius was named not only one of Europe’s most cost friendly capitals, it was also included on The New Economy’s list of Top Smart Cities! As Lithuania’s economy and reputation continues to skyrocket, increasingly more corporations are opening branches in Vilnius, take for example Outokumpu, the largest stainless steel producer in Europe.

2016 was a truly groundbreaking year in regards to foreign investment in Vilnius. Invest Lithuania attracted 36 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects to the country which are expected to create over 3,000 jobs over the next 3 years. The Vilnius Airport is also taking on new changes! A new area for business and shopping is planned – the VNO Business and Retail Park.

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