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Prof. Valdemaras Razumas: ‘We have great potential to be able to actively participate in the EU research and innovation programme, “Horizon Europe” in 2021-2027‘

Today, while congratulating Jean-Eric Paquet, director-general of DG Research and Innovation for the European Commission who was visiting Lithuania, as well as the research and business community, at the conference, ‘New opportunities for Lithuanian researchers for 2021-2027. Horizon Europe’, Prof Valdemaras Razumas, chairman of the Research Council of Lithuania, emphasised that Lithuania has every opportunity to successfully participate in ‘Horizon Europe’ and thereby increase the state’s research capital.

‘We have the potential to actively participate in the EU research and innovation programme, “Horizon Europe” in 2021-2027. When it comes to the development of research infrastructures, strong researchers who engage in research activities and, in general, the number of R&D workers, we are approaching the average of EU countries.’

According to details which have been released by the Department of Statistics of the Republic of Lithuania, and also by ‘Eurostat’, for the years 2013-2017, there are on average 8,600 researchers working in Lithuania, of whom between 50-60% work in the higher education sector (over an average of a five-year period this figure equates to 5,007 researchers), and about 25% in the business sector (the average is 2,109 researchers). Each year, approximately 2,700 doctoral students study at PhD level. On average, 390 students a year are awarded with a doctoral degree.

We are approaching the EU in terms of the number of R&D workers. In Lithuania, there are 3,100 R&D workers for each million inhabitants.  The average for EU countries is 3,800. However, we are lagging behind when it comes to R&D expenditure based on the allocated share of gross domestic product: in 2017, Lithuania's share of GDP for the R&D public sector amounted to 0.57% (in the EU as a whole it was 0.71%), while that for business sector amounted to 0.37% (with the EU at 1.36%).

‘The new EU programme is a very important source of funding for Lithuanian researchers. Lithuanian businesses still pay much less attention to R&D than businesses in Europe in general. The percentage of GDP is 3.7 times lower than the EU average. Another important point is the fact that funding from the EU Structural Funds is decreasing, meaning that “Horizon Europe” will be one of the main sources of research funding for our country next to the state budget,’ says Razumas.

The aim of the ‘New opportunities for Lithuanian researchers for 2021-2027. Horizon Europe’ conference is to present the preparation work for carrying out the EU 2021-2027 research and innovation programme to Lithuanian institutions, companies, Lithuanian researchers, scientists, and the public, and to discuss possible opportunities and challenges that Lithuania may face.