The Parliament is the main institution in shaping the policy of scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED). Legal acts on SR&ED policy adopted by the Parliament are followed by all bodies implementing that policy.
The Ministry of Education and Science with the participation of the Ministry of Economics implements national SR&ED policy; the Ministry of Education and Science coordinates the activities of state science and education institutions. The Ministry of Economics is responsible for innovations and for commercialisation of the results of scientific research.
The Research Council of Lithuania acts as a counsellor of the Parliament and the Government on SR&ED and researchers training related matters, organises assessment of scientific activities carried out in Lithuania.
The following are the main legal acts regulating the implementation of SR&ED policy:
The Law on Higher Education and Research is the basis for the reform of the science and higher education system, which has as its most important goals better-quality studies and effective management of higher education and SR&ED.
The Law on Corporate Income Tax provides incentives for businesses to be involved in SR&ED and to invest in renewing of equipment and machinery.
Businesses are allowed, when calculating taxable profit, to deduct from income three times the costs of SR&ED incurred by them.
It also allows to write off as costs fixed assets used in the activities of SR&ED after a shorter period of time.
Businesses investing in a substantial technological update can reduce the amount of corporate income tax calculated for a tax period by up to 50% of the amount of corporate income tax.
An important element of the reform of the science and higher education system are integrated science, study and business centres, also known as valleys, which are being formed in order to bring together the potential of scientific research, higher education and knowledge-intensive business.
There are currently five integrated science, study and business centres that have been approved by the Government:
- valley for the development of the marine sector of Lithuania;
The laboratories opened as a result of the implementation of valley projects or re-equipped existing laboratories of academic and research institutes will operate on an open access basis, i.e. their infrastructure committed to scientific research and experimental development will be available not only to staff of academic and research institutions, students or trainees, but also to other interested parties from other institutions or business entities, in accordance with procedures defined in
When addressing the topical issues of science and technology development, and partnerships of public and private sectors the focus is on the creation of national integrated scientific programmes. National integrated programmes are designed to ensure sustainable development of specific science-intensive sub-sector of economics, by comprehensively combining the training of highly skilled professionals, scientific research and experimental (social, cultural) development, creation of collective infrastructure as well as the intensification of the ties between the science and the business in these science-intensive sub-sectors of economics:
- biotechnology and biopharmacy,
- lasers, new materials, electronics, nanotechnologies and applied physical sciences and technologies,
- sustainable chemistry,
- information technologies,
- medical sciences,
- sustainable use of natural environment,
- civil engineering and transportation,
- Lithuanian cultural and creative industries,
- humanities and social sciences,
- agriculture, forestry and food.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
Registering as a scientific research body
A research institute is an establishment whose main activities are SR&ED. Research institutes can be
- State. They conduct long-term scientific research and experimental development important to the state, the public, or economic entities, in a field set by a founder. They are formed by the Government.
- Non-state. They can function as a public institution or as a private legal entity. Private research institute can register in the Register of Science and Education Institutions.
A programme based competitive funding of SR&ED programmes is carried out by the Research Council of Lithuania and the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology.
The Research Council of Lithuania provides a program based competitive funding for the SR&ED of social sciences and humanities, scientific research in the field of physical, biomedical and technological sciences. Scientific and academic bodies as well as groups of researchers can participate in the tenders being announced. Some competitive funding schemes are designed for business undertakings.
The Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology is entrusted by the Minister of Economics and the Minister of Education and Science to manage the programmes of applied scientific research, experimental (technological) development and innovation and to provide a programme based competitive funding for the realisation of the projects in these programmes.
Economic (business) entities involved in SR&ED activities are supported by means of a tender by the Ministry of Economics.