Constant investment in research and development (R&D) and innovation field is a must but the problem arises trying to decide on what areas the focus should be concentrated for the key results? With the approach of the new Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) all EU members were obligated to formulate Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3) which will guide further R&D and innovation system development in every member state.
Every EU country and region has the unique characteristics and different assets which should be used to foster competitiveness. This aim is achievable only if EU member states would reach internal agreement on clear and achievable priorities, challenges and needs for knowledge-based development If the strengths of the country will not be highlighted properly there is a risk that investments in R&D and innovations will not be effective. Objective analysis of potential for excellence and competitive development directions gives possibility to identify investment priorities and prepare recommendations for a long-term R&D strategy in the country.
RIS3 encourages each EU member state to identify the competitive advantages and potential for excellence of every economic sector, research and innovation. Development of R&D and innovation priority areas and strengths within every area are provided in the updated Conception of Integrated Science, Studies and Business Centres (Valleys) approved by the Government. Smart specialization in Lithuania will be essential for accelerating the growth of knowledge intensive business, encouraging excellence driven technological and non-technological innovations and exploiting long-term Lithuanian economic development efforts and investments. Furthermore, it will support the implementation of EU R&D and innovation policy trends.
Lithuania has already implemented the first steps in drawing up RIS3. In September 2012 the „Review of Science, Studies and Innovations” was prepared by Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA). On the basis of this document a group of international independent experts prepared “A Contribution to Priority Setting for Future Research, Studies and Innovation in Lithuania” – guided analysis for the future priority setting steps.
The priorities of R&D and innovation development should be determined considering the business potential for excellence, the strengths in research, technological development and innovation, also a capacity to foster the collaboration among different stakeholders to respond to national, regional and global challenges.
The first stage of the priority setting procedure will result with the focus on the general priority areas. In the next stage a consensus building and future foresight exercise will deliver the exact priorities in every priority area. In order to achieve this result it is necessary to evaluate the perspectives, potentials and challenges in every field with high growth potential, identify key global and national trends, assets and challenges that are likely to have the largest effect on innovation, markets‘ growth and welfare.
It is important that all partners be fully involved in developing, implementing smart specialization strategies. Thus outlining the future perspectives of Lithuanian strategy would lead to R&D and innovation development, potential for excellence, competitive advantages.