Sector leaders series: Meet Agnė Vaitkevičienė
Biotechnology and the Future of the Lithuanian Economy
Vilnius TechFusion had an exciting opportunity to speak with – Agnė Vaitkevičienė – Lithuanian Biotechnology Association Vice-President/Executive Director. Agnė is a prominent figure in the field of biotechnology and a passionate advocate for the growth and development of the biotech industry in Lithuania. With her extensive knowledge and expertise in the field, Agnė shared her insights on the importance of biotechnology for the Lithuanian economy, the steps needed to compete with major countries in the industry, and the current state of the biotech sector in Vilnius.
First of all, Agnė, can you tell us where you see the importance of the biotechnology industry for the Lithuanian economy?
The biotechnology industry is one of the key drivers of innovation in healthcare and global challenges. Lithuania has an abundance of talent in major fields of technology such as biotech, lasers, and IT, which make disruptive changes in the world’s economy. If we use this potential to its fullest capacity, we can contribute significantly to the country’s economic development.
That’s very interesting. How many years and what kind of actions do you think we should take to be able to compete with major countries in the biotechnology industry and production?
We should continue to invest and facilitate the development of the life science and biotech sector as we have done in the last decade. This allowed us to grow the biotech sector more than ten times during the last decade. The goal is to reach a 5% contribution to the country’s GDP by 2030. This achievement will put Lithuania among the world leaders, but it will take a lot of steps towards this goal, including regulatory improvements, talent attraction, investment into infrastructure and science, and acceleration programs for start-ups. Partnership with world leaders in the field is also essential.
That’s a very ambitious goal. Can you tell us where you see the current development or position of the Lithuanian biotechnology industry today?
Today, strong collaboration within the ecosystem is very important, communication and identification of gaps that needs to be filled in within academic, private and public sectors and setting up actions to move forward as fast as we can.
Favourite word in English?
Coffee or tea?
Tea with little splash of milk
Beach or mountains?
Is there any moment in history you would have loved to live in?
Best time to live is now 🙂