High-Tech City: Vilnius Tech Ecosystem Unites Under ‘Vilnius TechFusion’
Every year, a wider range of technology players from across the world are drawn to Lithuania by the country’s dynamic professionals and technological environment. To further pursue growth, exchange of knowledge, and foster closer ties between various tech companies, Vilnius is uniting various players in its ecosystem under “Vilnius TechFusion.”
Photo by Augustas Didžgalvis
October 17, 2022. Vilnius is a city of technical innovations, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of its technology ecosystem and the success stories of industry and research. These factors are now united under an initiative — launched by Go Vilnius, the official tourism and business development agency for the city — titled Vilnius TechFusion.
The “Tech” part of the ecosystem’s name reflects technology and innovation, while “Fusion” reflects the freedom for technologies from different fields to interact in Vilnius and create new projects or innovative applications. The project aims to further the exchange of know-how, the collaboration of companies, and the discovery of visionary technological solutions. It plans to achieve this by uniting IT, gaming, financial, laser and biotechnology developers, companies, and investors to work cross-sectorally and reiterate to the world that Vilnius is the home of technology and progress.
Vilnius’s motto, which also serves as its impetus for growth as a high-tech city, is “openness to innovation and bold solutions,” according to Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius. “Today, we already have an impressive statistic of over 3,200 companies and more than 40,000 employees currently working in the technology ecosystem of Vilnius.”
Ambitious talent pool and daring businesses
Vinted and Nord Security, the unicorns that have attracted millions of dollars in investment, have already demonstrated that the professionals working in the Lithuanian capital meet the needs of the international market.
The city has a very robust tech ecosystem, which is made up of start-ups as well as investors, business accelerators, government agencies, and intriguing technical endeavors on the global stage. Members of Vilnius TechFusion’s ecosystem hope increasing cross-sectoral cooperation and spreading awareness of Vilnius as a world-class technology hub will assist Lithuanian businesses in expanding and luring talent from outside.
“Vilnius is open to talent from all over the world. Their visionary minds and ambition, as well as their bold business decisions, led to the creation of the Vilnius TechFusion brand. From now on, we will have each other’s backs as we work across sectors to create innovative products and services,” said Inga Romanovskienė, Director at Go Vilnius.
One successful example of a company finding its footing in Vilnius is EMBank, a digital bank that specializes in providing banking solutions to fintechs globally, SMEs, and large businesses in Lithuania. The CEO, Sarp Demiray, relocated here in 2021.
“One major reason for selecting Vilnius and Lithuania in a much broader sense is that it has made significant investments in order to provide a better environment for new businesses, especially to new banks and non-bank financial institutions,” explained Sarp Demiray, CEO at EMBank. “This strategic initiative of the country let the finance and FinTech sector in Lithuania grow by almost fivefold in the last seven years and has been matching with the long-term plans of EMBank in EU.”
The future success of Vilnius TechFusion could be demonstrated by a number of initiatives: knowledge-based exchanges, the use of laser technologies in the creation of clean energy solutions, the fusion of lasers and biotechnologies to create new products, and the gamification of business processes to name a few.
Vilnius — a hub of world-class technology
The largest financial technology hub, Vilnius, is ranked second in the medium-sized city category of the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/2023 and first in the European Union in terms of the number of licensed fintech enterprises. Furthermore, Vilnius was ahead of Riga and Tallinn in the 2021 Global Talent Competitiveness Index.
In the Lithuanian capital, the ICT industry is a crucial leader, setting the bar for the number of businesses and workers that provide value to clients both locally and globally. In addition, the city boasts of a 25% annual growth rate, the biotechnology sector is one of Europe’s fastest-growing industries. With 80% of output going overseas and a 15% yearly growth rate, the laser industry also has a lot to be proud of.
Just recently, Professor William Daniel Phillips — Nobel Prize laureate in Physics — visited Vilnius for a closer look into Vilnius’ laser industry. “There is a great deal of expertise concentrated in non-linear optics in the city of Vilnius, both in the study of the fundamental physics involved and the production of commercial equipment,” explained Phillips. “I’ve been impressed by the symbiotic relationship present between the fundamental research going on in the university and the creation of industrial products in the same city,” noted Phillips.
In Europe, Vilnius has been acknowledged as having the finest FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy — a feat that would not be possible without the city’s contemporary ecosystem, which makes it simple and quick to launch a business. Vilnius also has a large selection of cutting-edge office spaces, easy access to communications, an abundance of talent, scientific and technology valleys, an innovation park, and many other benefits that make running a business there straightforward.