On the Approval of the Reorganization Plan for the Network of State Research Institutions Related to the Development of Centres (Valleys) of Science, Studies and Business


Published: 2008-01-10

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Official translation
7 January 2009
 
 
Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
 
Resolution No 989
 
of 1 October 2008
 
On the APPROVAL OF the REORGANIZATION PLAN FOR the NETWORK of STATE RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS RELATED TO the development of Centres (valleys) of Science, Studies and Business
 
 
Vilnius
 
With regard to Minutes No 24-325 of the 14 April 2008 sitting of the Commission on Science, Technologies and Innovations, formed by Resolution No 366 of 4 April 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 45-1449, 2005; No 114-4644, 2007), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:
1. To approve the Reorganization Plan for the Network of State Research Institutions Related to the Development of Centres (Valleys) of Science, Studies and Business (as appended).
2. To order:
2.1. the Ministry of Education and Science to draft the legislation implementing the Plan for the Network of State Research Institutions Related to the Development of Centres (Valleys) of Science, Studies and Business approved by this resolution in accordance with the terms approved in the plan and to present the draft legislation to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
2.2. The Institute of Biomedical Research, Institute of Endocrinology, Institute of Cardiology and Institute of Psychophysiology and Rehabilitation of Kaunas University of Medicine, with the participation of Kaunas University of Medicine, to submit proposals regarding a model of integration of the said institutes into the Ministry of Education and Science.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Gediminas Kirkilas
 
 
 
Ministry of Education and Science                                                Algirdas Monkevičius
 
 
 
 
Approved by
Resolution No 989 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 1 October 2008
 
 
REORGANIZATION PLAN FOR THE NETWORK OF STATE RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS RELATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CENTRES (VALLEYS) OF SCIENCE, STUDIES AND BUSINESS
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The Reorganization Plan for the Network of State Research Institutions Related to the Development of Centres (Valleys) of Science, Studies and Business (hereinafter referred to as "the Plan") was drafted pursuant to the Concept for the Establishment and Development of Integrated Centres (Valleys) of Science, Studies and Business, approved by Resolution No 321 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 21 March 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 40-189, 2007), the National Lisbon Strategy Implementation Programme, approved by Resolution No 1270 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 22 November 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 139-5019, 2005), the Long-term Research and Development Strategy and the Programme for the Implementation of the Provisions of the Lithuanian White Paper on Science and Technologies, approved by Resolution No 1646 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 22 December 2003, World Bank study Lithuania – Aiming for a Knowledge Economy (2003), the Science Council of Lithuania study Proposals Regarding the Implementation of the Recommendations Presented in the World Bank Report "Lithuania. Development of a Knowledge Economy" (2004), the Agreement of Lithuania's Parliamentary Parties of 14 June 2007 on the Reorganization of the System of Science and Studies, the Green Paper The European Research Area. New Perspectives, adopted by the European Commission on 4 April 2007, and the recommendations of the expert group of the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (hereinafter referred to as "CREST"), drafted pursuant to the Operational Programme for Economic Growth 2007-2013 (approved by a European Commission decision on 30 July 2007).
 
II. CURRENT STATUS ANALYSIS
 
2. Currently, Lithuania has 17 state research institutes and 18 university research institutes (hereinafter referred to as “research institutes”) (the situation of the institutions holding the status of state research establishment is not covered herein). The essential administrative difference between state a research institute and a university research institute is the fact that a third of the council members of a state research institute are appointed by the founder (the Government of the Republic of Lithuania) or by a Government-authorized institution, while at a university research institute they are appointed by the university senate. Other members of the council in either case are elected by the researchers of a research institute.
3. As many as 30 research institutes specialize in the areas of physical, biomedical and technological sciences, 4 research institutes work in the area of the humanities, and one institute – in the area of social sciences. Historically, the majority of research institutes specializing in physical and technological sciences were established to carry out research for the Soviet Union's industrial and defence needs. In different areas of science, the significance of research institutes also differs in terms of the general context of the system of science and studies. In 2004-2006, the institutes of biomedical sciences accounted for 55 per cent of the total research output of the national biomedical science sector, compared to 45 per cent contributed by the institutes of physical sciences, 37 per cent by the institutes of the humanities, 29 per cent by the institutes of technological sciences, and 3 per cent by the institutes of social sciences. It is noteworthy that the productivity indicators (measured in points) of research output in all areas of science, with the exception of the humanities, were lower for research institutes compared to universities. According to the assessment of the number of articles of the Scientific Information Institute databases per one statistical scientist (a statistical scientist equals one position of a scientist or a third of a position of a lecturer with a scientific or pedagogical title), the average indicator is 0.4 articles for research institutes and 0.5 articles for universities.
4. Geographically, research institutes are based in Vilnius city and Kaunas region with a few exceptions. Vilnius is home to 5 research institutes labouring in the area of humanities and social sciences and 15 specializing in physical, biomedical and technological sciences. Kaunas has 7 research institutes of biomedical and technological sciences, while Kaunas County boasts 6 agricultural and veterinary research institutes. One institute specialising in veterinary research is located in Radviliškis district. A small institute of biomedical sciences is based in Palanga. In principle, this geographical distribution of research institutes owes to historical circumstances: in the period between the two world wars (1918-1940), Kaunas, then the interim capital of Lithuania, and the surrounding region saw rapid development of agricultural sciences; meanwhile, in the Soviet period, the industry and the research institutes intended to meet its requirements were concentrated in Vilnius.
5. In Vilnius, territorial concentration of research institutes and university divisions specialising in similar areas is minimal, yet a certain degree of concentration of research institutes in the Visoriai-Santariškės zone and in Vilnius downtown as well as A. Goštautas street is undisputable. In Kaunas, research institutes are based in the proximity of university divisions specialising in related areas.
6. Based on 2006 data, research institutes employ 2,010 researchers (according to the number of posts). According to the number of researchers of research institutes and the scope of their activities, they are small establishments in the global context. In many economically advanced countries, high-level research institutes employ at least several hundred researchers, compared to Lithuania's average of 57. The staff of some of Lithuania's research institutes amounts to mere 10-20 researchers, i.e. the whole institute is comparable to a small standard division of a foreign research institute. Both the revenues (LTL 6.7 million on average) and the human resources of Lithuanian research institutes are rather poor. Unlike in many advanced western countries, research institutes here usually focus on fundamental research. That is revealed by the revenues received from research and development (hereinafter referred to as "R&D"), which amount to mere 7 per cent of an institute's total revenues. It is true that research institutes earn extra income, however it comes from commercial activities rather than R&D activities.
7. It is universally acknowledged that research and innovation are becoming the basis of knowledge economy. Creation of an effective European Research Area (hereinafter referred to as "ERA") is a strategic European Union (hereinafter referred to as "EU") initiative throughout the Lisbon Strategy. However, the review of the Lisbon Strategy inevitably requires upgrading of the ERA vision. The European Commission, concerned about the sluggish development of the ERA as well as about the fragmentary character of European, regional and national research programmes and political provisions, adopted the green paper The European Research Area. New Perspectives on 4 April 2007. It sets out the main provisions that facilitate dealing with R&D issues. The objective is to provide R&D with the following qualities: sufficient flow of competent scientists able to move sufficiently freely among research institutes, disciplines, sectors and countries; an integrated network of research infrastructure accessible to teams of research workers from Europe and around the world; superior quality research institutes productively contributing to the cooperation between the public and the private sectors; efficient information exchange, especially among research institutes and industrial companies, which involves society at large; well-coordinated research programmes and priorities, including major investment in public research activities programmed on the European level, together with common priorities, coordinated implementation and joint assessment; a European Research Area (ERA) open to the world, with special attention to the neighbouring countries and a strong commitment to address global problems together with European partners.
8. In order to create a uniform ERA, in which knowledge moves freely and research institutes and researchers compete on equal grounds, the European Commission aims to reduce the research gap between the backward and the most advanced research institutes. The opportunities to use EU structural funds in Lithuania are important in reducing the gap, however these resources are neither enough nor can they guarantee that the gap will be eliminated. Although EU structural funds provide excellent opportunities, specific integration mechanisms are also crucial as they would help to focus the available research potential and create an opportunity to form strong institutions of international scale.
9. Dispersion of the Lithuanian potential of science and studies and the absence of critical mass represent the main reasons why R&D lacks effectiveness and the activities of university studies are not sufficiently based on research. Implementation of the ERA consolidation principles proposed by the European Commission is especially significant and can make an essential contribution to the strengthening of the Lithuanian system of science and studies as well as to the reorganization of the network of research institutes. In Lithuania, it is necessary to gather people working in the R&D area and to concentrate and build R&D infrastructure at those institutions that boast the most qualified researchers and where equipment may be used in the most efficient manner. At the same time, Lithuanian research institutions would be provided with an opportunity to join the developed ERA network of research infrastructure.
10. The system of science and studies remains relatively unattractive to the most intelligent specialists. When the intellectual potential available in Lithuania is concentrated, the conditions for a more rational use of research infrastructure are created and the equipment of the research institutions is upgraded, competent researchers would be in a position to better utilize their capabilities both in solving R&D issues and in training top-level specialists. These institutions would become visible internationally, join the activities of international organizations dealing with R&D problems that are also relevant to Lithuania, and would finally be able to take advantage of the possibilities created by the ERA.
11. The level of business investment in R&D is primarily determined by the Lithuanian business structure, in which the most research-intensive business sectors of high and medium-high technologies occupy a relatively modest share. In 2006, business R&D expenditure totalled only 28 per cent of the country's total R&D expenditure. A distinct gap between business operators and institutions of science and studies is for the most part preconditioned by the fact that small and narrow-niche research institutes may offer businesses only a very limited range of services when the latter need to address the R&D issues they face. On the other hand, small research institutes are incapable of maintaining divisions engaged in commercialization of research results. That is also a disadvantage in the process of establishing new research-intensive businesses. According to the data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, employment in the high and medium technology industry in Lithuania went down from approximately 3 per cent in 2003 to 2.5 per cent in 2005. At the same time, employment in the high-tech (knowledge intensive) service sector decreased from 1.7 per cent to 1.5 per cent in the respective period.
12. The necessity to consolidate R&D resources on the institutional and simultaneously on the geographical level is emphasized not only in EU strategic documents. Attention to that was also drawn for a number of times in the findings of experts who evaluated the situation in Lithuania, namely those of the study Lithuanian Research Evaluation (1996) carried out by the Research Council of Norway, the World Bank study Lithuania – Aiming for a Knowledge Economy (2003), the Science Council of Lithuania study Proposals Regarding the Implementation of the Recommendations Presented in the World Bank Report "Lithuania. Development of a Knowledge Economy" (2004), a feasibility study on the development of the infrastructures of humanities and social sciences in Lithuania in the context of European Research Area by the Lithuanian Workgroup on the Humanities and Social Sciences (2005), Evaluation Report on Lithuania by the CREST mixed political experts' group of the Open Method of Cooperation (2007), and a study on the optimization of the infrastructure of science and studies by the National Development Institute.
 
III. THE OBJECTIVE AND TASKS OF THE PLAN
 
13. The objective of the Plan is to concentrate the available human and material resources of R&D in order to create the conditions to use the R&D potential as effectively as possible in dealing with the issues important for the country, while making the best use of EU structural funds and Republic of Lithuania State Budget resources in developing human resources and R&D infrastructure.
14. Aiming for the objective set out in paragraph 13 of the Plan, the following tasks should be carried out:
14.1. when necessary, to reorganize research institutes: to incorporate them into universities or merge them with each other in accordance with the direction or area of performed research and to form new legal persons – state research institutes;
14.2. to establish new state research institutes or their administrative centres and to build new buildings for the divisions of these institutes in the same building complexes as in the case of establishing analogous research divisions of universities whose building complexes have been already built or are being built within integrated centres (valleys) of science, studies and research;
14.3. to create a favourable environment for the accumulation of the output of the concentrated research potential, taking advantage of the opportunities created by the centres stimulating interaction between science and business formed at the integrated centres (valleys) of science, studies and business.
15. The objective set out in paragraph 13 of the Plan will be pursued in accordance with the following principle: maximum contribution to the country's social and economic development is possible through a more intense dissemination of higher education and larger-scale research that enables business development.
 
IV. ACTIONS TO REORGANIZE RESEARCH INSTITUTES
 
16. In implementing the Plan, the following actions are envisaged:
16.1. A state research institute, the Life Sciences Centre, will be established after merging the following institutes:
16.1.1. the Institute of Biochemistry;
16.1.2. the Institute of Biotechnology.
16.2. A state research institute, the Centre of Innovative Medicine, will be established after merging the following institutes:
16.2.1. the Immunology Institute of Vilnius University;
16.2.2. the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of Vilnius University.
16.3. A state research institute, the Nature Research Centre, will be established by merging the following institutes:
16.3.1. the Ecology Institute of Vilnius University;
16.3.2. the Institute of Geology and Geography;
16.3.3. the Institute of Botany.
16.4. A state research institute, the Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences, will be established by merging the following institutes:
16.4.1. the Institute of Chemistry;
16.4.2. the Institute of Physics;
16.4.3. the Institute of Semiconductor Physics.
16.5. A state research institute, the Centre of Agrarian and Forest Sciences, will be established by merging the following institutes:
16.5.1. the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture;
16.5.2. the Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture and Olericulture;
16.5.3. the Lithuanian Institute of Forests.
16.6. The following institutes will be incorporated into the University of Agriculture:
16.6.1. the Water Management Institute of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture;
16.6.2. the Agricultural Engineering Institute of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture;
16.7. The following institutes will be incorporated into the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy:
16.7.1. the Veterinary Institute of the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy;
16.7.2. the Institute of Animal Science of the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy;
16.8. The following institutes will be incorporated into Kaunas University of Technology:
16.8.1. the Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology;
16.8.2. the Institute of Physical Electronics of Kaunas University of Technology;
16.8.3. the Institute of Architecture and Construction of Kaunas University of Technology.
16.9. The Institute of Thermal Insulation will be incorporated into Vilnius Gediminas Technical University;
16.10. The Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy will be incorporated into Vilnius University.
16. 11. The Forensic Medicine Institute of Mykolas Romeris University will be incorporated into Mykolas Romeris University.
16.12. Feasibility studies will be carried out regarding:
16.12.1. the need and possibility of establishing an Energy Security Centre;
16.12.2. the need and possibility of establishing a Scientific Centre of Informatics and Information Technologies in the facilities of the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics and Vilnius University;
16.12.3. consolidation and development of the system of Lithuanian institutions of the humanities and social sciences.
 
V. INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH INSTITUTES
 
17. For the purpose of the incorporation of the research institutes enumerated in paragraphs 16.1-16.5 of the Plan as well as in order to develop joint activities, it is recommended to establish associations that would put forward proposals regarding:
17.1. coordination of the areas of research pursued by research institutes;
17.2. formation of a common need to acquire research equipment;
17.3. further research areas of research institutes (infrastructure development, development of joint activities);
17.4. representation of the interests of association members in integrated centres (valleys) of science, studies and business when constructing buildings intended for the activities of future state research institutes;
17.5. coordination of actions when participating in international research programmes and when carrying out orders from private entities.
18. The Ministry of Education and Science shall present to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania draft resolutions:
18.1. Before 1 June 2009, regarding:
18.1.1. the reorganization of the research institutes enumerated in paragraphs 16.6-16.10 of the Plan;
18.1.2. the establishment of the Energy Security Centre in accordance with the respective findings of the feasibility study specified in paragraph 16.11.1 of the Plan;
18.1.3. the establishment of the Scientific Centre of Informatics and Information Technologies in accordance with the respective findings of the feasibility study specified in paragraph 16.11.2 of the Plan;
18.1.4. the consolidation and development of the Lithuanian system of the humanities and social sciences in accordance with the respective findings of the feasibility study specified in paragraph 16.11.3 of the Plan;
18.2. Before 1 April 2011, regarding:
18.2.1. the establishment of a state research institute, the Life Sciences Centre;
18.2.2. the establishment of a state research institute, the Centre of Innovative Medicine;
18.2.3. the establishment of a state research institute, the Nature Research Centre;
18.2.4. the establishment of a state research institute, the Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences;
18.2.5. the establishment of a state research institute, the Centre of Agrarian and Forest Sciences.
 
 
 
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