Green Industry Innovation
Increased competitiveness of green enterprises, including greening of existing industries, green innovation and green entrepreneurship
Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania
29 August 2012
PA21 - Green Industry Innovation
Calls for proposals
There are no further calls for proposals.
Why was the programme needed?
Lithuania’s economic development and its dependence energy imports has substantially increased the country’s demand for measures on energy efficiency, environmental and management improvement. A lack of innovative solutions prevents the country from reaching high competitive positions in global markets and puts it at a disadvantaged to other European countries with higher rate of innovation. Consequently, the promotion of eco-innovative products and processes is expected to play a very important role in increasing Lithuania’s competitiveness.
The Green Industry Innovation programme funded under the 2009-2014 Norway Grants encouraged companies to identify and realize opportunities for greening processes and develop innovative products to benefit Lithuania’s economy. The programme targeted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and funded projects related to innovative environmental technologies and green products across all industry sectors, including construction and manufacturing. The allocation of 8 000 000 euros was used to promote the introduction and development of resource efficient and waste recycling technologies, green IT solutions, healthy food products – to name a few.
Implementation of the programme was administered by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania along with the Central Project Management Agency (hereinafter – the CPMA). Innovation Norway was Donor Programme Partner (DPP). The programme was one of the first instruments of financial support in Lithuania focused on the promotion of green innovation in businesses and therefore formed the basis for developing new measures by the Ministry of Economy to promote green technology, including under the EU structural funds for the period 2014-2020.
What did the programme achieve?
The programme implemented a total of 13 projects. Following implementation, the SMEs receiving support succeeded in developing 20 new environmental technologies, adapting 13 new environmental technologies for use in new areas, commercialising two new environmental technologies, and developing 10 new green products. These achievements enabled the companies to reduce their usage of raw materials and production of waste, increase their energy efficiency and more importantly (in the long term) strengthen their capacity and knowledge in the field of green industry. For instance, UAB Milviteka developed an innovative, efficient and environment-friendly fruit and vegetable washing technology using the ozone gas. The new technology reduces the consumption of water normally used for washing products by up to 60 percent and improves product quality by reducing the use of chemical, pesticide and microbiological contaminants.
Another company, UAB Cherry Servers, which is the biggest exporter of data in Lithuania with customers in more than 130 countries, installed a new green data centre module that reduced their electricity usage by 41 percent annually. In the beverage industry, UAB Akvavita developed 6 PET bottle eco design prototypes for still and carbonated natural mineral water, using 30 percent natural and 70 percent recycled materials. The newly developed bottle designs are thinner and softer, which improves their compressibility - an important factor in the recycling process. These PET bottles allowed the company to improve its performance efficiency indicators, like the reduction of plastic by 16 percent.
Moreover, the companies were able to reduce their production cost and raise their labour productivity – while creating 99 permanent jobs. The pastry manufacturer UAB Eurobagetas, for instance, expanded its work force by 50 additional employees when it acquired an innovative donut production technology that increased their productivity while reducing the amount of fat used in its pastry production process, thereby also lowering water usage (up to 60 percent) and the amount of wastewater produced.
In implementing the projects, the companies gained a new understanding for the opportunities available in environment-friendly technologies and the attraction green products and services are having on consumers. Several of the companies were also able to promote the benefits of green industry in their local communities. As an example, UAB Polymer Recycling carried out educational activities to promote the waste sorting among schoolchildren. Over 60 children, along with their teachers, participated in an educational seminar during which information about combined packaging and other waste management issues was presented.
How were bilateral relations strengthened?
One of the main objectives of the programme was to strengthen bilateral relations between Lithuania and Norway and take advantage of Norwegian experiences in the areas of green IT, waste sorting and recycling. The implementation of partnership projects allowed Lithuanian and Norwegian businesses h to share knowledge and obtain mutually beneficial results in the sectors of waste recycling and mineral water products. In total, 5 projects were implemented together with Norwegian partners. The Norwegian partners advised the project promoters in the field of green innovation implementation, assisted in the presentation of new green products and assessed the attractiveness of developed green technologies and products for the Scandinavian market.
In addition to the project partnerships formed during the programme, multiple bilateral activities were organized. In one activity the Aleksandras Stulginskis University, in cooperation with experts from Norway and Latvia, prepared a feasibility study on the development of the Lithuanian bioeconomy. The aim of the study was to assess the state and potential of the Lithuanian bioeconomy, and consider Norwegian best practices. The study also identified bioeconomy sectors where Lithuanian and Norwegian business cooperation has the greatest potential. The study will form the basis for developing new measures aimed to promote innovations in bioeconomy and bilateral cooperation with Norwegian businesses.
The Ministry of Economy hosted over a dozen bilateral events in cooperation together with Innovation Norway and the Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). During these events, around 800 Lithuanian and Norwegian business representatives and experts shared their best practices and business ideas as well as discussed sector perspectives in the field of green ICT, bioenergy, waste management and recycling, green solutions for buildings, circular economy, bio-economy and energy-efficient technology.
What will be the impact of the programme?
The programme was one of Lithuania’s first instruments of financial support focused on promoting of green innovation in business, and helped establish a basis for further initiatives in the area. Through its implementation, the programme gave Lithuanian businesses a better understanding of the benefits derived from green innovation and enabled the implementation of joint projects, and knowledge sharing with Norwegian businesses. The businesses involved in the implemented projects have been able to raise their profits, increase their efficiency and reduce their impact on the environment.