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Feasibility pre-study on development of the innovative welfare technology eco system and bilateral opportunities

Interest in exploring and comparing the current situation of the welfare technology sector in Lithuania and Norway was triggered by the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 Blue Book, where it is introduced as one of possible focus areas to be chosen under the Programme ‘Business Development, Innovation and SMEs’. Due to rather limited information on the maturity and viability of this sector in Lithuania upon drafting the Concept note, the decision not to include it as a separate focus area under 2014-2021 Norway Grants business programme was made. Nevertheless, recognising the increasing need of welfare technologies in solving pressing social problems, Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) and a Norwegian partner - Innovation Norway, launched a project on development of an innovative welfare technology eco-system under the Fund for Bilateral Relations under the financial contribution from the EEA and the Norwegian Financial Mechanisms 2014-2021.

The project ran from June 2019 to July 2020 and aimed to increase mutual knowledge and understanding of the welfare technology sector through exchange of relevant experiences, as well as to investigate potential to set up a series of bilateral activities related to the sector in question. To investigate existing national approaches towards promotion of welfare technology sector, two study visits were organized. During the first study visit, representatives from Innovation Norway, working in the fields related to healthcare industries, public procurements and innovation policy, presented an overview of how healthcare innovations are promoted in Norway. During the second visist, the representatives from Lithuania’s public and research institutions (Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Innovation Centre, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and MITA) shed the light on the questions related to the healthcare system in Lithuania.

The feasibility pre-study study (which can be found here) together with a Paper on Proposals for the Action Plan on the Development of Welfare Technology Eco-System (which can be found here) were prepared as a result of implementation of activities under the project. Conclusions of the pre-feasibility study and the Paper on Proposals are predominantly based on the knowledge and insights gained during the study visits.
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