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For digital developers – a new call from Norway Grants

Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (MITA) invites Lithuanian companies, who implement new information and communication technology solutions to participate in the Norway Grants program and receive an investment up to 1 million EUR. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a huge challenge, but also a unique opportunity for businesses to develop and market their digital services and products. State support will allow ideas to be implemented much faster and on a larger scale” says Jekaterina Rojaka, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Innovation (EIMIN).

ICT is one of the most promising directions of economic development

“Development of digital technologies is one of the most promising directions of economic development. This area is unique in a way where innovative solutions created by one or more people can have huge potential for development and have a significant impact on a global scale” says Deputy Minister J. Rojaka.

According to Paulius Jakutavičius, Head of Public Relations at Infobalt, investing in ICT innovations can help to create and test prototypes in a relatively small amount. For example, a prototype of the smart financial sector regulatory technology RegTech was introduced at the beginning of the year, and a prototype of the eCMR platform for road freight transport was recently successfully tested.

The investment potential in the ICT sector is very wide, ranging from the development of new mobile apps to medical or e-commerce solutions.

ICT innovations are becoming a springboard for global success for Lithuanians

In Lithuania, we already have extremely successful examples of ICT innovations, when start-ups have grown into globally recognized businesses. The most prominent of these are among the top 100 European innovations. These are the used clothing trading and exchange platform Vinted, payment start-up TransferGo and the public transport planning app Trafi.

The Lithuanian-created emotional aid program Act on Crisis to address the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic won second place in the international hackathon The Global Hack, competing with more than 1,000 ideas from around the world. Ondato is successfully developing technologies for the financial market based on biometrics and artificial intelligence. Start-up Oxipit has developed a revolutionary diagnostic tool based on artificial intelligence that will facilitate the work of radiologists.

According to Gintas Kimtys, Head of MITA, the application of smart technologies in all areas of business and life is still growing, so businesses that will be able to be the first to take advantage of emerging niches will reap the greatest commercial and reputation benefits.

Opportunities of the Norway Grants program for ICT innovation developers

November 11th a new call has been launched under the Norway Grants investment program. "Support from Norway Grants can help expand your idea, thus increasing the competitiveness of business and contributing to the progress and sustainability of the Lithuanian economy," says Gintas Kimtys.

Applications may be submitted by private companies registered in Lithuania. These are very small, small and medium-sized Lithuanian companies and large companies in which state shares make up no more than 25 percent.

Norway Grants funds the development and implementation of new ICT products or technologies. Innovative communication devices, high-speed computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cyber security, data protection and management, human-centric digital age solutions, automation and robotics solutions - some of the projects available under the Program, for example "Funding is available to companies that already have an initial model of a product or technology, also called the alpha version, and are planning further testing and development before the solution is launched on the market," notes Ina Sinkevičiūtė, Norway Grants' program manager. The maximum amount allocated to one project is EUR 1,000,000, and the intensity can reach up to 80%.

Funded applications will be selected on the basis of the level of novelty and commercial potential of the product or technology being developed and the applicant's innovation potential, the projects themselves must be related to scientific and experimental (R&D) activities and the final product must be different from those already on the market. Partnerships with Norwegian companies will also be evaluated - additional points will be awarded for the participation of a Norwegian partner in the project during the evaluation of the application.

In total, investments under the Norway Grants program "Business Development, Innovation and SMEs" will amount to 15 million. EUR - of which EUR 5.5 million specifically for ICT innovation, with the remaining € 9.5 million green industry innovation and business skills.
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