2019.08.22 17:00

From trainee to EU Commissioner in 6 years – Lithuania's EC nominee Sinkevičius

LRT.lt2019.08.22 17:00

Seemingly a meteoric rise, Virginijus Sinkevičius has secured his endorsement for the European Commission, now pending the European Parliament's approval.

The 28-year-old has risen from completing a traineeship at the Lithuanian mission in the US, to becoming the Economy and Innovation Minister, and scoring the EU Commission endorsement in just six years.

LRT English has compiled Sinkevičius key accomplishments in his career that began 10 years ago when he walked out of the door of Salomėja Neris High School in Vilnius.

As the head of the Economy and Innovation Ministry, Sinkevičius has worked towards:

Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Lithuania is among the EU’s first countries to develop a national AI strategy.

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A package to improve the startup business environment, that lays down the startup definition and the tax incentives eligible for this type of companies.

Legal regulation of autonomous cars, according to the Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Ministry, is among the most liberal legislations in the EU, ensuring the testing of autonomous cars under real world driving conditions.

Virtual office. Lithuania is to offer a possibility to set up businesses that do not have a physical address, so all communication with public authorities and other persons or entities would be limited to virtual space.

The GovTech initiative. A GovTech Lab has been established, which opens opportunities for public sector bodies to work with startups.

The Women Go Tech initiative aims to increase women’s participation in IT and engineering in Lithuania; the number of programme participants is doubling each year.

Innovation reform, according to the Economy Ministry, was aimed at providing the necessary changes in the Lithuanian science, technology and innovation ecosystem

Industry Digitising Roadmap to guide the national industry, which was welcomed by the national industry as well as the European Commission, according to the Economy Ministry.

Life sciences strategy to reach the main target of achieving that the Lithuanian life sciences sector makes 5 % of the national GDP by 2030

Promotion of SMEs. One of the main tools is the expansion of cooperation centre network Spiečius (hive), which offers fully equipped working places as well as a training and consulting packages for business newcomers. Last year, around 100 startups and micro-entrepreneurs worked in center’s offices.

Sustainable investment of EU funding. Economy Ministry under Sinkevičius worked on shifting the use of EU funding as subsidiaries, to using through financial instruments that ensure long-term growth perspective for startups and SMEs in Lithuanian regions.

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