Digital Lithuania 2009
Economic challenges afford Lithuania an opportunity to modernize its economic engine. Business applying the best management standards can withstand economic slump, whereas national economy and public sector can become competitive in comparison with other European and world countries.
Uniting more than 120 Lithuanian IT companies „INFOBALT“association is certain that Lithuanian IT companies are able to develop and export innovative technologies as well as to introduce them properly across the world. In this edition of „Digital Lithuania” we will introduce you not one company developing and exporting unique IT products. The association „INFOBALT” has been actively working for 15 years on purpose to help promising IT companies to penetrate into world markets. Actually not one now is able to join the ranks of world’s leaders.
Lithuania has been the IT standard-bearer among circumjacent states since the origin of this branch. Traditionally high education and science level has always attracted intelligent people to the capital Vilnius. It is no mere chance that Vilnius at the end of the XX century became one of the IT branch centers that serves the high level objects of space and defense industry. Single-purpose research institutes prepared the solutions of global scale together with specialists of the same scale.
In accordance with the present-day level of training of IT specialists Lithuania leads the field in the EU – in seven universities and fourteen colleges most part (300 in a million of residents) of qualified IT specialists are trained every year. About 10 000 of them work in Lithuanian software sector what makes 0,75 % of GNP. What is more, it is planned to geminate these numbers within next five years. Except traditionally rival Kaunas Technological University and Vilnius University Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Mathematics and Informatics Institute also have high potential of scientific researches.
Lithuanian information specialists are not satisfied with a small local market. Thanks to the agencies of such giants as IBM, „Computer Sciences Corporation“, „Affecto Group“, „Proact“ Lithuania is gradually becoming the service center of North Europe countries, whereas together with „CID Group“, „TietoEnator“, „Asseco Poland“ Lithuanian specialists develop and improve complex informational systems for German, English, American, Eastern Europe and Russian clients.
Lithuanian ICT industry is the biggest in Baltic States. In 2008 there were 1777 companies in ICT sector. In 2008 the number of the companies of ICT sector increased 9 % in comparison with 2007 and made 2,8 percent of all nonfinancial companies (in 2007 – 2,7 percent). The number of companies dealing with consultations regarding software, its supply, the maintenance of office, accounting and computer equipment extremely increased.
In 2008 the number of employees working in such companies was 24 913. In comparison with 2007 in 2008 this number increased 7,1 percent and made 2,7 percent of the total number of employees (in 2007 – 3 percent).
Small companies (having less than 9 employees) dominated (82 percent) in ICT sector. About 18 percent of all the employees of this sector worked in small companies. Middle-sized and big companies where 50 and more employees work made 5 percent of ICT companies; 64 percent of all the employees of this sector worked in such companies.
In 2007 the income of this sector’s companies made 2205,17 million EUR. In comparison with 2006 ICT sector increased 10 percent and made 4,5 percent of GDP. The growth increased after the increase of the turnover of the companies dealing with software wholesale, consultations regarding telecommunications and software and its supply.
In 2001 only 29% of the Lithuanians had a mobile phone (the average of the EU at the same time was 55%), however among the rest there were 5,6 times more wishing to buy it (the same as other digital personal telematic equipment) than on the average in the EU.
In five years at the end of 2006 Lithuania became the leader among all the European countries according to the penetration of mobile telephony; at that time there were 138 mobile communication subscribers per 100 residents. At the moment 95 % of 12-15-year- teenagers use mobile phones. Congested telephone service market is growing just because of inventive nonvoice services demand for which is increasing 20 % per year.
The passion of the Lithuanians for mobile communication is not restricted only to using. Grass did not grow under the feet of the creators of technologies and pleasantly surprised us with their success. A small group of Lithuanian programmers who developed games for the local market at the same time became a global-scale company uniting the biggest in the world community of mobile appliqué spreaders and programmers through the portal „GetJar“. Actively expanding it opened its agency in London and employed agents in the USA, in prestigious Silicio valley in 2008.
The other young Lithuanian company – „Teltonika” also feels fine in the global market adjusting GSM connection to its developed M2M (machine to machine) electronic systems. In 2007 „Teltonika” took respectable 73rd place in the list of „Europe‘s 500“; its products are appreciated from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Not one expert forecasts that in Lithuania can appear the company similar to „Nokia“.
In 2008 the expense for researches and development amounted 232,59 million EUR (22,1 percent more than in 2007). As last year the main part of these expense are expense in higher education sector – 50,6 percent of all research and development expense, in business sector – 28,5 percent, and in governmental sector – 20,9 percent. In 2008 research and development expense as an interest-bearing part of gross national product made 0,83 percent (in 2007 it was 0,8 percent).
Lithuania wishes to become the leader of knowledge industry, so it intends its intellectual potential to information technologies, laser technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and material science. By 2015 the products of this industry will have made 25% of GDP and 50% of export.
Effective interaction of industry, academic activity and strategists will emerge in pursuance of the nucleus of science and technology parks, in pursuance of global competiveness and based on rules business environment, on purpose to attract higher foreign investments and to glorify Lithuania as knowledge economy country.
|Association INFOBALT||Akademijos str. 2 - 519/520, LT-08412 Vilnius, Lithuania|
Tel.: +370 5 2 622 623, fax: +370 5 2 622 624. E.mail: office (et) infobalt.lt