New opportunities in New Zealand
On June 29th of 2018, the Lithuanian Honorary Consul in New Zealand John Algis Mak, who read a report on business development opportunities in the country, visited Vilnius Tech Park. New Zealand is considered to be the least regulated and open economy in the world, with an export level of 30% of gross domestic product.
The Honorary Consul has also greatly contributed to the promotion of the laser and engineering sector, when in February this year, the Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK™) organized a business mission to Australia and New Zealand. The aim of the mission is to explore the existing market potential, to establish direct contacts and find opportunities for technological or commercial cooperation with companies, research centers, universities, associations, to introduce innovations in the field of photonics in Lithuania and other European countries, to popularize the Lithuanian laser and engineering technologies sector and its companies.
LITEK™ representatives also assisted in the mission of the Lithuanian delegation of foreign diplomats led by Vice-Minister Darius Skusevičius. As LITEK™ international development manager Linas Eriksonas says, with the help of the diplomats of the Ministry, we not only found the information necessary for export promotion, but also got useful acquaintance with local government and business representatives, as well as mediated in establishing direct links between New Zealand’s universities, research institutions and companies in Lithuania.
A large part of New Zealand’s GDP income is derived from agricultural produce – much attention is being paid to research and innovation in this field, which allows production to compete globally. There are even a few universities operating in this country, that working intensively in agricultural fields. No exception for laser research centers and laboratories where the research direction stems from the needs of the local market – technologies are being developed for the meat processing industry, fisheries, fruit and vegetables, and forestry.
“Traditions of innovations in the country have arisen historically when settlers began to set up settlements and cities 180 years ago. Due to the geographic closure of New Zealand, the equipment or materials they needed had to wait for months or even years, and often they simply had to invent and make equipment on their own resources and tools available on the island. This “do-it-yourself” approach has survived to this day – industry companies are willing to adopt and innovate in the research laboratories and participate in their development, ” the head of LITEK™ Julius Paužolis shared his insights.
The state is actively financing projects for the development and implementation of innovations in industrial enterprises by promoting cooperation between research centers and traditional industries.
“Several examples of implemented projects involving the introduction of photonic technologies in the traditional industry, as we saw, were the carcass cutting robot operating on the conveyor, with precision incisions made using optical sensors, individually tailored to the size of each ovine carcase; optical camera, instantly assessing the number of fruits on the on the apple tree; industrial shells opening equipment, which performs precision incisions, taking into account the shape of each shell; a device made with laser microprocessing technology with micro-channels for assessing milk quality; opto-acoustic methods for assessing the strength of wood, the system for sorting fruit and berries, “- said Julius Paužolis. According to him, at the present time, similarly, we are aiming for the development and production of high-quality optical components and laser systems in Lithuania not only to reach world-class university laboratories, but also laser technologies could be integrated and adapted to traditional industries in Lithuanian manufacturing plants and accelerate industrial transformation.