Open cooperation – the success of the laser and photonics sector
The advanced photonics sector is the pride of science and economics in Lithuania, whose main axis is unique lasers and innovations in their application. Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), along with Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC) and Visoriai Technology Cluster (VITEK), brought leaders from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Germany to the international event ” Baltic Photonics 2018 ” last week, October 17-18. The event presents the latest development projects, partnerships, shared experiences and a fact known for the photonics community for decades. Open and intensive cooperation is one of the elements of the success of the photonics sector in Lithuania.
Not competition, but cooperation
“About 80% innovative photonic products developed in Lithuania are exported to more than 100 foreign countries and are used in prestigious world business and scientific institutions. The reason for such international demand is multiple – innovation, high quality, competitive price and huge work experience in international markets “, – commented MITA director Kęstutis Šetkus on the benefits of international partner searches. According to him, the development of internationalization results not only in financial gain, but also in conditions for the development of world-class innovation, therefore promoting international cooperation in various target sectors is one of the priorities of MITA.
The fact that the photonics sector in Lithuania has a distinctive and developed culture of cooperation emphasized and the main message in the event was read by prof. habil dr. A. P. Piskarskas.
“I offer a new term – “ko-kurencija“ (cooperation). This is a model in wich frames Lithuanian laser companies work and successfully create a high added value, “- said prof. habil dr. A. P. Piskarskas.
Created a favorable environment
The international partner search event “Baltic Photonics 2018” was organized for the first time. About 40 participants, who presented the latest achievements at the Contact Fair participated in it and visited several photonics research institutes of the Lithuania and companies Ekspla Ltd and scientific production enterprise Light Conversion. The President of the Lithuanian laser association prof. habil dr. A. P. Piskarskas, Heads of JSC “Optogama” and “Eksma Optics”, LITEK™ cluster coordinator, Laservision GmbH & Co. KG, Menlo System, COTEC GmbH and other companies.
“Our goal is to create a discussion platform for the smooth operation of the photonics business to operate smoothly and efficiently, but without pre-registration and strict frameworks,”-one of the organizers, Rasa Gofman, VITEK cluster coordinator, commented on.The limited number of participants and their selection in the general interest were welcomed.
“The compact and flexible form of the event really proved to be true: every larger company, especially a smaller company, has got time and the right measures not only to introduce itself, but also to find a potential partner and also to discuss possible conditions for cooperation,”- expressed the opinion one of the participant of the event, the head of JSC “EKSMA” and director of the Lithuanian laser association dr. Petras Balkevičius.
Order received during the presentation
Photonics community meetings create a positive environment for talented newcomers who want to get established. For example, Tadas Lipinskas, head of JSC “Optogama”-the member of VITEK cluster, said that during the “Baltic Photonics 2018” event, it was possible to create even some useful contacts, that are very important for a young company. One of the proposals to cooperate he received the original – after listening to his presentation, Latvians simply expressed their desire to order an JSC “Optogama” product tailored to their excimer polishers.
“Meetings, discussions and even exchanges of products have been very active with examples of products. Although we did not organize it specially, however, the event was attended by a German delegation and we intend to cooperate with it at the level of the German and Baltic Chamber of Commerce. We have not been able to discuss the results with everyone, but there will certainly be more success stories, “- VITEK cluster coordinator looked optimistic about the naturally-established partnerships.
Collaboration not only on paper
According to the organizer of the “Baltijos fotonika 2018”, even about 80-90 percent the participating companies are cluster representatives.Several clusters have been successfully operating in the field of photonics in Lithuania: Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK™), Baltic Photonics Cluster and VITEK and Lithuanian laser association. The event was organized by VITEK and Baltic Photonics Cluster, companies visits were organized by all clusters together with the association. The cooperation in the field of photonics has been fostered for many years, and the natural need for clustering has been formed in Lithuania. VITEK is the youngest of them but has ambitious goals.
“We have plans to expand, as cluster members get tangible benefits. For example, time is saved and combined competencies, as they review and analyze the latest literature in the area of planned research, market reviews, etc. “, – disclosed R. Gofman.
Baltic Photonics 2018
The “Baltic Photonics 2018” event was organized by the InoLink project. InoLink is the project of the EU tool “Inogeb LT”, implemented by MITA together with Lithuanian Innovation Center. The goal of the project is to promote the merger of clusters, increase cluster maturity, promote growth and international cooperation. The project and its activities are funded by the European Regional Development Fund.