Kauno ekonominis paveikslas Business
Kaunas IN
2021 12 23
Kaunas FEZ Smartpark: hospitable space for innovation-creating business community

Having set a strategic goal – to encourage the establishment of smart specialisation companies in their territory and to contribute to their R&D activities, the Kaunas Free Economic Zone (FEZ) is carrying out the Smartpark project, the result of which will be a cluster of businesses that create, develop, and produce new products.

 

Growing the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem and attracting smart specialisation companies is one of the strategic goals of the Kaunas FEZ, reflecting the overall strategy of the country.

 

“If we want high value-added businesses to come to the Kaunas FEZ, providing attractive conditions for top-level professionals in the region, then such projects as the Smartpark community in the Kaunas FEZ are necessary and inevitable. In general, focus on innovation has been growing for several years at the national level – by reforming the research system, increasing public investment in science and technology, and in this way aiming to establish itself among the most innovative countries in Europe and the world,” notes Vytautas Petružis, Director of the Kaunas FEZ Management Company.

 

The project named Smartpark is a community of smart specialisation companies – a cluster focused on the development and production of new products. The community that has been brought together is helping businesses of this kind establish themselves, is developing business and science integration. The priority activities of the Smartpark community are transport, logistics, ICT, health technology, energy, biotechnology.

 

In order to encourage the establishment of smart specialisation companies and to contribute to their R&D activities, encouraging companies already operating in the territory to invest in the creation, development, and production of new products, the Kaunas FEZ creates a favorable environment and carefully prepares all the necessary infrastructure: from roads and streets to installation of engineering networks.

 

In parallel, there is also cooperation with developers ready to provide built-to-suit or renting services: a year ago, the company REES started a project for the construction of business buildings for sale and rent – FEZ Business Park, with plans to invest more than €2.2 million euro in it. In the first phase, five buildings are being built, in which 5–9 companies will be located, and their installation is in line with the built-to-suit principle, i.e. adapted to the specific needs of the companies moving in – be it offices, warehousing, commercial, or small production purposes. At the end of the year, a contract was signed for the second phase of the development of FEZ Business Park.

 

The number of companies active in R&D is growing

 

Experimental activities combining research and know-how are carried out in one way or another by a number of companies located in the territory of the Kaunas FEZ: unique solutions for automation, robotisation, pharmaceutical, accounting and electronic components are produced here.

Research and innovation-based products are created and developed by companies such as Freda, Elinta, Axioma Metering, Hollister Lietuva, Hella Lithuania, Continental Automotive Lithuania.

 

In 2021 alone, three more R&D companies joined or planned to join Smartpark.

 

One of them is Biokona, builder of biogas plants and supplier of related technology, which develops modular biogas power plant concepts at its production base and delivers complete, fully mechanically and functionally tested solutions to customers, allowing the company to optimise production processes and work costs and ensuring smooth and fast installation of such equipment.

 

Meanwhile, Polylema, which develops innovative tire recycling in its new laboratory, intends to turn a prototype idea into reality and complement the current industrial testing of experimental technology in international laboratories.

 

“Our Research Centre’s task is to transform the laboratory processes developed by Rubinntec’s brand into efficient, licensed, and accurate production processes. In other words, to create cost-effective and useful tire recycling according to Rubinntec-patented technologies,” says Martynas Jankauskas, CEO of Polylema, whose team plans to move into the new laboratory by early-2022.

 

Ensuring sustainable economic growth in the city and country

 

From an urban point of view, the relocation of industrial technology-generating companies, which is important for innovation, is a natural phenomenon that benefits the city. As Andrius Veršinskas, Head of the Business Division of Kaunas IN, points out, both large businesses and small innovative companies are important in this respect. He says, “Of course, today’s industrial ‘giants’ must also be innovative and modern, but equally important is the emergence of new, smaller, and more flexible players on the market, bringing both added value to the entire market and ensuring the emergence and potential development of a new technological generation.”

 

As the experience of Kaunas and Lithuania as a whole shows, the development of new products based on technological and industrial innovations is necessary and inevitable in order to achieve further economic and wage growth in the long term.

Source: Kaunas FEZ, agency "Not Perfect".