Policy Background

The transport research framework in Lithuania is determined by the National Higher Education and Research Policy (Research and Higher Education Strategy) and by the transport system planning documents.

The research policy goals are mainly set by the Lithuanian Innovation Strategy for 2010–2020.  Another document is Lithuania’s Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2030”. The implementation strategy for EU Structural Funds also supports public R&D development and facilitates company R&D.

Transport research policy is typically developed on the basis of the priorities established in the national transport system planning. The main documents in transport system planning are the Long-Term Development Strategy of the Lithuanian Transport System (up to 2025) and the Transport and Transit Development Strategy (up to 2020). The Long-Term Development Strategy provides a foundation for sector-based strategies.

Other key documents relevant to transport research in Lithuania are:

  • Lithuanian Economic Development Strategy
  • Operational Programme for Economic Growth (to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives).

Institutional framework of transport research

At the highest level, research and innovation policy in Lithuania is set by the Parliament and the Government. The governance structure for research and innovation is based on two Ministries:

National research policy is developed and implemented by the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Education and Science and in cooperation with the Research Council of Lithuania. The Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology coordinates the participation of Lithuanian institutions and companies in international research programmes and projects. The Ministry of Finance also plays a major role in allocating funding for national research programmes.

The transport research and policy priorities are defined by the Ministry of Transport and Communication in the national transport system policy.

There are three main types of research funding available:

  1. Internal research programmes at the universities;
  2. National research grants funded through the framework of the National Research Programmes. These grants are mostly awarded to programmes in priority research areas;
  3. Applied research service contracts.

The main source of funding of the general research programmes is the national/ministry budget, including the Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For transport research (which consists mostly of consulting or service contracts), the Ministry of Transport and Communication launches several service calls per year.

Other opportunities for funding transport research are through:

Funding Sources and Support Initiatives

Current funding sources or programmes for transport research in Lithuania include:

  • Interreg V-A - Latvia-Lithuania - addresses some of the important cross-border challenges which are linked to the implementation of Europe 2020 in the border regions of Southern Latvia and Northern Lithuania.