The country offers a highly qualified, multilingual and motivateld talent pool with both the skills and the mindset to take on global challanges. Lithuanians are known to be exellent problem solvers and team players.
Enterprising, open to new ideas, drivers of change, creative – that’s how investors describe Lithuanian professionals. People in Lithuania are receptive to technological innovations and keen to learn and grow. They find the best solutions to problems and often amaze with the speed and quality of their work. Lithuania’s talent is the main reason companies that have chosen to establish a presence here go on to add more jobs and expand the scale of production and services. Western Union’s service centre in Vilnius, for instance, has grown from 250 employees at its launch in 2010 to a unit with 2,000 employees that company officials call the backbone of Western Union operations worldwide. It provides services in 34 countries and 30 languages.
Stellar talents in science
Lithuanian scientists are helping to address humanity’s health problems. The world is already aware of Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys, who in recognition of his role in the discovery of so-called “genetic scissors” has been awarded both Harvard University’s prestigious Warren Alpert Foundation Prize and, together with the 2020 Nobel laureates in Chemistry, the famed Kavli Prize as well. Prof. Šikšnys’s name is linked throughout the world to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which makes it possible to modify the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with great precision. This genome editing technique is contributing to innovative cancer treatments. Virginijus Šikšnys was the first researcher to make this discovery. In honour of his achievements, an international scholarship has been established in his name. The city of Vilnius has committed to funding the scholarship in the amount of €10,000 annually for at least five years.
Professor Vladas Algirdas Bumelis has brought Lithuania and the world 32 significant inventions and patents while also developing pharmaceutical production technologies based on genetic engineering techniques.
Urtė Neniškytė studies the molecular mechanisms of brain network pruning. She focuses on mechanisms that shape our brains and may be linked to neurodevelopment and neuropsychiatric diseases like autism and schizophrenia. In 2019, Dr Neniškytė was named one of the world’s 15 most promising female scientists by the L`Oréal Foundation and UNESCO. She previously held a L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science fellowship.
Achievements by young scientists
Students at Vilnius University (VU) are seeking solutions to global challenges. At the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) held in Boston in 2020, the Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team of students from VU won a gold medal and was identified as one of the top teams in four different categories. The students’ project, “Colight”, focused on one of the fastest growing areas of the life sciences – optogenetics.