Lithuania – the motherland of the lasers with worldwide fame
Baltic state with high potential for the future
We heard about Lithuanian lasers but not many know that now Lithuanian lasers are present worldwide both in science and in business innovation.
“The main reason for the success of the Lithuanian laser industry is top-level laser scientists and flawless knowledge transfer due to enabling infrastructure, general creative mindset and deep-rooted traditions of laser R&D in Lithuania” – noted “Professor Gerard Mourou, Nobel Prize winner. “The development of laser technology industry in Lithuania is a prospective field of industry that has achieved strong positions in the world. It is one of the underlying fields of Lithuanian economy that closely links the three main chains of creation of added value – science, innovations and production. The achievements of Lithuanian researchers in the field of lasers are particularly appreciated, whereas the production developed by national laser specialists is on demand worldwide.”
Scientific research of lasers in Lithuania started in academia five decades ago, first laser in Lithuania was lit in 1966 and has resulted in an impressive number of breakthroughs and important commercial developments. More active laser developments started since 1970. The strong cohesion between R&D activities in laser companies and academic research centers enables Lithuania to maintain a leading position in the global marketplace.
Today laser sector in Lithuania employs more than 40 companies. Total number of people working in this sector grows annually with roughly 10% of them having PhD degrees.
The output of the Lithuanian laser industry covers a variety of pulsed lasers : femtosecond, picosecond, nanosecond, tunable wavelength lasers, optical, electronic, mechanical laser components, assemblies, parts or different combinations with over 80% of products being exported. Main export areas – USA, EU, Japan, PRC.
World’s one of most advanced powerful femtosecond lasers – made in in Lithuania
Earlier this year, the ELI European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ELI ERIC) was established to jointly manage the operations of the ELI facilities for the benefit of international academic and industrial researchers.
The main mission of ELI ERIC is to provide scientists and businesses with access to state-of-the-art lasers, taking advantage of the unique possibilities offered by ultra-intense light. Scientists visiting ELI laboratories in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania will be able to carry out multidisciplinary experiments relevant to both fundamental and applied research.
High intensity laser systems, developed by two largest Lithuanian laser companies “Ekspla” and “Light conversion” were installed in two of three currently operating ELI laser centers.
In addition, 90 out of worlds’ top 100 universities employ lasers made in Lithuania. Lithuanian laser products have even secured a reputation to warrant the applications by space exploration agencies.
And although the entire industry was previously focused on the scientific laser niche, rapidly growing activities in laser material processing and improvements in laser technology allowed Lithuanian laser products to enter the industrial market, where nearly a half of total sales is currently taking place. Lithuanian industrial lasers, their components and other integral parts take an essential place in the world’s laser landscape since they belong to international high value-added value chains.
Fast development of new technologies as well as uncompromised adaptation of innovations are main features of Lithuanian laser manufacturers. “Our very recent development – industrial ultrafast femtosecond laser features novel dry cooling technology which makes this laser absolutely maintenance free” – noted Kestutis Jasiunas, EKSPLA CEO – “that means that integrators who build systems for industrial applications like microelectronics manufacturing as well as glass, sapphire, polymers and ceramics micro processing can be assured that system will be running reliably and hassle free”.
In addition, one of the major qualities of Lithuanian companies is their flexibility and excellence. Most Lithuanian high- tech engineering companies are SME, so it is easy to quickly re-orientate and adapt to market needs, overall global situation and trends. Also Lithuania has high standards of the Northern Europe alike business culture: versatile and reliable business relations, motivated and highly skilled employees, high quality and innovation are the dominating characteristics.
Facts about Lithuanian Laser industry
- 90 of 100 top universities employ lasers made in Lithuania
- Every tenth employee has PHD degree
- Two Lithuanian companies: Ekspla and Light Conversion are authors of SYLOS – one of the most advanced powerful femtosecond laser system
- Every five years sector doubles in the terms of sales
- Two of three ELI centers use Lithuanian EKSPLA lasers
- Lithuania is ranked among top 30 countries to Doing Business Index by World Bank
- Forbes has ranked Lithuania 15th in its annual global ranking Best Countries for Business
- Lithuania is the country, in proportion to the population, having highest number of members in EPIC – European Photonics Industry
Lithuania is a perfect place for women to join tech industries as the country is one of the fastest-growing centres of life sciences in Europe and has a vibrant ICT, financial technologies, video game, and laser sectors. The start-up community, which has already exceeded one thousand companies, attracts talents from all over the world to innovate and think about solutions that can contribute to a global change for the better in many spheres, ranging from gene editing to solving circular economy challenges.
In implementing the Strategy for the Presentation of Lithuania Abroad 2020-2030 and ensuring the country’s overall positioning as “open for co-creation”, the entrepreneurship and export development agency Enterprise Lithuania presented the Co-created in Lithuania country of origin brand and unified national export stand concept at the Lithuanian Business Forum.