Business and Science Forum 2021


The purpose of the forum is to facilitate discussions on strategic approaches, challenges and opportunities in developing the sustainable EU’s economy, the business initiative for efficient use of resources by moving to a clean and circular economy, to ensure biodiversity and reduce pollution, effecting local and global decisions in order to achieve goals regarding well-being of society and business.

Tuesday, 21st September, 2021
Hall of Central Building, 2nd floor, Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, Studentų str. 11, Akademija, Kaunas distr., Lithuania

(Lobby of Central Building)
9.00–11.00Plenary session
9.30–11.00Green Deal: Best Business Practice Improving the Well-being of Society and Business
Sharing good practices and experience.

(Near the Hall of Central Building, 2nd floor)

Moderators: lect. dr. Erika Besusparienė and lect. dr. Aušra Nausėdienė, Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy

Companies offering natural products:

– The Cannabis Growers, Processors and Business Innovators Association (KAPVIA) will introduce a variety of cannabis products and provide a taste of both individual cannabis food ingredients (oils, hulled seeds, protein) and consumer products: chocolate protein bars, seed mixes and protein blends.

– “Dream Food”, business of self-employed Asta Teresevičienė. She is developer and producer of raw fruit and berry dried pulp (sheet) product technology. Nutritional-preserving technologies have allowed the creation of more than 20 products; they have a unique texture, without added sugar or colorants. Producer still improves production technologies, performs qualitative product research.

 Companies offering innovative solutions for business:

– UAB “Nando Labs” innovative solutions “Biospectrum” – it is an organic enriched microbiological product that enhances plant productivity and improves soil conditions. Billions of beneficial bacteria convert nutrients (N, P, K, Si) into plants available forms available to plants and promote their uptake, which in the long run can significantly reduce the need for synthetic mineral fertilizers. Presenter Jonas Ignatavičius.
Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory Service (LAAS) innovative solutions:
– The Applied Innovation Research and Results Information System (TITRIS) collects, publicizes, and compiles data on applied innovation research and results that can potentially contribute to more efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly farming. The object of TITRIS is non-commercial research and innovations created in practice that has and can have a lower or higher significance for sustainable agricultural production. Presenter Laura Girdžiūtė.
– Precision farming. Soil sampling, analyses, and preparation of a variable rate fertilization plan is a complex of services for soil improvement strategy that helps to balance the nutrient content required to achieve optimal and uniform yields on farmers’ fields. Variable rate fertilization plans according to drone data are an alternative to N-sensors in order to arrange early spring fertilization with nitrogen fertilizers. Presenter Lukas Šapranauskas.
– Electronic services of information, consultation and training in implementing integrated plant protection (the information system) (IKMIS) was created by the Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory Service in cooperation with researchers, taking into account the needs of farmers, current European agricultural issues, implementing the EU Strategy on Sustainable Use of Pesticides, the Law on Plant Protection of the Republic of Lithuania and other legal acts. Electronic services of information, consultation and training in implementing integrated plant protection (the information system) IKMIS implement the means to provide 4 electronic services, which are accessible openly for public and are free of charge: (1) Monitoring and recommendations for spread of plant diseases, pests and weeds; (2) Catalogs of plant protection products, diseases, pests and weeds; (3) Information on integrated pest control; (4) E-courses. Presenter Ilma Rimkevičienė.
11.00–11.30Coffee Break
11.30–15.301 SESSION
11.30–13.00Discussion with Producers of Bioproducts
Product Demonstration and Degustation

(Near the Hall of Central Building, 2nd floor)
14.00–15.30LIVE Business and Science Forum Online
1 panel discussion


Moderator: Mindaugas MaciulevičiusFounder and Director of Public Institution “Baltic Sustainable Bioeconomy development agency”.

Panel discussion speakers:

– Atkočiūnienė, Vilma. Professor at Faculty of Bioeconomy Development, Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy.

– Simonaitytė, Kristina. Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania.

– Macijauskas, Aušrys. Chairman of the Lithuanian Grain Growers Association.

– Meyer-AurichAndreas. Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Humboldt University of Berlin.

Key themes for open discussion:

-The importance of science in implementation farm to fork strategy.
– Instruments to encourage change in existing practices to ensure healthy and environmentally-friendly food.
– European Green Deal – New Investments Opportunities.
– Barriers to business to produce healthy and environmentally-friendly food.
– Food loss and waste are key to achieving sustainability.
15.30–15.45Coffee Break
15.45–17.302 SESSION
15.45–17.30Special session

Keynote speakers:

– Make Sustainability Stick for Society and Business: The role of societal culture. Case of Iceland.
Prof. Dr. Inga Minelgaite,
 University of Iceland

– The Role of Water in Agricultural Spray Solutions.
Presenter Jonas Ignatavičius
, UAB “Nando Labs”; co-authors Ernestas Zaleckas, Dainius Steponavičius, Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy

2 panel discussion regarding special session

Moderator: Rasa Tumaševičiūtė, Soil expert at Ministry of Agriculture and working group on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation leader at LSYR, Climate pact ambassador, Circular Economy Consultant, PhD student in ecology and environmental science.

Panel discussion speakers:

– Valeškaitė, Ieva. Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania.
– Čepulis, Marius. Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
– Ignatavičius, Jonas. UAB “Nando labs”
– Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, Kristina. VšĮ “AgriFood Lithuania DIH”, PhD student at Institute of Economics and Rural Development (Lithuania)

Key themes for open discussion:

– Challenges of green deal development.
– Investing in environmentally-friendly technologies: is it present or future?
– Business role introducing innovative food products.
– How the food sector is changing, where business needs to move?
– Healthy food at a low price: is it possible?
– Business solutions in reducing the use of chemicals for healthier food.
19.00Gala Dinner
(Raudondvaris Manor Arts Incubator, Pilies str. 1, Raudondvaris)



Mindaugas Maciulevičius is the Founder and Director of Public Institution “Baltic Sustainable Bioeconomy development agency”. 13 years Founding member and director of the AgriCoop developing short supply chains “Lietuviško ūkio kokybė” (Lithuanian Farm Quality).  2017-2020 Vice-President of European agri-cooperatives association COGECA. 2010-2020 Member of the European Economic and Social Committee, Vice-President of Group III, Rapporteur on Related EESC opinions: Sustainable inclusive Bioeconomy, revision of Bioeconomy strategy, Boosting climate actions by non-state actors, More sustainable food systems (exploratory), Implications of climate and energy policy/agriculture forestry. Observer in EU Bioeconomy panel. Since 2014 – Board member of Lithuanian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives “Kooperacijos Kelias” and Lithuanian association of land and forest owners.

Rasa Tumaševičiūtė is the Soil expert at Ministry of Agriculture and working group on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation leader at LSYR, Climate pact ambassador, Circular Economy Consultant, PhD student in ecology and environmental science.


Vilma Atkočiūnienė is the Professor, Doctor of social (economics) sciences, at Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, Faculty of Bioeconomy Development, Business and Rural Development Research Institute. Main activities and responsibilities:  pedagogical, scientific and consultancy work. Responsibilities for the study programme “Administration of Rural Development”, international study programme, participation in PhD study committee of Management. Scientific research in the field of rural development management, rural regional development, sustainable development of rural social infrastructure, local marketing and local food systems, social partnership. Researcher in the international scientific projects “Rethinking the links between farm modernization, rural development and resilience in a world of increasing demands and finite resources (RETHINK, 7th Framework Programme, 2013 – 2016), “Small farms, small food businesses and sustainable food security” (SALSA, Horizon 2020, 2017-2019). She is an expert in Rural Development management LEADER method, social business development. Her previous tasks was scientific projects. The most recent projects “The Development of Rural Social Infrastructure for Attainment of Territorial and Social Cohesion, 2013 – 2014”, “Sustainable and Balanced development of Workplaces in Rural Regions of Lithuania, 2010 – 2011”, international project „New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities“ (Rural Jobs) (7th Framework Programme, 2008-2010). Leader of European Innovation Partnership (EIP) project “Management of short supply chains for bio-valuable products and development of local markets”, Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture, 2019-2022.

Kristina Simonaitytė is an Advisor to the Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture and is responsible for climate, biodiversity and other agri-environment topics, as well as the questions related to the European Green Deal. Before her current position, she worked at the Ministry of Environment on the topic of ecosystem services and biodiversity mainstreaming. Kristina Simonaitytė also has a broad international experience in environmental policy and communications, having studied ecology and nature conservation in the UK, the USA and the Netherlands, as well as worked at the European Commission and an environmental NGO European Environment Bureau in Brussels, Belgium.

Dr. Andreas Meyer-Aurich is researcher at the Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Potsdam and lecturer at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. His research focuses on the economic and environmental impacts of innovations in agriculture with respect to cost efficiency.

Inga Minelgaitė is the Professor at School of Business, University of Iceland and guest professor in other universities in Europe. Inga has more than ten years middle-top management experience, she is active in research focused on cross-cultural leadership, and initiating social projects concerning the topics she finds important for contemporary society.

Jonas Ignatavičius is the head of Nando Labs and the project manager of the Nando group. Nando – it’s functional agricultural additives, surface active agents and microbiological soil improvers development company. Jonas has more than 10 years of experience in business development, product development and commercialization, and projects management.

Ieva Valeškaitė is the Vice Minister of Economics and Innovation Ieva Valeškaitė, who previously held the position of an advisor to the Minister, supervises better regulatory and business supervision, the business tax environment, and creates an economic analysis unit, which did not exist in the institution until now. Before joining the Ministry, I. Valeškaitė worked for five years as a senior policy expert of the Free Market Institute – fuel projects related to the improvement of the business environment, the quality of legislation and transparency of tax systems, and the administration of simple taxes. In 2012-2015, she worked in the Foreign and European Union Affairs Division of the Government Office. Valeškaitė has completed two bachelor’s studies – international economics and political science, as well as master’s studies in applied macroeconomics at Vilnius University.

Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė is the AgriFood Lithuania DIH Managing Director. The organization is a digital innovation hub, which was built on custer foundation. In 2020, the European Commission highlighted the AgriFood Lithuania DIH as one of two good practice examples of European sectorial DIHs in the JRC science policy report. Also, from March 2021, AgriFood Lithuania has achieved the status of EIT FOOD Hub in Lithuania. Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė has vast experience in product development and innovation managing, working with research and development and implementation, information technologies and services, and ICT products on a cross-sectoral basis. She is studying Ph.D. in economics at The Institute of Economics and Rural Development of the Lithuanian Center for Social Sciences. Her scientific area of interest evaluates the effectiveness of the industries’ twin transition digitalization and the Green Deal in the EU Member States. She has more than 12 years of experience as an international digitalization expert in national and international working groups. She is a speaker during many national and international events on the twin transition in the EU. K.Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė is an active promoter of the clusters and DIH’s close collaboration in the creation of the ecosystems which transform the sectors.