In 2021 Visionary Analytics adapted to new challenges and continued working on a wide range of research areas. Take a look at the overview of our 2021 achievements, highlights, and contributions to the wider societal impact.
Company growth - extending our expertise beyond education and innovation
Originally established as an institute specialising in innovation and education policy areas, over the years Visionary Analytics has expanded its areas of expertise to other critical policy domains such as digitalisation, labour market and social policies, green transition, and future-fit policies. We are driven by the ambition to make a profound and lasting impact on public policy (producing knowledge for impact).
In 2021 our stream of work in the areas of digital transition and its social impact especially intensified. The last decade saw an exponential spread of digital technologies and their applications across multiple domains, facilitated also by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, digitalisation comes with increasingly novel, complex, and profound issues that extend from employee well-being to the digital divides, which may negatively impact societies across the EU. We were happy to contribute to relevant policy debate on evidence-based models for the digital transformation of educational system and teachers’ professional development (Transform_ED project), the European research (open) data landscape (project for DG Research and Innovation), the open platform economy (project supporting the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy for DG CNCT), and many other significant topics. You may see a list of our most recent projects below.
This intense and interesting year contributed to company growth – the turnover of Visionary Analytics doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.
Sharing our knowledge and giving back to the society
We have a responsibility to use our knowledge and capabilities to help build a better and more sustainable World as well as address the most pressing challenges within our specialisation areas. As a private research institute, we allocate internal resources to pursuing our R&D activities. We seek to share our results with the society, therefore contributing to the global knowledge base, bridging science and society, and last but not least – helping build a successful image of Lithuania as a science and innovation country.
Last year our articles were published by Work, Employment and Society and Triple Helix, among others. We initiated and contributed to some new internal research projects, including open participatory governance and gender equality in academia (the latter one has been implemented together with Association „Lyderė“).
Giving back to the society is a fundamental part of who we are. We have different ways to contribute to the society directly through our work, our scholarships, awards, and other support for communities. In 2021 we contributed to numerous discussions concerning such topics as social impact investments at the EU and national level, national strategy „Lithuania 2050“, national skills strategy, launch of Horizon Europe, and others. We are proud of our annual Visionary Teacher Award. Every year around Christmas it is given to a Lithuanian teacher from the periphery who has shown an original, visionary and exceptional approach of teaching. This year the Award went to Dalius Barkauskas from Biržai district who impressed us with his creativity!
Strengthening our team and improving the way we work
Along with the company growth, our Visionary Team has also grown in many different aspects. In 2021 we have successfully transitioned to flexi-work by providing our staff with hybrid workplaces (including the investment in comfortable home offices for our employees). This has contributed to talents from various countries joining our ranks in a bigger scale than before. We are especially delighted to be welcoming four new Research Managers in 2022!
As the company expanded, there was a need to update various processes for us to become more agile and create better value for the clients and our people. Through 2021 we implemented a number of internal company projects besides hybrid work infrastructure such as updated our “value for employee” package, introduced digital VA Academy, implemented the “GameOn!” project funded by Horizon Europe, and renewed our corporate identity. We are very excited about our new website and company style!
How did we make an impact in our areas of expertise last year? Check out our projects below!
Innovation, Research and Development
- Led the study on the European Research Data Landscape, aiming to obtain a full characterisation of the research data market in Europe, and to provide valuable input for shaping the European Open Science Cloud for DG RTD.
- Evaluated the external coherence and synergies of Horizon 2020 within the European R&I support system, in partnership with Ecorys, EFIS, and CARSA for DG RTD.
- Contributed to a foresight-on-demand study “Science, Technology and Innovation for Ecosystem Performance – Accelerating Sustainability Transitions”, implemented together with the Austrian Institute of Technology for DG RTD.
Education and Human Capital
- Supported wide-scale consultations on two higher education initiatives in the context of the European Education Area: a higher education transformation agenda and a European approach to micro credentials, for DG EAC.
- Proposed evidence-based models for the digital transformation of educational system and teachers’ professional development by implementing a research grant “Solutions for the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies to Improve the Quality of Education in Response to COVID-19”, in partnership with Kaunas University of Technology and BitDegree.
- Researched support and incentives for learning and careers (Lot 1 – Individual support to careers and learning, and Lot 2 – Financial and non-financial incentives to encourage provision of and participation in education and training) for CEDEFOP.
- Started a two-year support project for the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy, that will enable the European Commission to better steer their work at the EU and national levels as well as obtain holistic and multi-disciplinary analyses of the platform economy for DG CNCT.
- Launched the Study on eXtended Reality – opportunities, success stories and challenges in health and education for DG CNCT.
- Completed a Study on the evaluation of the Portability regulation for DG CNCT.
- Completed a highly relevant Study on regulatory incentives for the deployment of Very High-Capacity Networks in the context of the revision of the Commission’s Access recommendations for DG CNCT.
Labour Market and Social Affairs
- DiWork – Digitalising public services. We supported CESI and its members in strengthening digital skills of the employees in public sector by carrying out a study on the impact of digital transformation on the public sector workforce.
- Assessing and Disseminating the Results of the Social Innovation Calls Financed by the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) 2014-2020 for DG EMPL.
- INTERCEPT – motivating mobilizing supporting NEETs green career pathway. VA collaborates with other partners to come up with solutions for youth involvement in green economy.
- Overview of research and practices in relation to new forms of worker management through AI-based systems and occupational safety and health for EU-OSHA.
Green Economy & Sustainability
- Completed a study on the Uptake of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by SMEs and Start-ups for EISMEA, produced a Good Practice Document and Guide for SMEs, and contributed to an important debate at the EU level.
- Completed a Study on greening cloud computing and electronic communications services and networks: towards climate neutrality by 2050 for DG CONNECT.
- Provided consultations to the Managing Authority on the implementation of EU Cohesion Policy for 2021-2027 (incl. preparation of the Operational programme, consulting the society, and programming of the RRF funds).
- Contributed to foresight-on-demand study “The EU retail ecosystem in the future – a vision for 2040”, which was implemented together with Austrian Institute of Technology, Technopolis Group and IFI for DG RTD.
Social Sciences Research and Methodology
- Provided methodological insights, training for Lithuanian public officials, and technical assistance in ex post impact evaluation of competitive research funding (inc. counterfactual impact assessment).
Take a look at some of our reports and academic papers published in 2021!
Adaptation Trajectories of Dismissed Workers: A Critical Case Study of the Lithuanian Radio-Electronics Sector
The article by Žilvinas Martinaitis, Audronė Sadauskaitė, and Mariachiara Barzotto published by “Work, Employment and Society” explores why some dismissed workers adapt successfully to the changing structure of an economy, while others remain trapped in low-quality jobs and experience deskilling. The critical case study focuses on adaptation trajectories of workers dismissed from four bankrupt radio-electronics factories in Lithuania. The transition from planned into market economy gives important insight into how the digital transformation should be managed.
You can access the article here.
GVC Upgrading and Business-University Collaborations: case studies of successful innovators
The article by Agnė Paliokaitė, Elžbieta Jašinskaitė, and Marek Tiits published by “Triple Helix” links upgrading in the global value chains with the triple helix concept by focusing on business-academia collaborations that played a part in firms’ capacity to upgrade. Both are crucial for Central Eastern European countries, which face the need to restructure their economies and escape the “middle income trap”. The article asks the following research question: how can public policy encourage business-academia collaboration or other types of activities that contribute to firm upgrading? Data on four different case studies in Lithuania is analysed to answer this question.
Uptake of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by European SMEs and start-ups
This study examines the level of CSR amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across selected EU Member States, (potential) candidate countries participating in COSME programme and eight economic sectors. It also provides a CSR policy support typology, an overview of EU and national-level support relevant to SMEs and policy recommendations targeted at EU-level policy makers, national authorities, and business support organisations as well as independent business associations/organisations. Study findings conclude that while most SMEs (97%) perform some kind of activities that can be labelled as CSR, the extent of their actions are very diverse. As a result, multiple pathways to encourage CSR uptake are required. However, most importantly SMEs need support when it comes to integrating CSR into their daily business operations without incurring trade-offs, as finding the business case for CSR remains the most relevant challenge.
Enhancing the efficiency of the cooperation between business and science
Recent report produced by Visionary Analytics together with EFIS and 4Front provides suggestions for Lithuania to strengthen business-science cooperation through mission-based STI policy.
Despite the variety of traditional instruments to encourage business and science cooperation over the last decade, the results are not impressive. In response, recently there has been a general shift in the international innovation policies towards mission driven approach. Countries like Lithuania need to incorporate these developments nationally if they wish to design modern and effective STI policies. We are glad to hear that the Lithuanian Government as well as the Ministry of Economy and Innovation has taken our suggestions on board!
The report was commissioned by DG REFORM. You can find it here.
Social Impact Investment – Best practices and recommendations for the next generation
Social Impact Investment (SII) is emerging as a potential strategy for solving key societal challenges. This study sets out the rationale behind and the definition of SII and analyses the different components of the SII ecosystem. The paper looks at trends and challenges related to the SII market across the EU, highlighting a number of successful SII market initiatives, and finally reviews and makes recommendations on EU-level measures to facilitate SII market development. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL).
You can access the aforementioned study here.
Study on selected issues relating to the application of the CRM Directive
Adopted in 2014, the directive on collective management of copyright and related rights (Directive 2014/26/EU) among other things aimed to improve transparency and governance of the CMOs in the EU. A recently published study by Visionary Analytics aimed to map key players in the collective management field and to assess the effects of the Directive on their transparency, management, and governance.
You can access the aforementioned study here.
Contribution to public discussion
COVID-19 has shaken everyone’s routine to the core, and ours was no exception. We were quick to adapt from in-person meetings and events to the online realm. Take a look at some of our 2021 activities!
The world has changed dramatically since June 2018 when the European Commission has launched its proposal for Horizon Europe (HEU). In March 2021, the online conference “Horizon Europe: opportunities for Lithuania” marked the launch of HEU in Lithuania. As a moderator of the conference Dr. Agnė Paliokaitė discussed opportunities brought by HEU with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General at DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, politicians, and policy makers from the European Commission, Lithuania, and other Members States. The conference was organised by the Lithuanian Research Council‘s LINO Office.
In May our Researcher Raimonda Mackevičiūtė participated in several national and EU-level discussions (one of them – at the European Parliament) on social finance and social impact investments (SII). During the discussions Raimonda introduced the concept of social impact investment, and presented the results of the Study completed by VA for the European Parliament, including the case examples of measures implemented across the EU addressing various SII market related challenges. This was a great opportunity to hear about the experience from “practitioners“ creating social impact, and disseminate insights of our research on this topic!
In June OECD – OCDE presented Skills Strategy for Lithuania. In the discussion that followed, Dr. Žilvinas Martinaitis, Research Manager at Visionary Analytics, welcomed rich and detailed analysis as well as practical recommendations provided in the report. He argued that now Lithuania needs to close the implementation gap. You can watch the full e-presentation through the YouTube channel of the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania via https://lnkd.in/eY3yaQz.
Dr. Martinaitis’ commentary can be accessed via https://lnkd.in/eAzTNYZ (1:19:11).
In September, our Researcher Audronė Sadauskaitė was a speaker at the 9th Conference on the Evaluation of EU Cohesion Policy. The theme of the event was “Shaping Transitions with Evidence” through the goal of stressing the importance of evidence-based policy in a fast-changing world, in view of the EU cohesion policy 2014-2020 investments.
What are the skills needed for the greener future? How can we enhance youth motivation? How can the EU VET policies support the green transition? “INTERCEPT – motivating mobilizing supporting NEETs green career pathway” aims to answer these questions. In October Dr. Žilvinas Martinaitis and Aurinta Garbašauskaitė took part in the kick-off meeting of the project in Valetta, Malta. The event has gathered all the international partners and experts who are tackling the aforementioned.
In November Visionary Analytics completed the study on the Uptake of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by SMEs and Start-ups for EISMEA, produced a Good Practice Document, and a Guide for SMEs. Our Researcher Elžbieta Jašinskaitė, together with a team of international experts presented the policy recommendations targeted at EU-level policy makers, national authorities and business support organisations as well as independent business associations/organisations.
In November, by the invitation of the Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, Director of Visionary Analytics Dr. Agnė Paliokaitė joined the State Progress Council and the National Progress Strategy Lithuania 2050. At the launch event of the strategy, she discussed – what should be the vision of Lithuania’s future?
By end of 2021 Visionary Analytics, together with our partners Kaunas University of Technology, BitDegree and others, completed the Transform-ED projects, and contributed to relevant policy debate on digitalisation of education (EdTech). Project results were discussed with national stakeholders in November, and presented at the Parliament of Lithuania (Committee of the Future) in December.
In December our Office and HR Manager Marta Subataitė participated in the final event of Start at Best Workplace Innovation for Business Competitiveness project. The theme of the event was “Navigating post-COVID workplace innovation evolution: Exploring flexible working models, investing in reskilling and wellbeing and evaluating new policy trends”. She presented GameOn! project for performance management, feedback system, and other business processes through our gamification tool.
At Visionary Analytics we believe that people and culture are our greatest assets. We also believe that a company of the future is equally profit- and values- driven. Thus, we give our 100 percent to: our clients and employees, business and personal development, autonomy and teamwork, high standards and strong support, upholding strong values and practicing what we preach.
We pursue to advance and promote diversity in our own firm, our clients, and in society more broadly as well as to foster an inclusive culture, where every colleague - regardless of background - feels a deep sense of respect and belonging.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on mental health for a great deal of individuals. Once again, we have seen the tremendous impact of our culture that has played a significant role for us to emerge stronger than ever.
We have dedicated a lot of attention to mitigate these effects of the pandemic on our people through organising training sessions, team buildings, birthday parties, and otherwise celebrating our team.
In 2021, we:
- Organised two live VA Academies, that included five trainings on intervention logic, situational management styles, tender processes, and more.
- Organised on-boarding trainings for our newbies.
- Recorded multiple e-trainings for our digital Academy, including survey methodologies, research design, project implementation and others.
- Dedicated personal attention to everyone’s professional growth and personal development through mentorship meetings and HR talks with 60+ hours.
- Introduced flexi-work through investing in home offices and hybrid workplaces as well as fully remote work and workation options. Our team worked from Austria, Nepal, Germany, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Estonia, Spain, the Netherlands, Spain, Georgia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Malta, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the United Kingdom.
- Organised nine events, including different strategic sessions, team buildings, and Christmas celebrations. A few moments from our “company days” below: