VU major achievements during the year 2014

VU major achievements during the year 2014There is a tradition at the end of the year to take a short pause in order to review and summarize the achievements of the leaving year. VU is no exception and therefore we would like to share our achievements of the year with our visitors

1. VU satellite "LituanicaSAT-1" was released into the open space on 28 February. On 21 May the first Lithuanian photo of the Earth from space was broadcasted by the National TV directly to the public from the Vilnius University Library. President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė participated at this significant event.


2. Presidential collection stored in the VU Library was expanded on 24 January by a unique historical album „Terra Mariana", telling about the Baltic States. The facsimile has been handed over by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite.

3. The Lithuanian Science Prize winners of 2013 were announced on 4 February in the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Five of the seven scientific awards were presented to VU scientists. The award in Humanities and social sciences was delivered to prof. habil. dr. Viktorija Daujotytė-Pakerienė and prof. dr. Arūnas Sverdiolas. The award for achievements in Physical sciences went to habil. dr. Pavelas Bogdonavičius, habil. dr. Gediminas Gaigalas, dr. Alicija Kupliauskienė prof. habil. dr. Eugenijus Butkus and prof. habil. dr. Sigitas Tumkevičius. The award in Biomedical and agricultural sciences was presented to dr. Aurelija Žvirblienė.

4. Young scientists were invited to the Lithuanian Presidential Palace on 23April to collect the awards for the best dissertations of the year. Three winners were announced as the best authors of their dissertations, two of which were the young scientists of our Alma Mater - Vilnius University: Deimantas Valančiūnas in the category of humanities and social sciences categories and Patrikas Ščajevas in the category of physics, technology, biomedical and agricultural sciences.

5. The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania approved a new version of the Statute of the Vilnius University on 6 May. The Law on the amended Statute enabled the University to form it's new governing bodies following the requirements of the Statute as well as the Law on Science and Studies of the Republic of Lithuania. The newly elected Senate headed by the Chairwoman dr. Dainora Pociūtė-Abukevičienė convened for the first meeting on 1 July, while the newly elected Board with the Chairwoman of the Board Ms. Ingrida Šimonytė elected on 16 December.

6. On 17 June a golden (commemorative) 10-litas coin was introduced into circulation by the Bank of Lithuania from the series of "Lithuanian science" at the VU. The above coin was dedicated to the Baltic linguistics. VU has become famous worldwide as the centre for the Baltic linguistics starting from the 60's.

7. In June United Nations Human Rights Council elected Dainius Pūras, the Lithuanian psychiatrist as the new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The Human Rights Monitoring Institute informed that a Lithuanian representative takes so high position in the United Nations for the first time in history.

8. On 1 September VU re-opened the monument of Kristijonas Donelaitis, the Lithuanian fiction pioneer, in the Library courtyard of the University. The present bronze sculpture changed the previous monument which was made of fiberglass and installed at the University in 1964.

9. The delegation of CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) led by professor Rolf Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN, visited Lithuania and Vilnius University on 26 September. Initially the delegation met the research team of the VU Laser Research Centre, thereafter professor R. D. Heuer and Lithuanian officials signed the Protocol on the Renewed Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and CERN concerning participation of Lithuanian institutions in the CERN research programmes. Professor R. D. Heuer also delivered a public lecture to the academic community on different issues of cooperation with CERN.

10. In early November, the 28th General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics - IUPAP was held in Singapore. Dr. Gražina Tautvaišienė, the Deputy Director of the Vilnius University Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy was elected as a Vice-president of the IUPAP and the President of the Astrophysics Commission.

11. VU scientists dr. Gintautas Tamulaitis, Miglė Kazlauskienė, dr. Elena Manakova, dr. Česlovas Venclovas and prof. dr. Virginijus Šikšnys together with the colleagues from France and Great Britain found molecular scissors which will enable editing our DNA - cut and fix a broken gene in a cell. The results announced in a prestigious journal "Molecular Cell" (citation index ~14).

12. On 19 December Vilnius University opened a new laser complex "Naglis" at the Laser Research Centre. The laser multifunctional complex "Naglis" makes an integral part of the Sunrise Valley infrastructure and will provide access for national and international researchers.

13. Four publications of the VU scientists were published in the journal "Nature" during the year 2014.

14. VU scientists and researchers established six new companies during the year 2014: UAB „Bioanalizės sistemos", UAB „Eteronas", UAB „NanoAvionika", UAB „Ubique calculus", UAB „Lokacijos sistemos" and Platelet BioGenesis Inc. (with the partners from US institutions).

In anticipation of the future the major perspective goals of the VU for the year 2015:

The new Rector of the University – the 85th Rector in a row, to be elected by the Board of the University in February.

The construction of the new premises for Life Sciences Centre and National Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences will be finalized.

The world university ranking published by QS World University Rankings in September announced that Vilnius University rose to the position 551-600. VU jumped by 50 ranking positions. It is expected that VU will move its ranking position further up and will join the group of 500 best universities in 2015.

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