Today, during a solemn afternoon, one of the biggest private investors of Lithuania Marius Jakulis Jason Foundation (MJJ Foundation) was officially presented.
The 3.5-million-euro foundation will provide financial support to scientists from different fields coming to Lithuania to continue their research and share their knowledge with Lithuanian students. It will also invest in new businesses of entrepreneurs returning to or arriving in Lithuania and will provide scholarships to the talented Lithuanian students’ Master’s studies in the best universities worldwide.
Yellow vest as a symbol of building and creating
In the celebratory afternoon, the business and academic community gathered at Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square. The guests wished the best of luck to the team behind the newly established foundation and congratulated the founder Marius Jakulis Jason on his birthday.
“This is how my work uniform looks like,” Marius, the founder of the foundation, who addressed the guests in a safety vest and a builder’s helmet said. “I would like the yellow vest in Lithuania to symbolize the development of the country rather than distrust in the government. That is what I was doing all my life and what I am encouraging others to do today with the help of their abilities, talent, and entrepreneurship.”
Just yesterday, wearing the same vest and helmet, Marius Jakulis Jason started the construction of Park Inn by Radisson Vilnius Airport Hotel & Business Centre. According to the businessman, the hotel that is being built near Vilnius airport will open its doors in April 2020.
The inspiration behind the foundation and its co-founder, Marius’ wife Liisa Leitzinger noticed that there are many people who do good deeds in Lithuania, unfortunately, they work on their own. “We can do so much more by uniting our forces and working together. That is why, we are an open foundation that can be joined by anyone who wants to invest in changes in Lithuania.”
The foundation is a living organism
When welcoming the guests, the director of MJJ Foundation Kotryna Stankutė-Jaščemskienė expressed her delight in having the opportunity to contribute to attracting talents important to Lithuania.
“I believe that we can move forward only by maintaining diversity and attracting international experience,” Kotryna said. The director has been serving as a head of Lithuanian network of professionals Global Lithuanian Leaders (GLL) for many years and has extensive experience in mobilizing global Lithuanians.
After presenting the planned activities, she emphasized that the foundation is very much like a living organism, and the first year of work will show which directions are more relevant to the public, and what can be improved and changed.
According to the director, private foundations, in cooperation with universities, can move forward faster and create a change: MJJ is already in collaboration with three major Lithuanian universities (Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University).
The most important thing is to feel valued and necessary
Eglė Daugėlaitė, the host of the afternoon, moderated a discussion about the investment in the country’s intellectual capital. The talk featured three ambassadors of the MJJ Foundation – people who returned to work and carry out scientific research in Lithuania.
After returning from Scandinavia to Šilutė and establishing a robotics school in the town, Evanas Maksvytis intends to expand the network of such schools in Lithuania and says that he can see the point in contributing to the foundation’s work and helping young gifted people realize their unique ideas.
Harvard student and lawyer Justinas Jaruševičius noted that the foundation will not only provide a young gifted person with the opportunity to become a member of a strong, educated community but will encourage and urge to act.
Meanwhile, scientist Linas Mažutis, founder of Droplet Genomics – a microfluid technology lab – drew everyone’s attention to what helps bring the brightest minds back to Lithuania, “When do you want to return? When you feel needed and your work is appreciated. Let’s provide the scientists with that desire and motivation.”
About the foundation
The 3.5-million-euro MJJ Foundation operates in three directions – science, business, and knowledge.
Business direction: financial support for gifted entrepreneurs and specialists who intend to return or come build a business in Lithuania.
Science direction: will provide financial support for scientists who completed their doctoral studies abroad and wish to continue their research in Lithuania.
Knowledge direction: will provide scholarships for the Master’s studies of active, talented and public-spirited Lithuanians in the best universities worldwide.
The currently created mentor network will take care of the participants of all three directions and will help them establish themselves and carry their work successfully in Lithuania.