Cooperation between IBM and LTC got stalled since Lithuania could not finance joint research projects from the European Union (EU) funds.
According to Audickas, Lithuania has proposed to IBM to modify the model of financing so as to be able to use the EU support. IBM was inclined to approve the amendments to the cooperation agreement but it put forward additional terms, which had to be discussed, he told BNS.
“The funding scheme will change – now we will apply the cost reimbursement principle. Both parties, including Lithuania’s research organizations and IBM, will sustain costs. These will be notified to the Lithuanian business support agency and thus the costs of both Lithuania’s research organizations and IBM will be reimbursed. Earlier we had a different model, which held us back from moving forward,” the official said.
An agreement with IBM had to be rewritten so as to start applying the changes that were of quite a technical nature, he said: “Certain data reporting requirements shall be set forth therein. This is what we are negotiating with IBM now. We intend to close the talks within a month.”
The agreement signed between the government and IBM on 16 September 2010 stipulated that IBM would contribute to the projects with technologies and Lithuania would provide a financial contribution, the deputy economy minister said adding that the new funding scheme had already been agreed with the European Commission (EC).
As reported earlier, the Lithuanian government planned to allocate around 215 million litas (EUR 62,32m) to the center‘s operations and research in five years, using EU support funds, state budget funds and bank loans. The LTC was to buy services worth 27 million litas from IBM each year.
The LTC was established by the ministries of economy and education and science in December 2010. As reported, the center and IBM have equal rights to use scientific research results, and Lithuanian scientists are able to work at IBM laboratories in Zurich and Haifa.