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Published: 3 july 2013 18:06

Lithuanian government decides to end cooperation with IBM

AFP/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / IBM

Lithuania’s government has decided to end cooperation with American IT giant IBM.

The government had approved the proposal to terminate the agreement, Economy Minister Evaldas Gustas told reporters after the government’s closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

“The prosecutor’s office has been asked to assess whether any damages have been incurred or not. The insolvency and the debt of Lietuvos Tyrimų Centras (Lithuanian Research Center, or LTC) currently reach 18 million litas (EUR 5.2m),” he said.

Early this year, the Economy Ministry said that the authorities were considering two options – the liquidation of LTC or its bankruptcy.

Following the signing of the agreement for the establishment of LTC between the Lithuanian government and IBM in the fall of 2010, it was planned that the research center would be allocated around 40 million litas (EUR 11.6m) annually, or 200 million litas over a period of five years, of which around 130 million litas was to be paid to IBM for patenting and advice.

The Economy Ministry in June 2011 earmarked 39 million litas in EU aid for LTC, but the money was not paid and the company did not carry out any operations. The Lithuanian Business Support Agency in 2011 refused to give the go-ahead for millions of litas worth of payments to the company, which is owned by the two ministries.

It was planned that the center and IBM would have equal rights to use scientific research results and that Lithuanian scientists would be able to work at IBM laboratories in Zurich and Haifa.

The LTC was established pursuant to the agreement signed by the government and IBM on September 16, 2010.

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