VILNIUS - The government of Lithuania and IBM on Sept. 16 announced a joint research partnership in Lithuania that will facilitate research and development in nanotechnology, healthcare and intellectual property (IP) management innovations, reports news agency ELTA. Under the five-year agreement, the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Education and Science has decided to launch a new research center, and IBM will contribute existing assets and research expertise from IBM Research laboratories in Zurich, Almaden, New York and Haifa.
Lithuania and IBM will share equal rights to the intellectual property, along with R&D commercialization, such as patents, IP licenses, products and prototypes that result from the research center’s activities. The Lithuanian research center will also involve scientists from Lithuanian universities (Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas University of Medicine) and institutions (Santariskes Hospital) who are focused on developing innovations that will contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society in Lithuania, and will enable the Lithuanian research center to become a focal point for healthcare, life sciences, and nanotechnology in the Baltic region.
In the area of nanotechnology, IBM and Lithuanian scientists will focus on integrated photonics and novel photonic materials for faster computers of the future, and nano-patterning security tags for advanced anti-forgery technology at IBM’s new, state-of-the-art nanotechnology center in Switzerland that opens next year.
Researchers from IBM’s lab in Haifa, Israel will partner with Lithuanian scientists on a variety of healthcare projects that will aim to provide a better understanding of how to diagnose, and treat, life-threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.
“The Joint Research and Development Agreement with IBM is a great achievement for Lithuania; it will give strong impetus for the strategic direction of economic breakthrough - advanced technology development,” said Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. According to him, the agreement will help Lithuania tackle yet another issue - that of research commercialization. “Cooperation with IBM will give the Lithuanian scientists knowledge about commercialization of research results, thereby directly stimulating economic growth,” said the prime minister.
“IBM is committed to working with governments, academic institutions and businesses across the world to address some of the most complex problems and emerging research challenges,” said Tom Reeves, vice president, IBM Research Partnerships. “Our research partnership with Lithuania presents an opportunity to share skills, assets and resources to achieve common research goals in nanotechnology, healthcare and intellectual property.”
Patents are an important component of IBM’s high-value business strategy and, as the leading recipient of patents for 17 consecutive years, IBM’s record for technology invention and innovation is unmatched. IBM researchers contributed significantly to the overall total of 4,914 U.S. patents the company’s inventors received in 2009.