The Governments of Canada and Ontario, with IBM and a consortium of seven universities led by the University of Toronto and Western University announced they are collaborating to establish a new Ontario-based $210 million dollar research and development initiative that will create 145 new highly skilled jobs in Ontario and a new economic cornerstone for the country.
IBM will invest up to $175 million through December 2014 in the project, forming the "IBM Canada Research and Development Centre" to serve as a foundation for the research initiative. The Government of Ontario is investing $15 million towards the creation of this Centre; ensuring that the skills needed for developing future information and communications technology products and services are fostered in Ontario, new and existing Ontario companies are leaders in their fields, and innovation efficiencies and cost-savings are created across multiple sectors.
The Government of Canada will contribute $20 million to allow a consortium of seven southern Ontario post-secondary institutions and its lead industry partner, IBM, to install two high-performance IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers and develop a cloud computing and agile computing platform to underpin the initiative's research collaboration. The university consortium will have access to a new Barrie-based IBM data centre once it is fully operational in the fall of 2012. Other Canadian researchers and small to medium-sized enterprises will also be invited to join the consortium.
This collaborative model will help university and industry researchers use high performance and cloud computing infrastructure to better manage and analyze massive data sets to solve critical world challenges. Areas of focus for the research collaboration will include:
- Problems facing cities, including rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure.
- Healthcare challenges associated with rising healthcare costs due to chronic diseases, including afflictions of the brain, and the lengthy development cycle for new medicines.
- Water conservation and management within cities and across watersheds including wild areas, industrial and agricultural use.
- Efficient energy conservation and management through the application of advanced weather modeling and smart grid technologies.
- Software innovation in high performance computing platforms.
The unique virtual structure of the network will allow IBM research staff to work side-by-side with many of Canada's world-renowned, top scientists. This collaborative model and close day-to-day interaction is expected to accelerate commercialization opportunities and strengthen Canada's digital infrastructure. We expect to add additional partners to this world-class collaboration as the project becomes fully operational.
IBM had the third largest corporate R&D investment in Canada last year*. For IBM, the Centre represents its first formal research and development lab in Canada. It will serve as a robust extension to IBM's more than $6 billion investment in worldwide research and development, which helped generate over $1.7 billion in exports for Canada.
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