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Ontario, Canada Attracts Cutting-Edge IBM Research & Development Centre

Ontario and IBM Canada are partnering with several leading Ontario universities to create a new $210 million world-class virtual Research and Development Centre in Ontario.

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 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, Ontario based IBM data centre, which will be fully operational in the fall of 2012. Other Canadian researchers and small to medium-sized enterprises will also be invited to join the consortium.

The new IBM Canada Research and Development Centre will use state-of-the-art computer infrastructure to drive innovative discoveries in key areas and bring them to market. The Centre’s research will focus on:

  • Data management for health care, such as technology that can help doctors detect life threatening conditions in premature babies 24 hours earlier
  • Water conservation and management, such as reducing pollution in water systems by monitoring sewer systems and spotting problems in a pipeline before a leak
  • Energy management, such as finding better ways to track how hydro flows, reducing waste and saving customers money, and
  • Rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure in our cities, such as managing traffic lights to improve traffic flow.

The research projects will be supported by an expansion of IBM’s software development labs in Markham and Ottawa, and the new high performance data centre in Barrie.

QUOTES

“This is a very exciting initiative that demonstrates Ontario is a leader in cutting-edge research. Thanks to Ontario’s commitment to building an innovation-driven economy ― with leading research institutions, a highly educated workforce and a favourable corporate tax environment ― we are attracting world-leading initiatives, like IBM Canada’s Research and Development Centre.”

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation

“As we begin a new century of innovation for IBM, we’re investing in this industry-building initiative to further advance Canada’s competitiveness in the global digital economy, both now and in the future. Together with our government, academic and industry partners, we will apply new, collaborative approaches to Canada’s productivity and competitiveness challenges by more fully leveraging IBM’s 100-year legacy of research and development leadership here in Ontario.”

— John Lutz, President, IBM Canada

QUICK FACTS

  • In 2010, the information and communications technology sector employed about 276,000 people in Ontario, almost half of the Canadian total.
  • The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the third-largest ICT cluster in North America.
  • The project adds to IBM’s more than $6-billion global R&D investment last year that helped generate over $1.7 billion in exports for Canada.
  • IBM opened its first Canadian office in Ontario in 1917. Today its software development lab in Markham is home to the largest team of IBM software professionals outside the United States.

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