IBM, feds and Ontario pump $210 million into new R&D centre

The Canadian and Ontario governments, IBM and a consortium of seven universities are banding together to establish an Ontario-based $210-million research and development program.

The initiative is expected to create 145 new high-skills jobs in theprovince.

IBM’s Blue Gene/Q supercomputerswill be part of the new R&D centre.

IBM will invest up to $175 millionthrough December 2014 in theproject, forming the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre. TheOntario government is investing $15 million towards the creation of thecentre.

The federal government will contribute $20 million to allow theconsortium of seven southern Ontario post-secondary schools and IBM toinstall high performance IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers anddevelopcloud computing and agilecomputing platforms.

“Our government has been building on the strengths found in the regionto support the advancement of science and technology and help createvalue-added jobs,” said Gary Goodyear, minister of state for theFederal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev).

“We are proud to invest in supercomputing infrastructure that willposition southern Ontario at the forefront of research and developmentin areas that are not only critically important to our community, butalso show great commercial promise,” Goodyear said at a Torontoceremony announcing the initiatives.

The consortium of universities is led by the University of Toronto andthe University of Western Ontario.

The focus areas of the research collaboration include: problems facingcities such as rapid urbanization, healthcare challenges associatedwith rising healthcare costs, water and efficient energy conservation,software innovation, and high performance computing.

“Together with our government, academic and industry partners, we will apply new, collaborative approaches to Canada’s productivity and competetiveness challenges,” said John Lutz, president of IBM.

The new R&D initiative will employ cloud computing and agile computing to boost collaboration among various stakeholders in the program who will undertake different research projects,” said Prof. david Naylor, president of U of T.

“Canada needs more knowledge-based industries to diversify our national economic portfolio beyond the curren tover-weighing commodities and natural resources and help eliminate our innovation gap,” he said.

Nestor ArellanoNestorArellano is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter,read his blog,and join the ITBusiness Facebook Page.

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