TORONTO—IBM Canada is partnering with several leading Ontario universities to build a $210-million virtual research and development centre in Barrie, Ont.
IBM will invest up to $175 million by December 2014 to form the “IBM Canada Research and Development Centre” to serve as a foundation for the research initiative, which the tech services company says will create 145 new highly-skilled jobs.
The Ontario provincial government is investing $15 million towards the project, expecting it will foster innovation efficiencies and cost-savings across multiple sectors.
The Government of Canada will contribute $20 million to ensure a consortium of seven southern Ontario post-secondary institutions led by University of Toronto and Western University have access to two IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers.
The research will be supported by an expansion of IBM’s software development labs in Markham and Ottawa, and the new data centre in Barrie.
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 project adds to IBM’s $6-billion 2011 global R&D investment that helped generate $1.7 billion in exports for Canada.
The new IBM Canada Research and Development Centre will use state-of-the-art computer infrastructure to drive innovation and commercialization in key areas:
- 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 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
- Managing traffic lights to improve traffic flow