IBM to Establish New Global R&D Lab In Australia

IBM and the Australian and Victorian Governments today announced an agreement to establish a new research and development laboratory in Australia. 

The new IBM Global R&D Lab will be IBM’s first lab that combines research and development in a single organization focused on accelerating progress towards a smarter planet.

The new global research and development lab will be located at the University of Melbourne, a world class research university, and will begin operations during the first quarter of 2011.  IBM expects to employ about 150 people there within five years.

"At IBM, R&D investment plays a critical role in the company’s strategy for growth," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president and director of IBM Research. "By combining research and development into one lab to focus on creating smarter planet solutions, IBM is creating a new kind of innovation centre in Australia – unlike anything the company has done before. The new lab will work closely with leading Australian scientists and engineers from academia, government and commercial entities to extend IBM’s global R&D footprint and further the impact of its smarter planet strategy. We look forward to joining the Australian technical and scientific community and jointly addressing some of the most pressing problems and greatest opportunities of our time."

"IBM’s selection of Australia for their new Global R&D Laboratory is a vote of confidence in our national innovation system and a major boost for ICT research in Australia," said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr. "IBM will engage with researchers at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO, National ICT Australia (NICTA) and Australian business to undertake research aligned with our National Research Priorities for the national benefit."

Research and development at the new IBM lab plans to focus on areas including:

  • Smarter Natural Resource Management: the focus will be to innovate in a number of key areas related to resource discovery, production, supply chain and operations using the most advanced techniques in monitoring, analytics and automation. These techniques will be applied to resources such as oil and gas, minerals, water and food. These resources will be considered in various contexts including sourcing, management and use, and particularly their role in liveable cities.
  • Smarter Natural Disaster Management: the focus will be to work on a number of projects that expand and integrate current expertise in areas such as real-time event (stream) processing, weather modelling, traffic management and mobility analytics to assist in the planning and management of evacuation, communication and emergency response.
  • Collaborations already have begun with the University of Melbourne in computational life sciences, and the new lab will extend this work to a broader set of topics in healthcare and life science analytics.

"Victoria is the perfect place to base this globally important ICT research and development lab and creates 150 new jobs," said John Brumby, Premier of Victoria.  "We are home to the hub of the NBN, have the best ICT workforce in the country, a strong base of ICT R&D institutions and companies, a growing economy and a very supportive government. We have actively sought out new technology to help deliver another era of economic prosperity for Victoria."

"The choice of Australia for this unique research and development investment is a reflection of this country’s world-class talent, culture of innovation, continent-scale opportunities and robust economy," said Glen Boreham, Managing Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand. "We are proud that with the support of the Federal and Victorian Governments, IBM is investing even more in Australia – creating more opportunities to collaborate and develop new technologies for the benefit of Australia and the world."

"The global community is facing a range of challenges that threaten liveability in the twenty-first century and to address these challenges we need comprehensive ICT innovations that bring together leading research and development initiatives and world-class ICT infrastructure," said Professor Glyn Davis, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor.  "The establishment of the new Global R&D Lab will bring together some of the best minds in the country, and arguably the world.


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