Governments of Canada and Ontario team with IBM, U of T, Western
University in research initiative that will help solve pressing challenges in
cities, water, energy, and healthcare
TORONTO, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Governments of Canada and Ontario,
with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and a consortium of seven universities led by the
University of Toronto and Western University today 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
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.
For a video perspective from Dr. Bernard Meyerson, vice-president of
innovation at IBM, please visit: http://bit.ly/Ick1ft
"Our Government has been building on the strengths found in our region
to support the advancement of science and technology and help create
value-added jobs ," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic
Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). "We are proud to invest in supercomputing infrastructure that will
position southern Ontario at the forefront of research and development
in areas that are not only critically important to our communities, but
also show great commercial promise."
"This is a very exciting initiative that demonstrates Ontario is a
leader in cutting-edge research," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Government
of Ontario. "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
"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," said John Lutz, president, IBM Canada. "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 one hundred
year legacy of research and development leadership here in Ontario."
"Canada needs more knowledge-based industries to diversify our national
economic portfolio beyond the current over-weighting of commodities and
natural resources and help eliminate our identified innovation gap',"
said Professor David Naylor, president, University of Toronto. "This collaborative initiative takes direct aim at these issues by
creating modern research networks that bring advanced computing
capacity to bear on important issues such as: water monitoring,
management and distribution; energy monitoring and management; urban
planning and traffic management for intelligent cities; and the
cross-walk of brain science with artificial intelligence."
"Western has long been at the forefront of Canadian research that
capitalizes on high-performance computing, and we are excited about our
role within this consortium to take the next step by using cloud
computing to manage the staggering volume of digital data society
creates on a daily basis," said Dr. Amit Chakma, president, Western University. "From neuroscience and our environment, to other industrial
applications, this field holds tremendous promise for helping us make
complex research decisions more quickly, while mining data for better
For more information about the individual investments made by the
Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and IBM Canada, please
follow #smarterontario on Twitter and refer to the backgrounders:
Editors: Access broll online.
For more information about IBM's initiatives to help the world work
better, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/ca/en/
*Source: Re$earch Infosource Inc. "Canada's Top 100 R&D Spenders".
Image with caption: "The Governments of Canada and Ontario, with IBM, the University of Toronto and Western University will collaborate to establish a new Ontario-based $210 million dollar research and development initiative, including the formation of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre (CNW Group/IBM Canada Ltd.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120410_C4154_PHOTO_EN_12092.jpg
Image with caption: "The Governments of Canada and Ontario, with IBM, the University of Toronto and Western University will collaborate to establish a new Ontario-based $210 million dollar research and development initiative, including the formation of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre (CNW Group/IBM Canada Ltd.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120410_C4154_PHOTO_EN_12091.jpg
SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.
For further information:
Government of Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Media Relations, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Andrew Block, Minister Duguid's Office, 416-325-0362
Brigitte Marleau, MEDI Communications Branch, 416-325-2479
Carrie Bendzsa, External Communications
University of Toronto
519 661 2111 ext. 85468