A cross-sector collaboration plans to foster jobs and innovation in Ontario. Canada hopes this will address industry building and cultural problem solving.

Ontario launches R&D project with IBM to boost local economy and innovation

Government, academia and tech industry have started collaborating on a research and development initiative that will focus on solving challenges in cities, water, energy and healthcare. The project aims to create 145 highly skilled jobs in Ontario and a “new economic cornerstone” for Canada. IBM will invest $175 million in the project to form the “IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.” This R&D center launching early December 2014 will serve as a foundation for the entire initiative. The Ontario government is investing $15 million towards the Centre that will be fostering skills to develop information and communications tech within new and existing local companies. Several Ontario universities and IBM will develop a cloud and agile computing platform for additional support in the collaboration, funded by the Canadian government.

Solving cultural and economic problems through computing

This collaboration is meant to solve critical world challenges by analyzing massive data sets, made possible with the computing infrastructure and the participation of university and industry researchers. In addition to the challenges mentioned above, research will also target software innovation in high performance computing platforms, delivering more powerful means to further each research category. Specifically, IBM research staff will work with top Canadian scientists to accelerate commercialization opportunities and strengthen digital infrastructure. Additional partners are expected to join this initiative as it becomes operational.

A vision to build an optimal innovation and enterprise biosphere

Currently, Canada’s economic portfolio is seen by some as overly concentrated by commodities and natural resources. Within the Research and Development Centre, participants are galvanized to embark on this project, since it promises to assuage several of Canada’s concerns. "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. This effort stands to build “an innovation-driven economy ― with leading research institutions, a highly educated workforce and a favorable corporate tax environment.”

By Ivory King