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IBM, Universities Form Canadian Research Center

Blue gene supercomputer (


IBM Corporation is establishing a new research and development center in Barrie, Ontario, part of a $210 million technology initiative involving research universities in the province. The plan calls for investments of $175 million by IBM, $20 million by the government of Canada, and $15 million by the Ontario government, with the creation of 145 new high-tech jobs.

IBM says its new IBM Canada Research and Development Centre in Barrie, about 90 kilometers north of Toronto, will have two supercomputers and a cloud computing platform in place by the Fall of 2012. University of Toronto and Western University in London with five other institutions in Ontario, are expected to have access to this facility and take part in a consortium to apply high performance and cloud computing technologies to better manage and analyze large data sets.

The IBM-university consortium plans to focus on software innovations for high performance computing platforms. Participants are also expected to address societal issues including urbanization, health care, water management, and energy conservation.

“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,” says David Naylor, University of Toronto president. Amit Chakma, president of Western University, adds, “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 answers.”

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