|IBM's Irish technology campus, at Mulhuddart in West Dublin
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD today announced that IBM is establishing an exascale stream computing research ‘collaboratory’ in Dublin and the creation of 40 new jobs at IBM and local Universities. It is supported by the Government through IDA Ireland.
An IBM collaboratory is a laboratory where IBM Researchers co-locate with a university, government, or commercial partner to share skills and resources to achieve a common research goal. A collaboratory allows IBM Researchers the opportunity to pursue research outside IBM’s labs and existing business units, by working with other institutions around the world that have different expertise, environments or access to partners.
The collaboration benefits all parties involved, allowing them to share resource experiences, technical assets, learn from each other, more quickly produce innovations and establish the research ecosystem.
Lenihan said: “Choosing Ireland as a preferred location for global research centres is significant for Ireland and is in line with IDA Ireland’s strategy of developing high-value knowledge-based R&D projects with leading technology companies. Today’s announcement strengthens the computational science capability of Ireland in line with the Government’s Strategy for Science and Technology 2006-2013. It is a further endorsement of the excellent long-standing relationship between IBM and Irish universities.”
He continued “This is the 3rd announcement by IBM in research and development activities in Ireland this year, following on from the Advanced Water Management and Cloud Computing R&D centres we announced this year. This illustrates how IDA Ireland can create opportunities and assist highly valued companies such as IBM to achieve their business goals.”
The agreement will see IBM supercomputing and multidisciplinary experts work directly with University researchers from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Tyndall National Institute in Cork, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), University College Cork (UCC) and IRCSET, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology to develop computing architectures and technologies that overcome current limitations of dealing with the massive volumes of real-time data and analysis.
While high performance computing today primarily focuses on scientific applications in areas such as physics or medicine, the exascale research in Dublin will focus on how these new powerful computing systems can be applied to solving complex business problems. The research will include both technical and applications research.
For example, the application research for exascale computing will study financial services using real-time, intelligent analysis of a company’s valuation developed from business models using data from investor profiles, live market trading and RSS news feeds. The research will also focus on making sense of the volume of data from social networks to understand rapidly evolving and changing business trends and opportunities.
The technical research will explore innovative ways of using new memory architectures, interconnecting technologies and fabric structures, and will evaluate business applications that would benefit from an exascale streaming platform.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Daly, Country General Manager IBM Ireland, said: “IBM’s collaboratory strategy will be a vital part of how we will work to apply intelligence to improve the way the world works and solve our clients’ toughest problems. A collaboratory is not a place, but it’s an integration of teams who can achieve more by working together than working alone. The collaboration between Irish Universities and IBM will not only work on exascale stream computing, but will aim to apply sophisticated and unprecedented computing power to solve the seemingly insurmountable problems businesses are facing today such as inefficient supply chains, energy shortage, managing risk and more.”
Next Generation Data Centre
IBM also announced plans to work with researchers at the University of Limerick and the IBM Watson Centre to designing a new generation of data centres at its Dublin Technology Campus.
"Competitive advantage today comes both from being able to attract the best skills and talents, wherever they are in the world, and the ability to integrate them globally to innovate for clients," said Dr. John Kelly III, Senior Vice President, and Director of IBM Research.