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Province of Ontario Attracts Innovative IBM Research Centre

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Ontario and IBM Canada has signed partnerships with leading universities in the province of Ontario to create a world-class Virtual Technology Research and Development Centre with a total investment of €161 million.

IBM will invest about 134 million euros in the project until December 2014, to develop the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre, the research base for the project.

The Ontario government will invest €12 million in the creation of this Centre to ensure that the capabilities needed to develop future information and communications technology products and services are showcased in Ontario, that existing Ontario companies are leaders in their respective markets, that innovations are effective and that savings are generated in many sectors.

The Government of Canada will provide €15 million to enable 7 universities in Southern Ontario and IBM to install two high-performance IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers and develop a flexible, cloud-based platform to drive the partnership's research initiative. Partner universities will have access to IBM's new data centre based in Barrie, Southern Ontario, which will be fully operational in the fall of 2012. Other Canadian researchers and SMEs will also be invited to join the partnership.

IBM Canada's new Research and Development Centre will leverage a state-of-the-art computing infrastructure to stimulate innovative discoveries in key sectors and support their commercialization. The Centre's research will focus primarily on :

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- health care data management, such as technology that allows doctors to detect life-threatening medical abnormalities in premature babies 24 hours before they are born.

- water conservation and management, including reducing pollution in water systems through electronic sewer monitoring systems and the identification of problems in pipes before a leak occurs

- energy management, including finding better ways to track hydropower consumption, reduce waste and optimize savings for consumers, and

- rapid urbanisation and the ageing of urban infrastructure, in particular by ensuring optimal management of traffic lights to improve traffic flow.

The research projects will benefit from the expansion of IBM's software and package development labs in Markham, southern Ontario and Ottawa, Ontario, and the establishment of a new high-performance data centre in Barrie, southern Ontario.

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, said, "This is an exciting initiative that demonstrates Ontario's leadership in leading-edge research. Ontario's commitment to strengthening its innovation-driven economy with research facilities, a highly skilled workforce and a business-friendly tax environment is attracting world-class projects, such as the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.

"As IBM enters a new century of innovation, we are investing in this industry consolidation initiative to further enhance Canada's competitiveness in the digital economy on a global scale, both now and in the future. Together with our partners in government, academia and industry, we will implement new collaborative approaches in Ontario to address Canada's productivity and competitiveness challenges, building on the legacy of IBM's leader with more than 100 years of research and development experience," said John Lutz, President, IBM Canada.

At a glance

- In 2010, the ICT sector employed approximately 276,000 people in Ontario, almost half of the total ICT workforce in Canada.

- The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the third largest ICT hub.

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- This builds on IBM's more than $6 billion in global investment in research and development last year, which helped generate more than $1.7 billion in exports for Canada.

- IBM opened its first Canadian office in Ontario in 1917. Today, its software and package development lab in Markham, Southern Ontario is home to IBM's largest team of computer professionals outside the United States.

To find out more:

– On Ontario's Innovation Agenda, Canada

- Ontario is Canada's economic engine, accounting for 37 % of GDP, 39 % of population and 38 % of goods exports.1 Thanks to financial support and consultation available to businesses of all sizes, funding programs to stimulate innovation and research and development, and the most highly educated workforce in the G7, Ontario now has the largest economy in Canada and one of the top 10 in North America.

The province has close economic ties with France, which is its seventh largest trading partner. In the province, about 7 % of foreign direct investment and 15 % of capital spending from Europe are French. The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will further boost trade between Canada and the European Union. Visit the sites www.investinontario.com/fr and www.ontarioexports.com/fr.

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