The Academy develops a rich technical agenda each year which consists of studies, conferences and consultancies. Academy activities are open to all members of the IBM technical community. Academy studies tend to be in-depth, multi-month endeavors with teams consisting of domain experts from multiple geographies and multiple IBM's business units. Conferences are similar to external technical conferences and include paper submission and selection, invited talks by IBM and non-IBM speakers, and discussion sessions -- the conferences serve to facilitate communication within a given technical community.
The Academy's technical agenda, which is defined by its members, typically focuses on uncharted business and technical opportunities. Each activity helps to facilitate IBM's technical development, and it serves to more tightly integrate the company's business and technical strategy.
The Academy's work has enabled IBM to set new business strategies and improve operations in a wide range of areas across IBM's technical interests. One of the Academy's earliest study examined how IBM could get more of its inventions patented. As a result of this study, and recommendations made to IBM's President at that time, IBM has led the world in U.S. patents each year from 1993 through the present.