Software and system access
IBM Academic Initiative members can get full versions of a large selection of IBM software, at no charge. Most of the software can be downloaded from the Software Catalog, and a few additional products are available on CD by request. (Members can request a maximum of one CD per product. We do not offer a CD that contains all of our products.)
Members can also request virtual access to IBM Power Systems and System z enterprise computing environments, and to other products running in a cloud.
Become an Academic Initiative member
Contact IBM Academic Initiative
Download full-version software
In addition to our software and tools that are publicly available, Academic Initiative members can get hundreds of full-version software products from our Software Catalog at no charge. These are the same products our customers are using in their production environments and you can make them available to your students to teach a wide range of computer science, information technology, business, and marketing topics.
Note that you must be an Academic Initiative member to download products and tools from our Software Catalog. Membership is open to qualifying faculty members, research professionals at accredited institutions, members of standards organizations, and IBM employees and contractors.
Request software on CDs
This is a summary of the products available on CD. The request form lists the specific products and versions.
- AIX operating system and documentation
- Engineering and Scientific Subroutine Library (ESSL) for AIX and Linux
- Parallel ESSL and Parallel Environment for AIX and Linux
- Performance Toolbox and Performance AIDE for AIX
Please note: Requests for IBM software on physical media (CDs) to mailing addresses in India cannot be processed at this time.
Request virtual access
IBM Academic Initiative members can get no-charge remote access for themselves and their students to an IBM mainframe system or IBM Power Systems. They can also get access to IBM software in a cloud environment.
Access to mainframe systems
Members can get no-charge remote access to an IBM mainframe system. Explore, learn, and perform course lab exercises in a real mainframe environment without having to install or maintain the system.
Access to Power Systems
Members can get no-charge remote access to the latest Power Systems technology for teaching purposes. The IBM Power Systems Connection Center will work with you to understand your application requirements, set up your student profiles, as well as handle other administrative responsibilities.
We also offer special discounted lease and purchase options to educational institutions whose faculty are members of Academic Initiative. Both options feature discounts on the hardware and the IBM operating systems.
IBM Blueworks Live
IBM Blueworks Live runs in a virtual cloud environment, which means there is no software to download or install. Members can submit their details to request an IBM Blueworks Live trial account. After we verify your academic credentials, we will send you a link to upgrade your account so you can access the full professional version at no charge.
Academic Skills Cloud
The Academic Initiative is running a pilot program with colleges and universities around the world that enables participants to access and use IBM software for teaching purposes without having to install the products on their own systems. Over time, we are extending the pilot to additional schools in IBM's global network of Academic Initiative partners.