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IBM Opens Research and Development Laboratory in Australia

Melbourne, Australia - 14 Oct 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the opening of IBM Research and Development – Australia which is IBM’s first Laboratory to combine research and development in a single organisation focused on accelerating progress towards a smarter planet.

The opening ceremony was attended by Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu; Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr; Victorian Minister for Technology, the Honourable Gordon Rich-Phillips; IBM Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. John E. Kelly III; University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis; IBM Australia Managing Director, Andrew Stevens; and approximately 150 guests including leaders from academia, industry and government. 

The Laboratory, located on Lygon Street, Carlton, has been operational since early 2011 and will employ 150 people within five years. IBM has already commenced assembling a world-class team of research scientists of local and international research talent.  A number of research projects are underway with key partners, including the University of Melbourne.

"R&D plays a vital role in IBM’s strategy for growth," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research. “The lab will work with Australia’s top scientists and engineers from academia, government and industry to extend IBM’s global R&D footprint and increase its impact on our clients and make the world work better.  We look forward to working with the Australian technical and scientific community on some of the most pressing problems and greatest opportunities of our time.”

IBM_R&D Lab Melbourne Opening

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said the new IBM R&D Laboratory reaffirmed Victoria’s reputation as a centre of world-class innovation.

“Today’s opening and this investment by IBM proves once again that Melbourne is a vital regional hub for global innovation and technology R&D,” said Mr Baillieu.  “This confirms our place in the world as a first-class destination for investment and revolutionary research and a great location for rewarding collaboration between Government, industry and the research community.  We want Victoria to grow well and IBM’s new R&D Laboratory is part of a new technologically-driven age which will help deliver increased productivity, the key to sustainable ongoing economic prosperity.”

“The Laboratory sets a new model for public/private collaborative research,” said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr. “This is a great example of how the Government is helping attract international business to Australia. I am pleased that one reason IBM was attracted to Australia is the rollout of the world-class National Broadband Network, which will enable high-speed transfer of data and underpin the delivery of research solutions. The Laboratory will enable IBM to engage with some of Australia’s leading research institutions as well as Australian businesses to undertake research for the benefit of all Australians.”

"Universities, industry, government and research institutes need to work together to find solutions to complex global challenges," said Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of University of Melbourne.  "The University is delighted to be partnering with IBM across multiple Schools and Faculties, and multiple domains, working with IBM researchers from Labs around the globe.  Through the new IBM R&D Laboratory, we are bringing together leading minds from around the world and combining our capabilities and technologies in the interests of a safer, sustainable future."

The Research and Development – Australia Laborabory will focus on three key areas including: 

“The opening of the Laboratory marks an important day in the history of IBM Australia,” said Andrew Stevens, Managing Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand.  “The Laboratory is a testament to the world-class research talent we have in this country, and will help ensure that our highly skilled researchers can work in Australia while we continue to attract the best the industry offers from overseas.  In addition, the Laboratory demonstrates the deep, shared commitment between Government, academia, and business towards the pursuit of developing smarter solutions that will not only benefit Australians but others throughout the world." 

This year IBM celebrates its 100th anniversary.  Counted amongst the top companies who heavily invest in innovation, IBM invests about US$6 billion annually in Research & Development and has remained the number one US patent holder for eighteen consecutive years. In 2010, IBM was awarded almost six thousand patents in the US. The company has about 3000 researchers distributed in its research labs across the globe, including several Nobel Prize laureates.

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John Kelly, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, speaking at R&D Lab Australia opening

'Ribbon Cutting'. John Kelly, Andrew Stevens, Robert Morris, Glenn Wightwick & Glenn David (University of Melbourne) at R&D Lab Australia opening.

Glenn Wightwick, Director, IBM Research and Development - Australia, and Chief Technologist for IBM Australia speaking at R&D Lab Australia opening

Andrew Stevens, MD, IBM A/NZ speaking at R&D Lab Australia opening

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