Skip to main content

IBM and Mubadala to bring Watson to the Middle East & North Africa

Mubadala and IBM will deliver Watson to clients regionally and establish an ecosystem of partners and developers across industries and professions

Abu Dhabi, UAE - 14 Jul 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, today announced an agreement to bring IBM Watson to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

IBM and Mubadala to bring Watson to the MENA region

The companies will collaborate to deliver powerful Watson cloud-based cognitive computing to healthcare, retail, education, banking and finance organizations. The new joint venture will also create a broad regional ecosystem of partners, entrepreneurs, start-ups and app developers who will apply Watson in innovative ways throughout MENA.

Watson represents a new era in computing in which systems are able to interact in natural language, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights.

The availability of Watson in MENA demonstrates Mubadala’s strong commitment to spurring innovation and growing the technology ecosystem throughout the region. The collaboration with IBM exemplifies Mubadala’s philosophy to capitalize on investment opportunities in various industries such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to support the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy and strengthen its competitive position in high-growth sectors both locally and internationally. IBM in turn, will draw on Mubadala’s deep regional market knowledge to drive the adoption of cognitive computing technology across MENA.

International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that spending on ICT products and services in the region will cross the $270 billion mark in 2015, making this area of the world the second-fastest growing IT market. **

“This new joint venture with IBM will put both the UAE and broader MENA region on the leading edge for adoption of this breakthrough technology,” said Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO of Aerospace & Engineering Services at Mubadala. “We are confident that together we can continue to accelerate the region’s knowledge-based economy by empowering businesses to capitalize on new opportunities with this world class technology.”

"This collaboration is another important demonstration of IBM's commitment to bringing Watson to all corners of the world and accelerating adoption of cognitive computing as the new technology standard for innovation," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. "Mubadala's strong relationships throughout the MENA region will enable local organizations and entrepreneurs access to Watson to transform their work."

One of the most promising areas of impact could be in the health care field where Mubadala and IBM plan to leverage the technology to help enable individuals and health professionals to make personalized, data-driven health decisions.

Internationally, the health care community is already the earliest adopter of Watson where leading hospitals and research institutes such as US-based Cleveland Clinic are working to advance Watson's capabilities in medical education and genomics.  At the same time, Mubadala and the Cleveland Clinic have established a preeminent world-class hospital in Abu Dhabi.

"Our collaborations with IBM to apply Watson in health care are helping Cleveland Clinic deliver on our mission of providing state-of-the-art education to our medical students," said Dr. Delos Cosgrove, CEO and President, Cleveland Clinic. "As a partner to both IBM and Mubadala, I am pleased to see these two market leaders join together in this important region and believe that their work together will help make it possible for a broader group of medical professionals to unearth the information they need to provide patient-centered care."

“Bringing IBM Watson to the region represents the latest major milestone in the global adoption of cognitive computing,” said Mounir Barakat, executive director of ICT at Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala. “It also signals Mubadala’s commitment to bringing new technologies and spurring economic growth in the Middle East, another step towards developing the UAE as a hub for the region’s ICT sector.”

Mubadala and IBM will establish the joint venture, through Mubadala’s wholly owned information technology services subsidiary Injazat, which will be the preferred provider of Watson technology in the region.

According to Ibrahim Mohamed Lari, CEO of Injazat, “There is an increasing need by businesses across sectors to strengthen their analytics and cloud technology. This joint venture signifies a strategic shift that will allow the delivery of a new class of Watson-specific capabilities that will help professionals in this region discover insights from massive amounts of Big Data.”

To advance Watson, IBM has two dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries, and Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to surface new insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and provide turnkey solutions to deliver personalized healthcare.

Through client engagements around the globe, professionals are leveraging Watson’s capabilities to help transform their industries. This work is expected to grow as IBM continues to enter Watson into new geographies and industries. According to IDC, the worldwide content analytics, discovery and cognitive systems software market will grow from $4.5 billion in 2014 to $9.2 billion in 2019. ***

IBM is currently working on hundreds of projects to expand Watson's industry domain knowledge, as well as teaching the system new languages such as Arabic, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese.

IBM has operated in the MENA region for more than 60 years, making significant investments in areas such as cloud computing and nanotechnology.  Last year IBM launched the groundbreaking "Project Lucy" effort, a 10 year, $100 million research initiative using Watson to develop commercially viable solutions to tackle Africa's biggest challenges including healthcare, agriculture and education.

The financial terms of the joint IBM and Mubadala venture were not disclosed.

About Mubadala Development Company

Established and owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, the company’s strategy is built on the creation of partnerships and on long-term, capital-intensive investments that deliver strong financial returns, contribute to the growth and diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy, and create opportunities for current and future generations in the United Arab Emirates.

Mubadala brings together and manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio of local, regional and international investments and partners with leading global organizations to operate businesses across a wide range of industry sectors. These include aerospace, semiconductors, metals & mining, oil & gas, renewables, information & communications technology, healthcare, real estate & infrastructure, utilities, and defense services.

For more information about Mubadala please visit www.mubadala.com.

About Injazat Data Systems (Injazat)

Injazat Data Systems is an industry-recognized market leader in the region for Information Technology Outsourcing, Cloud and Data Center Managed Services delivered from the regions 1st Tier IV design and ISO 27001 certified Data Center facility. Injazat combines its local expertise and presence with its global partnership network.

Injazat continues to develop market-leading IT services to meet dynamic customer needs, including consultancy, project management, system integration, transformation, applications services, cloud services, and a wide range of managed services that can help clients stay on the edge of business and technology innovation while making sure their businesses are more secure and agile. To learn more about Injazat, please visit: www.injazat.com.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing technology and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. This unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers, health plans and individuals to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily.

IBM has established a growing ecosystem of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts worldwide by placing the power of cognitive computing in their hands. More than 25 Watson services are available on the IBM Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix, allowing these innovators to discover, explore and create an entirely new class of apps and businesses fueled by Watson. This community of tens of thousands of tech enthusiasts and Ecosystem partners are already generating up to 3 billion monthly API requests, demonstrating the adoption of the open platform.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr

 

** IDC Press Release: MEA ICT Spending to Top $270 Billion in 2015, December 18, 2014 (http://idc-cema.com/eng/about-idc/press-center/60339-mea-ict-spending-to-top-270-billion-in-2015)


***IDC Report: Worldwide Content Analytics, Discovery, and Cognitive Systems Software Forecast, 2015–2019, #256774, June 2015 (David Schubmehl) 

 

Related resources

Images

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- On July 14, 2015 IBM and Mubadala announced the development of a joint venture to bring IBM Watson to the Middle East and North Africa region. The healthcare field is a particularly promising area where the two organizations envision medical professionals using Watson to better personalize treatment options, share expertise among specialists, and scale knowledge to a broader (Photo courtesy of Paul Malaluan/Photo House Media)

Related XML feeds
Topics XML feeds
IBM Watson