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IBM to Create Supply Chain Research Labs with Penn State, Arizona State and University College Dublin

Research at Top Schools for Supply Chain Management Will Support Growing Corporate Interest in the Area

ARMONK, N.Y. - 17 Nov 2003: IBM today announced it will work with leading universities to conduct research on advanced supply chain practices that can be used to help businesses to respond on demand to changing market conditions.

Laboratories will be set up at The Smeal College of Business at Penn State University, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and Smurfit School of Business at University College Dublin. The laboratories, which will simulate the workings of a complex supply chain, will be linked via an advanced computing grid for cross-university research and learning.

Earlier this fall a similar laboratory opened at The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Created by IBM, that facility will be the prototype for those that will follow. It will be linked to the three new laboratories, resulting in a grid that will span across the four universities. The first of the new centers will open at Penn State University later this fall. Laboratories at Arizona State University and University College Dublin will open early in 2004.

The grid of laboratories is being created through IBM's Shared University Research program, which is providing the software, server and storage technology and consulting services needed to build the facilities.

In addition to collaboration on new ways of building and managing an on demand supply chain, IBM and the four universities will work together to identify the skills needed for the supply chain of the future, as demand grows for skilled professionals in this area.

"Business leaders today are dealing with an environment that is more volatile than anything that has preceded it," said Stu Reed, vice president, systems group manufacturing, IBM. "Institutions of all kinds need to be able to respond far more quickly to whatever the world throws at them. The supply chain is central to a company's ability to respond to market fluctuations, and the companies that will thrive in the on demand era will be the ones that can use the supply chain to drive efficiency and make life easier for customers. Companies that succeed in transforming their supply chains can improve customer satisfaction and grow revenue while they wring a lot of unnecessary cost and expense out of the system."

At the laboratories, students and faculty at the four universities will study, simulate and test the key relationships in an end-to-end supply chain. When the grid is operational, the participating universities will conduct joint applied research and teaching. Their work is expected to help IBM and other companies build dynamic supply chains that can sense and rapidly respond to changing customer demands and market conditions.

IBM's Supply Chain Initiative
In January 2002, IBM launched an initiative to reinvent its supply chain, pulling together all the pivotal functions of its supply chain, including front-end customer support teams and back-end manufacturing, procurement and logistics functions into one organization called the Integrated Supply Chain. Through better supply chain management, the company reduced its cost and expense by $5.6 billion in 2002.

Similar results are expected in 2003, but IBM's goals in supply chain management go beyond cost cutting. The company's goal is to create a supply chain that will enhance customer satisfaction while driving down costs.

The On-Demand Supply Chain Research Laboratory at Penn State will be supported by IBM software technologies, including WebSphere and AIX, which are made available to Penn State faculty and researchers via the IBM Scholars program. Information about the Scholars program is available at:http://www-3.ibm.com/software/info/university/.

The Smeal College of Business, Penn State University
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Penn State's Smeal College of Business is a preeminent learning community shaping business practice for tomorrow's converging economies. Featuring six academic program areas and five major research centers in leading-edge areas such as B2B marketing, supply chain management, e-business, corporate innovation, and global business, the Smeal College offers highly ranked undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, Ph.D. / M.S., and executive education opportunities.

W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides quality undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs that draw upon a dynamic learning environment to prepare students at all levels for the future. Internationally recognized faculty enrich the curriculum with their latest research findings, and deliver this knowledge in a technology-rich environment. Ranked 21st in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the undergraduate program features Business Honors comprised of some of the best students in the country. The W. P. Carey MBA, ranked 17th in the nation among public programs, combines business fundamentals with marketplace issues and trends, giving graduates the knowledge and experience to excel in a global economy. W. P. Carey School of Business alumni are lifelong learners connected to the school and each other through an active alumni community and executive education opportunities.

Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin
In 1964, University College Dublin became the first college in Europe to offer the degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA). In 1991, the graduate business school opened its own campus in Blackrock, County Dublin. With over 100 faculty members, 1,200 students and 10,000 alumni worldwide, Smurfit School of Business, UCD is today the leading graduate business school in Ireland. It was one of only nine business schools worldwide to be awarded triple international accreditation (US - AACSB, European - EQUIS and UK - AMBA) in October 2002 and is consistently ranked among the leading European business schools by the Financial Times. Alongside its Full-time One-year MBA program, Smurfit School offers a two-year part-time Executive MBA in four modes, a range of specialist masters programs, a PhD program and graduate diploma programs.

IBM's Shared University Research Program
IBM's Shared University Research (SUR) program awards computing equipment (servers, storage systems, personal computing products, etc.) to colleges, universities and institutions of higher education around the world to facilitate research projects in areas of mutual interest, including: Life Sciences, Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing and Deep Computing. The SUR awards also support the advancement of university projects by connecting top researchers in academia with IBM Research personnel, along with representatives from product development and solution provider communities. IBM gives approximately 50-60 SUR awards per year worldwide.

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Contact(s) information

Nancy Kaplan
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-3990
nkaplan@us.ibm.com

Craig Smith
Arizona State University
(480) 965-8006
craig.a.smith@asu.edu

Heather Hill
Michigan State University
(517) 432-9176
hill@bus.msu.edu

Andrew Krebs
Pennsylvania State University
(814) 863-3798
akrebs@psu.edu

Niamh Boyle
University College Dublin
+ 353 1 716 8800
niamh.boyle@ucd.ie

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