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IBM Announces Multi-Million Dollar Wireless Center in RTP

IBM Celebrates 40th Anniversary in RTP With Continued Investment

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - 22 Sep 2005: IBM will open its first global Wireless Center of Excellence here, a multi-million dollar investment, to advance the use of wireless technologies in applications ranging from offices to warehouses.

IBM made the announcement as part of the celebration of its 40th Anniversary in Research Triangle Park. With employees, state and local government officials, retirees and young students in attendance, the company also announced plans to donate two houses to Habitat for Humanity in Wake County, and has signed the first North Carolina-based companies for its World Community Grid project.

"Today is an opportunity to reflect on our roots in RTP, as well as our continued investment in our site and the local community," said Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, senior state executive, IBM. "The opening of our new Wireless Center of Excellence and support of local charitable agencies and the World Community Grid, show the innovation and compassion that helps make IBM in RTP the company's largest site worldwide."

At the ceremony, IBM unveiled its plans to open the Wireless Center of Excellence in early October. The facility will mimic a variety of workplace environments, like loading docks and conveyor belts in warehouses to demonstrate how wireless technology, specifically Radio Frequency Identification, works. This will allow IBM clients from around the world to better understand the technology and physics associated with radio waves by seeing how packages are scanned and contents are tracked to destinations all over the globe.

Continuing its long history of supporting volunteerism in the area, IBM will begin construction on two new Habitat for Humanity houses in Wake County in October. The donation of the houses, which equals almost $100,000, will be built with the help over 700 IBM volunteers. The company anticipates local families will be able to move into the houses in the spring of 2006.

IBM also announced that two new North Carolina-based companies, the North Carolina Technology Association and Coast Federal Credit Union, have agreed to participate in the World Community Grid, which allows scientists to harness the power of individual computers during "down time" via the Internet. This allows scientists to work on large research projects, like developing new vaccines or modeling weather patterns to better predict catastrophic natural events.

"IBM was the anchor tenant in Research Triangle Park back in 1965," said Rick Weddle, president and CEO, Research Triangle Park Foundation. "And after 40 years IBM still remains the flagship company in the Park, featuring the largest workforce of any other company and unparalleled economic impact to the area. RTP and IBM have grown up together in North Carolina and I'm looking forward to the next 40 years."

IBM in North Carolina
The company's economic and social impact to the state: As the state's largest information technology company, IBM contributed over $3.7 billion to the state's economy in 2004.

IBMers in North Carolina volunteered over 55,000 hours of service in 2004. That same year, IBM and its employees donated $7 million in cash, computer hardware, software and technology to schools and agencies throughout the state.

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Contact(s) information

Alise McNeill
IBM Media Relations
(919) 254-6262
alisem@us.ibm.com