IBM And Universities Expand Research Horizons

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 17 Dec 2002: IBM announced today that it is working to speed cancer research and explore advanced technical applications in "e-education," medicine, bioinformatics and human behavior through partnerships with more than 130 of the world's leading universities -- all part of its expanded, $36 million global university award program.

Through a set of highly competitive and selective initiatives, the company and its university-based partners explore leading-edge information technology concepts and bring them to bear on some of society's most complex challenges -- including life sciences, education and the environment.

Long a promoter and supporter of academic partnerships, IBM stepped up its university initiatives significantly for the 2002-03 academic year to increase their global reach. The company conferred 52 Shared University Research (SUR) awards, representing a market value of $28 million, to universities and institutions and 60 Ph.D. fellowships valued at $1.8 million in 2002.

IBM also awarded more than $5 million in awards to 203 faculty members at 75 institutions. As added support for college and university faculty using the Eclipse open source code for teaching or research, IBM this month presented 40 Eclipse Innovation Awards, representing another $1 million.

The IBM Scholars Program, launched worldwide this year, has enrolled more that 4,000 faculty members and researchers at 2,000- plus institutions. Through the Scholars Program, IBM delivered over 15,000 software products and resources to members free of charge reaching students internationally.

"For years, we've worked to move technology beyond the workplace, and we've found great partners for those opportunities at universities around the world," said Nicholas M. Donofrio, senior vice president for technology and manufacturing. "There is incredibly important and vital work going on in academia. We have long believed that acting as a partner in this work serves not only our customers, but the good of society as a whole."

In keeping with this philosophy, recent IBM university relations activity has focused on support of such key technologies as grid and autonomic computing, life sciences computing, and the development and application of open source software for academic applications. At the center of these efforts is hardware, software and technical expertise made available through partnering with IBM.

For example, in the United Kingdom, academics at Oxford University, along with UK government researchers, are developing a sophisticated computing grid that will enable early screening and diagnosis of breast cancer and provide medical professionals with greater information from which to treat the disease. The potential exists to expand the project to include all 92 cancer screening hospitals in the UK -- and even link it to similar projects underway in France, Germany, Japan, and the United States to create a worldwide digital mammography grid.

In addition, New York's Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) new laboratory for Evolutionary and Comparative Genomics will collaborate with the IBM Research Computational Biology Center, beginning with the use of IBM's software tools on RIT's applications. Among the projects expected to benefit from the partnership are: identification of the genes involved with late- onset hearing loss, studies of the effects of environmental toxins on genetic diversity and exploring the means of restoring endangered species.

Another SUR project should ultimately make Internet searches considerably easier and more fruitful. The Computer Science and Engineering department at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay is progressing on work that will lead to the development of better models for linking Web pages and improve Web search algorithms.

Other IBM Shared University Research awards this year included:

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses and universities innovate. For more information on IBM's university programs, visit:

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