Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Ontario, Canada

By Brad Duguid

For as long as researchers have sought new discoveries and new solutions, collaboration has been the key to success. This is nothing new.

What’s new is the pivotal role today’s technology plays in connecting people to foster collaboration on a global scale. As a society, we benefit when the world’s brightest minds come together to work on pioneering projects.

That’s exactly what Ontario’s landmark partnership with IBM hopes to accomplish. IBM, seven of the province’s leading universities, the Province of Ontario and the Canadian federal government came together to launch the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.

This first-of-its-kind facility will focus on research in areas such as:

  • Health care data management to improve accessibility of life-saving information, such as technology to help doctors detect life-threatening conditions in premature babies 24 hours earlier;
  • Water management to address health problems related to water pollution;
  • Improved energy monitoring to better track how hydro flows, help reduce waste and save customers money;
  • Managing rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure to improve traffic flow in our cities.

In April, I attended the facility’s official opening, and was impressed by the promise it holds to inspire cutting-edge innovation and strengthen our position within today’s increasingly competitive global economy.

I’m also excited by the depth and breadth of the initial round of research projects that will help build home-grown software and engineering skills to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian-led research and development, and link some of our universities’ top researchers to one of the fastest, high-performance computing platforms in the country. 

It’s a simple truth that companies — and jurisdictions — that continually innovate will survive. Thomas Watson, IBM’s founder, knew this:

“Every time we’ve moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block, and try something new.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Our partnership with IBM will encourage Ontario researchers to take chances and work collaboratively to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

This partnership also sets an important precedent — breaking down silos between government, the private sector and academia.

And demonstrate that by working together, we’re placing Ontario at the forefront of forward-thinking research that will improve the way we live, work and play.


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