The UK government has signed a deal with IBM that will see the two parties fund a series of initiatives aimed at expanding cognitive computing and big data research.
The £313m partnership will see the UK government commit £113m to expand the Hartree Centre at Daresbury, a publicly funded facility geared towards reducing the cost and improving the efficiency and user-friendliness of high performance computing and big data for research and development purposes.
IBM said it will further support the project with technology and onsite expertise worth up to £200m, including access to the company’s cognitive computing platform Watson. The company will also place 24 IBM researchers at the Centre, who will help the researchers commercialise any promising innovations developed there.
The organisations will also explore how to leverage OpenPower-based systems for high performance computing.
“We live in an information economy – from the smart devices we use every day to the super-computers that helped find the Higgs Boson, the power of advanced computing means we now have access to vast amounts of data,” said UK Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson.
“This partnership with IBM, which builds on our £113 million investment to expand the Hartree Centre, will help businesses make the best use of big data to develop better products and services that will boost productivity, drive growth and create jobs.”
David Stokes, chief executive for IBM in the UK and Ireland said: “We’re at the dawn of a new era of cognitive computing, during which advanced data-centric computing models and open innovation approaches will allow technology to greatly augment decision-making capabilities for business and government.”
“The expansion of our collaboration with STFC builds upon Hartree’s successful engagement with industry and its record in commercialising technological developments, and provides a world-class environment using Watson and OpenPower technologies to extend the boundaries of Big Data and cognitive computing,” he added.