ST. JOHN’S, NL, May 27, 2022 — Memorial University, IBM Canada, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced the launch of two new initiatives – the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) and the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project.
Led by Memorial, the two initiatives will focus on innovation and research in such diverse fields as data science and astrophysics, genetic analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, image analysis and scientific computing.
CAIR will be equipped with powerful high-performance computers able to process huge amounts of complex data, leading to faster insights for projects such as AAML.
Memorial will receive a more than $18-million investment from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, as jurisdictional partners, and private-sector partner IBM. This includes a $16-million, in-kind investment of hardware, software and staffing from IBM during a period of four years. IBM will also provide free development and cloud credits to early stage entrepreneurs and startup companies via the Startup with IBM program. ACOA is providing $1.4 million towards the two initiatives and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will contribute $1.35 million.
Working with Memorial, IBM will also help drive further economic development in the province by supporting skills growth via the IBM SkillsBuild program. The free digital training program helps learners develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education. SkillsBuild provides learners with professional workplace readiness and technical skills and enables them to earn digital badges recognized by the market. Globally, IBM is committed to providing 30 million people with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030.
This undertaking builds on the tremendous success of the partnership first formed in 2014 between IBM, Memorial and both governments.
“Ongoing collaborations with our government and industry partners allow Memorial to meet the challenges and opportunities of our province and beyond. These significant investments will further enhance Memorial’s capacity in strategic areas, provide world-class scientific training opportunities for faculty and graduate students and allow Memorial to continue supporting the tremendous growth of the local technology industry.”
Dr. Vianne Timmons
President and vice-chancellor, Memorial University
“Our goal is to deliver more diverse computing services to teaching and research communities, to speed up their processes of scientific and technical innovations, and to further increase our contributions in Newfoundland and Labrador. This investment is a testament to our continued commitment to support and collaborate with Memorial University and both levels of government to help further advance Canada’s ability to innovate, address a critical skills gap, and drive research and innovation.”
General Manager-Technology, IBM Canada
“The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is committed to working with key partners to help build the digital economy and support long-term economic growth in this region. By investing in high-tech equipment and skills development at Memorial University, we are supporting innovative learning, advanced research and opportunities to grow the technology industry.”
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“Industry has made it clear that as our innovation economy grows, there is a greater need for more highly qualified people or talent. This collaboration will provide access to high performance computing within our province, allowing for even more opportunities for researchers, industry partnerships and the start-up community to meet the growing needs of our tech sector.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Principal investigator for the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) is Dr. Brendan Barrett, professor, Faculty of Medicine.
- Principal investigator for the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project is Dr. Terrence Tricco, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science.
- CAIR is a high-performance computing centre with the capacity to rapidly process and analyze vast amounts of data, providing secure storage with off-site backups.
- CAIR is a local dedicated resource with qualified personnel who can assist research teams in planning their data management approach and provide flexible and timely access to necessary computer resources.
- The hardware at CAIR will be used by Department of Computer Science faculty and students to undertake research in many key areas that are driven by large data sets, such as image processing, artificial intelligence and deep learning.
- The AAML project will support training of highly qualified professionals on CAIR hardware.
- As the local technology industry continues to grow rapidly, the demand for highly qualified professionals in technology-related fields such as data science will certainly increase. CAIR’s hardware infrastructure and supportive staffing complement will be instrumental in meeting training and research needs, ensuring professional training that meets regional and national competitiveness.