More than $18-million investment to strengthen research and innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, NLMay 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.

Quotes:

“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.”
Frank Attaie
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.”
Joanne Thompson
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

Quick Facts:
  • 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.

IBM and MBZUAI Join Forces to Advance AI Research with New Center of Excellence

ABU DHABI, United Arab EmiratesMay 25, 2022 — Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)—the world’s first graduate, research university dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI)—has announced plans for a strategic collaboration with IBM. Senior leaders from both organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at advancing fundamental AI research, as well as accelerating the types of scientific breakthroughs that could unlock the potential of AI to help solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Professor Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, delivered short remarks, as did Jonathan Adashek, IBM’s Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East, and Africa. The agreement was then signed by Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President for Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at MBZUAI and Wael Abdoush, General Manager IBM Gulf and Levant.

“We’re excited to to be among the first research universities in the MENA region to host a Center of Excellence for AI research and development with technology and expertise from a world-leading technological giant like IBM. This center will provide highly valuable resource and collaborative environment to our faculty and students to broaden their work in AI. IBM has a long history of technological innovation, and we look forward to joining their latest efforts in our region and together advance AI technology and commercialization for mutual good,” MBZUAI President, Professor Eric Xing said.

Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa, said: “This collaboration will help drive innovations in AI which is critical for the future of business and society. We’re bringing together some of the brightest minds across both the industry and academia, while reinforcing IBM’s commitment to promoting knowledge and skills in critical areas for the UAE’s development, where the use of technologies like AI is fundamental.”

Central to the collaboration is the establishment of a new AI Center of Excellence to be based at the university’s Masdar City campus. The Center will leverage the talents of IBM researchers, in collaboration with MBZUAI faculty and students, and will focus on the advancement of both fundamental and applied research objectives.

The initiative seeks to develop, validate, and incubate technologies that harness the capabilities of AI to address civic, social, and business challenges. Further, the collaboration aims to provide real-life applications, particularly in the fields of natural language processing, as well as AI applications that seek to further climate and sustainability goals, and accelerate discoveries in healthcare.

IBM will provide targeted training and technologies as part of the initiative, which supports the university’s vision to be a global leader for advancing AI and its application for the good of society and business. For example, through the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM will provide MBZUAI students and faculty  with access to IBM tools, software, courseware and cloud accounts for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. In addition, through the IBM Skills Academy program, MBZUAI will have access to curated AI curricula, lectures, labs, industry use cases, design-thinking sessions, and an AI Practitioner certification.

The planned relationship is subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements.

IBM and Red Hat Technology Launch to Space on EnduroSat’s Shared Sat Service

Sofia, Bulgaria – May 25, 2022 — EnduroSat, leading provider of software-defined NanoSats and Space services for business and academia, announced that open source, hybrid cloud and AI technologies from IBM and Red Hat are part of its second mission, which is scheduled to launch to low earth orbit at 2:25 PM ET today.

An Earth Observation and in-orbit Edge Computing payloads from IBM were integrated on EnduroSat’s software-defined NanoSat and are due to launch from Cape Canaveral, FL. These solutions use a minimal footprint distribution project of Red Hat OpenShift, which is optimized to work directly on edge devices to run containers in space.

EnduroSat is working with IBM to provide developers and students around the globe with a fast and easy way to process space data even before getting it back to the ground. IBM’s project, codenamed “Endurance,” uses IBM’s edge computing in space solution. It is designed to help more people discover the wonders of space, using IBM and Red Hat hybrid cloud technologies. In a hybrid cloud environment, student participants will be able to securely host, access and push code on IBM Cloud, which will connect to EnduroSat’s Digital Mission environment, then a ground station, and ultimately, the NanoSat. The code will be used to access data from various sensors, take pictures, perform calculations, and get the results back to earth.

Through its Shared Satellite Service, EnduroSat aims to provide visionary entrepreneurs, scientists, and technologists easy access to space, helping them to drive innovation at this final frontier. The company`s software-defined NanoSats enable plug & play payload integration and open unique capabilities to fly fast and improve the usage of technology in space.

“We are thrilled to welcome IBM onboard our Shared Sat Missions. We are excited to see the rapid data services deployment and the innovations that our partners are unleashing in orbit. The collaboration between EnduroSat and IBM is a major step in bringing space closer to users on the ground.”

  • Raycho Raychev, Founder & CEO of EnduroSat

The IBM team’s project goal for this mission is to help streamline the process for getting school-aged children access to the wonders of space using technology so participating students can interact directly with a CubeSat, a type of NanoSat built in cube form, in Low Earth Orbit.

By running experiments on EnduroSat’s Cube satellite, the IBM team is taking data processing closer to where data is being produced, to get near real-time results. The workload uplink request initiates in IBM Cloud to send code up and receive data back. The project provides not only an opportunity to save bandwidth, but also expedite data processing by sorting images at the “edge” and downloading only the valuable data via IBM Cloud.

As part of IBM’s ongoing skills-building initiatives, five teams of students who participate on IBM skilling programs have been selected to work with the IBM development and volunteer teams for this project. IBM Cloud provides a development environment for the students to build code and send it into space. The teams are from P-TECH 535 (Rochester, MN, U.S.), Falcon Tech (Longmont, CO, U.S..), Leeds City College (Leeds, U.K.) and two teams from National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan). Each team will have the opportunity to learn from IBMers on topics such as engineering and coding. Workplace skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking, agility and entrepreneurship will also be conveyed.

“This work to help democratize access to space will help further accelerate space exploration and innovation. IBM’s edge computing in space experiment will run containers in space and apply AI on the raw data being produced on the satellite. The actionable insights gained will be communicated back to IBM Cloud on earth, a hybrid solution extending from terrestrial networks to the far edge in space. We are ecstatic about our Endurance project, and to be ‘going to space’ in collaboration with EnduroSat. The sky is not the limit.”

  • Naeem Altaf, IBM Distinguished Engineer & CTO Space Tech

EY and IBM Expand Alliance to Help Organizations Address Talent Challenges

LONDON, 24 MAY 2022EY and IBM today announce an alliance expansion through a new initiative to help businesses around the world address some of the most pressing workforce challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including employee recruiting, retention, upskilling and the need to transform HR systems technology at speed and scale.

With the aim to help organizations navigate this new talent landscape through digital innovation and greater resilience, EY and IBM have established a new Talent Center of Excellence (COE). The COE will create data-driven AI and hybrid cloud solutions that provide broad talent, HR, mobility, and payroll transformation services. Bringing together the EY Organization & Workforce, Mobility and HR Transformation business solutions with IBM Talent Transformation business and hybrid cloud and AI capabilities, it is the newest expansion of the EY-IBM Alliance and second COE established in the past year.

Andy Baldwin, EY Global Managing Partner – Client Service, says:

“The combination of EY and IBM broad talent consulting and technology solutions can help clients transform their workforce by addressing some of the most significant talent challenges facing the market today. Through this alliance expansion, EY and IBM are better equipped to help deliver value to clients by putting humans at the center of the experience and helping them overcome the urgent need to attract, retain and upskill their workforce while transforming their HR function.”

John Granger, Senior Vice President – IBM Consulting, says:

“Clients are demanding larger, more integrated solutions across the talent landscape that no one company can provide. The EY-IBM Alliance will provide consulting and technology solutions that infuse AI and automation into the talent process to help clients simplify and streamline the experience. The collaboration with EY is yet another example of IBM’s open ecosystem model designed to drive market-share for partners, bring value to clients and will further differentiate EY and IBM across the talent industry, resetting the standard for talent solutions globally.”

Further illustrating the depth of the EY-IBM Alliance in this space, EY has invested in the organization’s own Talent function. By leveraging IBM automation and intelligence technology, EY is transforming Talent from within to develop a leading class acquisition strategy, help in delivering a simplified user experience and enable the ability to better match available skills and talent to jobs.

This new COE follows the successful launch of the EY-IBM Center of Excellence for Financial Services, which has supported nearly 30 financial institutions with solutions including mainframe modernization, application modernization and cloud security. Both centers are enabled and supported by the IBM TechHub@EY, launched in April 2021, which has designed hybrid cloud solutions for more than 130 clients including asset performance management, carbon accounting, workplace insights and other platforms. The IBM TechHub@EY has also provided well over 23,000 hours of continued professional education to train and certify EY practitioners on IBM AI and hybrid cloud.

Posted by / May 24, 2022 / Posted in News

IBM to Grant $5 Million in-kind for Public Schools Globally to Better Prepare for Growing Ransomware Threat

ARMONK, N.Y.May 24, 2022 — IBM today announced it will provide in-kind grants valued at $5 million to help address cybersecurity resiliency in schools worldwide. For the second year in a row, six school districts in the United States will be awarded these grants. This year the program is also expanding overseas with four additional grants in BrazilCosta RicaIreland, and the United Arab Emirates. As part of each grant, sponsor teams of IBMers will help schools proactively prepare for and respond to cyberattacks.

In 2021, in the U.S. alone over 1,000 schools across the country suffered from a ransomware attack, according to Emsisoft research. Financially motivated cybercriminals are taking advantage of schools’ need for uptime, their scarcity of cybersecurity defense resources, and lack of expertise compared to other potential targets. Cybercriminals’ focus on schools is also increasing on a global scale. In a recent report, IBM Security X-Force observed globally that the percentage of ransomware attacks against the education sector more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, with most cyberattacks taking the form of adware (33%) or ransomware (22%) attacks.

“For schools, a large barrier to strengthening their cybersecurity posture often comes down to constrained budgets, which financially motivated threat actors bet on,” said Charles Henderson, Global Managing Partner and Head of IBM Security X-Force. “By pursuing targets with lower defenses, threat actors can reap quick rewards and yield a higher return. In the event of ransomware attacks, the extreme added pressure schools experience to pay a ransom to recover their operations is a profitable wager for the bad guys. As a leader in the security community, it’s our duty to help our educational institutions strengthen their cyber preparedness.”

The grant, created as part of IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, will be an in-kind contribution in the form of resources and hours performed by IBM Service Corps teams. Through IBM Service Corps, IBMers use their professional skills to help communities tackle complex challenges in education, humanitarian efforts, cybersecurity, and economic development. Through this grant program, volunteers will help schools establish programs to address cybersecurity resiliency and will provide services including developing incident response plans and ransomware playbooks. The programs will address the need for updating operating systems, providing cybersecurity training for staff, students, and parents, and implementing strategic communication plans to use in response to a cyber incident.

“Our access to IBM’s cybersecurity professionals allowed us to reframe our perspective on how vulnerabilities may originate, and how to educate our school community about cybersecurity safety practices,” said Ra’Chel Ford, Chief Operating Officer at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools. “We thought cybersecurity concerns were limited to sharing passwords and email phishing, but we now realize that cybersecurity breaches come in many forms. Cybersecurity is now viewed as part of our School Safety Plan and Crisis Response Plan. Everyone plays a part – board members, families, scholars, staff, and vendors. This was one of the best decisions we made for our organization.”

Last year, IBM received more than 250 applications from school districts across the United States seeking to strengthen their security postures in response to the growing threats in the education space. After a careful review of applications, IBM selected six recipients based on their cybersecurity needs and experiences, community resources, and potential risks: Brevard Public Schools in Viera, FloridaDenver Public Schools in Denver, Colorado; KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in Atlanta, GeorgiaNewhall School District in Valencia, CaliforniaPoughkeepsie City School District in Poughkeepsie, New York; and Sheldon Independent School District in Houston, Texas. This year, IBM is increasing this program to a total of 10 grants, valued at $500,000 each ($5 million in total).

K-12 public school districts based in the United States that are interested in applying for IBM’s education cybersecurity grant can apply via IBM.com here: webportalapp.com/webform/ibm-cybersecurity. School districts in the United States can apply through June 21, 2022.

Posted by / May 24, 2022 / Posted in News

Global Data from IBM Shows Steady AI Adoption as Organizations Look to Address Skills Shortages, Automate Processes and Encourage Sustainable Operations

ARMONK, N.Y., May 19, 2022 — New market research commissioned by IBM revealed that global AI adoption grew steadily over the last year, to 35 percent of those surveyed in 2022, further underscoring that AI growth is poised to accelerate as it continues to mature, becoming more accessible and easier to implement.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/9002053-ibm-global-ai-adoption-index-2022/

Other data points from the “Global AI Adoption Index 2022,” conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of IBM, reveal this growth was due to companies recognizing the value of AI as they emerged from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and invested in their digital transformation, while dealing with talent and skills shortages. In fact, the study shows that AI adoption was up 4 percentage points compared with 2021.

For the first time, the report also polled companies about their plans to use AI in their sustainability initiatives and found that AI is poised to play a significant role. 66% of IT professionals surveyed said that their company is either currently applying AI, or plans to apply AI, to accelerate ESG initiatives.

Highlights from the “Global AI Adoption Index 2022” include:

  • Global AI adoption is growing steadily, and most companies already use or plan to use AI: Today, 35% of companies reported using AI in their business. Compared with 2021, organizations are 13% more likely to have adopted AI in 2022. Additionally, 42% of companies report they are exploring AI. Large companies are more likely than smaller companies to use AI. Chinese and Indian companies are leading the way, with nearly 60% of IT professionals in those countries saying their organization already actively uses AI, compared with lagging markets like South Korea (22%), Australia (24%) the U.S. (25%), and the U.K. (26%). IT professionals in the financial services, media, energy, automotive, oil, and aerospace industries are most likely to report their company has actively deployed AI, while organizations in industries including retail, travel and government/federal services and healthcare are the least likely.
  • Setting clear data and AI strategies are key for horizontal deployment: A major explanation for gradual AI adoption is the need to implement a successful data management strategy and applying AI to that data achieve business goals. Companies that have not deployed AI are three times as likely to say that they have little to no confidence their company has the proper data management tools. Today, 37% of companies are developing an AI strategy, 28% already have a holistic strategy in place, and 25% have a strategy that is focused only on limited or specific use cases.
  • Automation is helping address skills gaps, labor shortages: More than costs, lack of tools, or project or data complexity, the skills gap remains the biggest barrier to AI adoption. At the same time, AI is also helping organizations address skills shortages, for example by automating tasks for skilled workers so they can be more productive, or by using AI-assisted learning or employee engagement. Almost one-in-four companies are adopting AI because of labor or skills shortages, and 30% of global IT professionals say employees at their organization are already saving time with new AI and automation software/tools.
  • A growing emphasis on trust – but few concrete actions: Establishing trustworthy, responsible AI practices and AI maturity go hand-in-hand: The more likely a company is to have deployed AI, the more likely they are to value the importance of trustworthiness. IT professionals at businesses currently deploying AI are 17% more likely to report that their business values AI explainability than those that are simply exploring AI. But while growing majorities of business leaders say that trustworthy AI is critical, a majority organizations have not taken key steps to ensure their AI is trustworthy and responsible, such as reducing bias (74%), tracking performance variations/model drift (68%), and making sure making sure they can explain AI-powered decisions (61%)
  • Building more sustainable operations: AI is poised to play a growing role in the sustainability initiatives of organizations around the world as more than two-thirds of businesses either use or plan to use AI today as part of their sustainability initiatives. One-in-five companies are already adopting AI because of environmental pressures.
  • Popular use cases like automation, security drive adoption: Organizations are applying AI in a wide variety of use cases today, with the most advanced adoption happening in areas like IT operations, security and threat detection and business process automation. Today, already a third of companies are already using AI for IT Operations (AIOps) to automate key processes, which helps them maintain application performance while also making resource-allocation more efficient. A third of companies deploying AI are applying such as natural language processing to fields like marketing, sales and customer care.

“More than one-third of organizations polled in the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022 say they are using AI today to respond to a myriad of different factors and pressures,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Software. “They’re looking to AI to help them address skills and labor shortages, respond to competitive pressures and, increasingly to respond to environmental pressures as well. Most respondents said they either are already using or plan to use AI as part of their sustainability initiatives. These trends all point to the growing role that AI is playing both within organizations but also in society.”

While AI investment continues to grow, barriers to adoption remain, particularly for smaller organizations who are significantly less likely to take advantage of AI. The survey determined top three barriers to AI adoption for businesses are: limited AI expertise or knowledge (34%), high prices (29%), and lack of tools and platforms for developing AI models (25%).

IBM is helping to address these barriers and deliver the benefits of AI to more people and organizations across industries with AI that is human-centered and designed for the needs of businesses. IBM is continually drawing on the latest innovations in AI from IBM Research to deliver new enterprise-ready capabilities, automate technical and manual processes like IT operations and develop new ways to operationalize and help ensure AI ethics are observed. Additionally, IBM Consulting brings deep technology, industry and process design expertise to co-create solutions with customers that embed AI into core business processes and create intelligent workflows at scale.

Posted by / May 19, 2022 / Posted in News