Since its inception, the IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies has applied a novel formula of public/private research collaboration to drive innovation, accelerate commercialization and support diversification in the province.
The Centre links faculty and students from University of Alberta and University of Calgary with IBM research scientists and technologies they otherwise would not have access to, in pursuit of solutions to challenges of importance to Albertans and the world.
To date, the IBM Alberta CAS has supported more than 45 independent research projects and spawned more than six patent filings.
It has also provided hundreds of post-secondary students with the opportunity to develop new skills in technologies such as cloud, high performance computing and big data analytics, and exposed them to emerging industries.
For example, the University of Calgary’s Dr. Lee Jackson, along with an initiative called Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets, is using IBM software to access research facilities and glean insights from what he describes as a “data nightmare” in a project that studies the removal of contaminants from municipal wastewater, while Dr. Jack Tuszynski from the University of Alberta is using an IBM high-performance computing cluster to create computer models of protein targets in oncology and virology applications, to screen for potential therapeutic agents.
“The collaborative model that Alberta CAS represents is a successful one. It’s producing disruptive technologies, new companies and, more importantly, it’s enabling the province to drive innovation and skills, and our top research minds to move from discovery to commercialization faster,” says Bernie Kollman, vice-president, public sector Alberta and co-chair, IBM Alberta CAS.
IBM Alberta CAS is one of more than 20 centres for advanced studies the company has globally.