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New Queen’s research hub harnesses IBM’s Watson technology

Don Aldridge, Executive Director, Centre for Advanced Computing at Queen's poses with Colette Lacroix of IBM Canada.

The Centre for Advanced Computing (CAC) at Queen’s University has partnered with IBM to establish a new academic research support initiative leveraging the company’s Watson cognitive technology.

“This collaboration between IBM and the CAC promises to increase our research capacity and help prepare our community for the next wave of technological innovation,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. “With access to IBM’s state-of-the-art technology, the CAC will have an increased ability to harness data and help a wide range of researchers use information in new and exciting ways.”

The CAC and IBM are creating the “Cognitive Development Hub”, a team of cognitive developers at the CAC who will engage with academic researchers, and support collaboration with industry partners to explore the potential of incorporating cognitive technologies into their businesses.

“Queen’s is committed to fostering partnerships that enhance our strengths and accelerate research outcomes on the regional, national, and global stages,” says John Fisher, Queen’s Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This collaboration is another exciting example of IBM and Queen’s working together on mutually beneficial and innovative projects that positively impact our research digital infrastructure and knowledge translation.”

The Cognitive Development Hub will develop proofs of concept solutions using Watson technologies. Industry partners will learn how the technology can work for them, and Queen’s post-doctoral fellows and undergraduate interns will have the opportunity to develop their cognitive skills by working on real-world projects.

“IBM sees great value in expanding our already strong relationship with one of Canada’s top research universities. This is an important and unique collaboration with Queen’s University – our first Canadian academic partner to establish a development centre using Watson technologies. We are also excited by the focus of Queen’s to engage students in the centre – they will be Canada’s future IT leaders,” says Dino Trevisani, General Manager, IBM Canada Limited and graduate of Queen's University's MBA program.

“Academic collaboration with industry not only accelerates the creation of new innovative solutions and technologies, it also helps to drive the economy by transferring knowledge gained at our universities to industry, increasing skills both in our graduates and within our industry partners, and creating new jobs and business opportunities,” says Don Aldridge, Executive Director, Centre for Advanced Computing at Queen’s University. “As Canada becomes a true knowledge economy and executes on our innovation agenda, partnerships such as this will prove essential for everyone involved.”

The CAC’s Cognitive Development Hub is the latest example of Queen’s and IBM working together on innovative projects. Most recently, the new “IBM Canada | Smith Cognitive Computing Centre” was unveiled in Toronto. The first of its kind at a business school in Canada, the centre is a collaborative space that will provide an exclusive artificial intelligence demonstration experience for IBM clients and enhanced access to cognitive computing solutions for Smith students and faculty. IBM’s partnerships with the Smith School of Business and the CAC are complementary, covering the spectrum from education through to hands-on application development and execution.

Visit the Centre for Advanced Computing website for more information.