The UK is set to see a boost in big data research with a £313 million partnership being signed between IBM and the UK government.
The partnership, set to be unveiled today by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, follows the government’s £113 commitment to expand the Hartree Centre at Daresbury over the next five years.
IBM’s role will be to support this project with a package of technology and onsite expertise worth up to £200 million.
IBM will contribute 24 researchers to work alongside existing staff at the Hartree Centre, with those researchers having access to the latest data-centric and cognitive computing technologies – including the much-hyped Watson platform.
Delivered through the cloud, IBM’s Watson analyses high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers.
The agreement between the two parties also extends to the joint commercialisation of intellectual property assets produced in partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which runs the Hartree Centre.
Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said: "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.
"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."
STFC and IBM plan to actively engage with third parties on collaborative projects in order to address real world challenges in academia, industry and government.
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