This morning, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid announced the opening of a $90 million IBM data centre in Barrie.
The new facility will support a $210 million research and development project launched in partnership between IBM Canada, seven universities including McMaster and the government of Ontario.
The data centre allows IBM to provide advanced data storage space, security, and disaster recovery spaces.
In time, it is expected to use ‘cloud’ computing, in which data is stored remotely on servers for users to access, to help support a new virtual research centre in Ontario.
The IBM Canada Research and Development Centre was initiated by the McGuinty government to drive investment in Ontario’s R & D sector in a competitive business climate. The goal is to bring innovative discoveries in certain areas to the marketplace by collaborating with scientists and researchers in academia.
Research at the virtual centre will focus on data management for healthcare, water conservation and management, energy management, ageing infrastructure and rapid urbanization in Ontario cities.
The ministry says the project will create 145 highly skilled jobs in the R & D sector and secures thousands of existing jobs at IBM in Ontario.
IBM has committed to investing $175 million over two years (until December 2014) to the initiative, the province of Ontario has invested $15 million, and the federal government is providing the remaining $20 million.
The IBM Canada Research and Development Centre adds to IBM’s more than $6-billion global R & D investment last year.
The project is led by the University of Toronto and Western University, in collaboration with McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and the University of Waterloo.