A new IBM Global Research and Development laboratory has been has been officially opened in Melbourne.


Located at the University of Melbourne, the lab will see IBM researchers from labs around the world exploring research opportunities with University of Melbourne researchers from across all schools and faculties.


The Commonwealth Government provided $22 million to support the lab, which will employ about 150 researchers over the next five years.


The lab will engage with researchers from institutions including the University, CSIRO, National ICT Australia (NICTA) and Australian business, and will further strengthen the partnership forged between the University of Melbourne and IBM in 2007.


It is the first IBM laboratory to bring together research and development in a single organization focused on nurturing a smarter planet. Research will focus on three key areas:

  • Innovation in areas related to resource discovery, production, supply chain and operations using advanced techniques in monitoring, analytics and automation of resources including oil, gas, minerals, water and food.
  • Expanding and integrating expertise in the management of natural disasters including real time event processing, weather modeling, traffic management and mobility in event of evacuation and communication and emergency responses.
  • Extending the work begun in the IBM Collaboratory to translate life sciences research into clinical applications.


IBM Senior Vice-President and Director of IBM Research, Dr John E. Kelly III, said research and development played a vital role in IBM’s strategy for growth.


“The lab will work with Australia’s top scientists and engineers from academia, government and industry to extend IBM’s global R&D footprint and increase its impact on our clients and make the world work better.  We look forward to working with the Australian technical and scientific community on some of the most pressing problems and greatest opportunities of our time.”


The opening of the IBM research laboratory coincides with the development of the National Disaster Management Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne, which will bring together researchers from across the university, and beyond, with expertise in disaster management.