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July 29, 1997


Mind's your business

IBM to tap India's brain power with $25 million research centre

A Staff Writer in Bombay

The IBM Corporation of the US has announced a $25-million investment in India over the next five years to establish a Solutions Research Center.

The Delhi-based centre, the company's first research facility in India, is expected to open later this year.

The Solutions Research Center will focus initially on exploratory technologies and solutions designed to support India's growing infrastructure, according to Dr Paul M Horn, senior vice-president and director of the IBM research division.

The centre will foster joint research projects with India's leading universities and educational institutions. IBM said it will commit an additional $10 million in grants and information technology to support independent university research projects.

"India is one of the fastest growing markets for information technology and is producing outstanding scientists, researchers and engineers," said Horn. "Working in concert with our labs in the United States, Asia and Europe, IBM's research presence in India will strengthen our ability to address the individual needs of key world markets."

Horn said the centre will initially focus on areas critical to expanding India's technology infrastructure, including weather forecasting, electronic commerce, supply-chain management and distribution, cellular and mobile telephony systems and distance learning.

Dr Alok Aggarwal Big Blue has named Dr Alok Aggarwal as the centre's director. Aggarwal joined IBM in 1984 and most recently worked as a senior research manager at IBM's T J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.

He said the centre will be staffed by approximately 20 scientists and engineers when it opens later this year. Staffing is expected to double by the end of 1998, reaching approximately 100 researchers by the turn of the century. "Our goal is to build on the success of IBM's worldwide research organisation and create an environment that encourages researchers to make major technological advances that benefit both India and IBM," said Aggarwal.

Consistent with IBM Research's commitment to academic research programs, the India Solutions Research Center will coordinate existing university partnership programs with the India Institute of Science in Bangalore and the India Institute of Technology in Delhi.

IBM Research, through the centre, expects to form as many as 10 additional research partnerships with Indian universities.

IIT Director V S Raju said it is exciting to enter into this partnership with IBM for several mutual benefits. "Most importantly, our youngsters will have enhanced opportunities for quality education and research."

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