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Friday, December 15, 2006

Interesting experience at IBM's Zurich research labs

There are a number of opportunities for joint research projects between Maltese organisations and IBM, especially within the framework of the European Union's FP7 funding.

These are being followed up by the Ministry for IT. The opportunities were explained during a two-day visit by a Maltese delegation to IBM Industry Solution Labs in Zurich, Switzerland.

Members of the delegation hailed from the Information Technology Secretariat within the Ministry for IT, MITTS, Philip Toledo Ltd, Computer Solutions Ltd, the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority, St Martin's Institute for Information Technology. I was invited by the Ministry for IT to join the delegation and report on the visit. A series of articles is being prepared for publication on i-Tech.

The visit was a result of the vertical strategic alliance between the Maltese government and IBM and is one of several planned visits to enable Maltese IT-related organisations, including the government, to exploit the possibility of joint research projects with IBM.

The IBM research lab in Zurich is the European branch of the company's research network that employs some 3,500 people in eight labs across the world. For the last 50 years it has been at the forefront of research on innovation, twice winning the Nobel Prize. It was the top recipient of US patents in 2004.

In Zurich the Maltese delegation was briefed on the latest trends in research, with particular focus on security and privacy. IBM's speakers gave an overview of the Global Technology Outlook and the Global Innovation Outlook, IBM's research efforts in current trends in information technology. Exhibits also showed research applied to different aspects of everyday life. These included the latest application of research in biometric identification and the use of RFID for the location of persons and goods.

I would like to thank Dieter, Karin, Nicole, Sid, Robert and Maurizio and other personnel at IBM for their hospitality and support during the visit.