Scientists from academia and industry will be able to work together in a collaborative model unique in Canada.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be invited into the network, giving them access to university and IBM scientists and to computing facilities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them.
IBM research staff will also be located directly at campus computing facilities with university scientists.
With 69 per cent of Canada’s population now in urban centres, cities are stymied by budget restraints, rapid acceleration of urban growth, aging infrastructure and networks of unconnected, complex systems. The initiative will help channel research efforts on new breakthroughs to help resolve these challenges and improve our cities.
Rising health care costs associated with chronic diseases and the lengthy development cycle for new medicines cost millions of dollars for taxpayers. Duplication of information across multiple systems is rampant, often rendering deep wells of lifesaving information inaccessible. The new investments will
help researchers begin to address these issues. For example, over one million people in Ontario have neurological disorders. The impact of brain
disorders on the Ontario economy is estimated at $39 billion per year. Researchers will tackle this challenge to accelerate brain research.
Ontario is a leader in smart grid and alternative energy distribution. Continued efficiency gains in distribution will save consumers money and help reduce waste. Inefficient energy distribution can equal approximately 40 per cent waste from source to use. The new initiative intends to advance research on smart grid technologies to help increase energy distribution efficiencies for Ontario and Canada. New weather modeling capabilities can help pinpoint trends for precision agriculture and other initiatives aimed at increasing predictability of sun, rain, wind and plant growth patterns for increased
crop yield and overall productivity gains.
Almost nine per cent of Canada’s total area is fresh water, but health problems related to water pollution are estimated to cost Canadians $300 million per year. Municipalities commonly lose about 20 per cent of their water supply due to infrastructure leaks. By better automating and more efficiently managing
city services around water use, municipalities can compare the volume of sewage from homes and businesses against the volume of water coming in
from ground water or rainfall. Problem areas can then be targeted for detailed inspection. Saving water loss and inflow on the sewer system helps keep consumer rates as low as possible.
Through SOSCIP, researchers will focus on software modeling innovation within exascale and high performance computing platforms to help strengthen Canada’s digital infrastructure and digital advantage. Increasing the speed of these high performance computing systems will harness massive volumes of data to more quickly solve critical challenges with our cities, water, energy and health care. This foundation will also allow new advances from IBM’s global research team to be tested in Canada.
EDGE · SUMMER 2012 · VOL.14, NO.1