PORTLAND, Ore.IBM Research Monday (June 7) said it would establish its first research laboratory in South America, IBM Research-Brazil. It will be the company's first new permanent lab in 12 years.
IBM said the research lab would join the company's superfast optical network backbone connecting 3,000 research scientists in the U.S, Switzerland, Isreal, China, Japan and India. IBM Research-Brazil will be dedicated to pursuing smarter planet initiatives in energy, transportation and semiconductor devices, IBM said.
"IBM Research-Brazil will be a permanent research lab dedicated to smarter planetinitially focusing on smarter natural resource [management], smarter human systems and smarter semiconductor devices," said Robert Morris, vice president of services research at IBM.
The first project, already underway, involves harnessing IBM's fast supercomputers and vast infrastructure of 20,000 networked employees in Brazil, to help in the discovery, exploration and logistics of extracting its crude oil from under layers of mineral and salt deposits.
"Brazil has incredibly rich reserves of oil and gas, as well as minerals, but getting at the oil and gas in a sustainable way will be a challenge, requiring very powerful computational techniques in order to find ways to safely extract them from under a salt layer," said Morris.
Smarter technologies for improving human systems, especially in developing urban environments like
Brazil's, will focus on developing smarter transportation, smarter healthcare and smarter agribusiness, taking advantage of IBM's supercomputing capabilities to manage the information technology. Smarter devices research at IBM Research-Brazil will focus on supporting smarter planet initiatives with semiconductor solutions.
Smarter planet initiatives at IBM Research-Brazil will ramp up as it adds to a core staff already operating at its existing offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with a goal of 100 researchers before the World Cup in 2014. IBM Research's final campus has not been chosen, but will likely include several satellite-lab locations across the vast countryside of Brazilthe fifth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China and the United States.
IBM Research-Brazil hopes to demonstrate smarter energy, transportation, healthcare and agribusiness systems at the Soccer World Cup in 2014, and then continue the tradition two years later when the Olympic Games are held in Brazil in 2016.