IBM Research Expands Into South Africa
IBM announced it is opening a new research lab in Johannesburg in April; Big Blue also opened a new digital sales center in Egypt.IBM continues to extend its reach in Africa, today announcing plans to expand IBM Research-Africa with a new laboratory in Johannesburg. The IBM Research news comes just days after Big Blue launched a new IBM Middle East and Africa Digital Sales Center in Cairo. IBM's new Johannesburg research laboratory will open in April 2015 and will focus on advancing big data, cloud and mobile technologies to support South Africa's national priorities, drive skills development and foster economic growth. "IBM considers two factors when deciding where to place research labs: access to world-class skills and talent and the ability to work on pressing business and societal challenges that can be best addressed through advanced information technology," Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president of IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research, said in a statement. "South Africa provides an exciting backdrop as we look to expand our research efforts in the region. Our Africa-based researchers are part of a global community of IBM scientists who are forging the future of our company and ensuring that we remain at the forefront of scientific discovery." As part of a 10-year investment program through the Department of Trade and Industry and working closely with the Department of Science and Technology, the new research facility will be based at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).
"South Africa is amongst the most technologically and scientifically advanced countries in the world," Naledi Pandor, South Africa's minister of science and technology, said in a statement. "However, it is essential to increase research and development activities in order to foster innovation and support the further diversification of the economy. We welcome IBM Research to South Africa and offer our very best scientific talent to ensure its long-term success."