IBM is set to launch a new research facility at the University of Queensland to address data challenges impacting health, manufacturing and environmental research.

Dubbed the IBM@UQ Centre of Excellence, it will tackle issues associated with significant growth in the amount of data being collected, organised and stored for research purposes.

UQ’s deputy vice-chancellor Professor Bronwyn Harch said the university needed to provide researchers with improved data resources and capabilities as academia increasingly dealt with huge amounts of information.

In addition to the launch of the centre, IBM provided a range of new data storage and computer hardware platforms to the university’s research computing centre (RCC) for experimentation and evaluation.

RCC director, Professor David Abramson, said the new centre and data capability would help the university remain innovative and competitive in terms of the research it can carry out.

“UQ makes a perfect environment for this type of work because our research demands the latest technology to stay competitive, but we can also be a little bold in what might be achieved,” Abramson said.

IBM has flagged its interest in more projects in this vein as it seeks opportunities to become more than just a supplier, IBM Australia’s director and general manager for systems Jason Price said.

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