IBM to create 200 Dublin jobs in ‘smart cities’ venture

24 Mar 2010

Technology giant IBM is to create 200 new jobs in Dublin at its first-ever IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre, which aims to revolutionise how cities provide services, such as water and transport.

The Centre will be located in Dublin, where IBM will build a highly skilled and cross-disciplinary team to help cities around the world better understand, interconnect and manage their core operational systems such as transport, communication, water and energy.

The new Smarter Cities Technology Centre will create as many as 200 new roles in an IDA-supported investment of up to €66m over the next three years.

Experts at work

The team of subject matter experts will work with city authorities, universities, small and large businesses, as well as experts from IBM Research and the company’s Software Development Lab in Ireland to research, develop and commercialise new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent. 

“The decision by IBM underscores the Irish Government’s commitment to providing an environment where industry and academia can collaborate to create economic growth through innovation and research,” said the newly appointed Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe.

“This project illustrates how IDA Ireland, working with globally integrated businesses such as IBM, can help create the Irish smart economy while also assisting highly innovative companies such as IBM to achieve their business goals.”

Due in large part to the enormous modelling complexity and intensive computing resources required to build truly integrated systems, urban planners and local governments have traditionally evolved separate solutions for areas such as water, traffic and emergency response.

What IBM’s new centre offers

By being able to integrate their core systems and use advanced analytic capabilities offered by IBM’s new centre, cities can now enhance decision-making, improve urban planning, and provide better and more cost-effective services to citizens.

“Researchers at the new centre will investigate how advanced analytics and visualisation techniques coupled with solutions such as cloud, stream and high-performance computing can help city authorities make optimal use of resources and so meet the challenges of our increasingly urbanised world,” said Dr Katherine Frase, vice-president, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business at IBM Research.

IBM also welcomed the recent announcement by Dublin City of its intent to collaborate with IBM as a “test bed”, positioning Dublin as a smarter city, embracing technology to stimulate economic activity and meeting the challenges of a globally competitive city for the future.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, no company can afford to stand still. IBM has been in Ireland since 1956 and continues to evolve its presence in Ireland towards higher-value, knowledge-intensive activity. Today’s announcement is yet another step in the evolution and follows on from a number of announcements over the past three years which have ensured that Ireland continues to play a critical role in IBM’s success,” said Michael Daly, country general manager, IBM Ireland. 

IDA Ireland CEO Barry O’Leary said today’s announcement by IBM fits neatly with IDA Ireland’s recently published strategy, Horizon 2020.

“Global megatrends, such as demographic changes, present business opportunities for companies prepared to research, plan, prepare and innovate. Ireland’s ability to act as a test bed for research and new technology to enable companies to develop and internationalise innovative products and services is a decisive factor in winning new investment of this kind,” O’Leary said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: IBM CEO and chairman Sam Palmisano

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years