IBM Research Opens in South Africa

IBM Research has opened its second research location on the African continent and announced several new project collaborations in the areas of data driven healthcare, digital urban ecosystems and astronomy.
IBM researchers in South Africa, with backgrounds in machine learning, mathematics, computer science, robotics, genomics and computational biology, are exploring the use of cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and Big Data to support South Africa’s national priorities, drive skills development and foster innovation-based economic growth.
“South Africa is a tremendous growth and transformation story, yet its increasing population and healthcare delivery shortfalls continue to pose challenges in the country,” said Solomon Assefa, director, IBM Research – Africa. “With the ability to detect patterns and discover new correlations, cognitive and cloud computing and the Internet of Things can provide potential solutions.”
The lab’s team of scientists is already collaborating extensively with local universities, research institutions, innovation centers, start-ups and government agencies. This will help foster South Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem and develop and scale new innovations.
As part of a 10-year investment program through South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry and working closely with the Department of Science and Technology, the new research lab is based at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The university was recently ranked amongst the top 10 in emerging economies by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
“The launch of the IBM Research laboratory is an exciting milestone in the move towards a new era of globally competitive research, innovation and entrepreneurship that will be emerging out of the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein. Wits is delighted to be collaborating with IBM. We look forward to seeing top talent congregate to address the continent’s most intractable problems and work on the world’s next game changing technologies,” said Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand.