Public Release: 

University of York students benefit from IBM link to promote skills for 21st century economy

Program designed to help develop high value jobs and knowledge-based growth

University of York

The University of York has enhanced its links with industry by joining IBM UK's University Relations Program. The aim is to expand the scope of the resources and experiences offered to students, better preparing them for the careers of tomorrow with skills that will stimulate growth and drive innovation.

IBM experts drawn from its UK workforce of over 20,000, including master inventors and distinguished engineers, will give guest lectures and seminars, support curriculum development, work as visiting professors and undertake collaborative research activities with staff and students. Students and academic staff will also have free access to IBM software through its Academic Initiative Program to complement teaching activities and to aid research.

York's Vice Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor, said "The University of York has a long-standing and productive relationship with IBM and we see this as a hugely important strategic collaboration. This partnership agreement defines a framework to support the process of identifying and pursuing opportunities in teaching, research and enterprise and will expand York's capacity to deliver impact from our world-class knowledge base.

"This type of collaboration is particularly valuable in the current technology development environment, which increasingly depends on innovation networks that span industry and academic research."

Brendon Riley, Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland added "The planet faces fundamental issues such as the control of carbon emissions, managing stressed infrastructures in cities, speeding drug development, managing energy supply and better analysis of financial risk. In order to support the growth of systems and industries that will address these challenges, we need students to develop a unique skill-set never seen before

"Students will have to combine critical thinking, creativity and innovation with leadership, global awareness and technology literacy. Consequently, IBM is working closely with leading universities to build up these skills to keep the UK at the forefront of the knowledge based economy."

IBM strongly identifies with York's research into the global effects of population growth and demographics, development of information and communication technologies and sustainable development for future generations.

The University's performance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise places it among the top ten institutions in the UK and the top 100 in the world for research.

IBM already supports joint research projects with the University. The Department of Computer Science is a leading UK academic contributor to the International Technology Alliance, an IBM-led consortium that undertakes a research program for the US Army Research Laboratory and the UK Ministry of Defence (http://www.usukita.org/). The Department is recognised for the high quality of its research:, teaching and technology transfer, particularly to industry and UK government. It teaches courses which are highly relevant to emerging trends in professional IT in industry and commerce and its graduates are widely sought by industry. This announcement is a strategic extension to this existing relationship.

Staff and students will have access to experts from amongst the 3,000 staff at IBM Hursley, Europe's largest software development lab, whose work includes developing the software that underpins the billions of financial transactions made globally every day. IBM invested $6.2billion in research and development worldwide in 2008 and has been present in the UK for almost six decades.

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