IBM and Lancaster University lay foundations for relationship


Lancaster University is to establish a closer cooperation with IBM, the US based software giant. In the future, IBM could help Lancaster create courses on subjects like Smarter Planets, Smarter Cities, and Architecture & Enterprise Systems. Among other promising developments, the students can expect opportunities for a placement within IBM.

Speaking to University House, Vice Chancellor Mark Smith said, “IBM shares many of our goals and both organisations are deeply focused on developing cultures of innovation. We believe that the common cultural values within our organisations give us a platform that we hope will lead to further closer working and potentially the development of exciting technology solutions.”

One of the key collaborative aims is to bring the University’s Research to the highest level, and development of new research areas such as smart cities, big data, smarter commerce and business analytics.

The Vice Chancellor went on to highlight the opportunity to create a link between academia and businesses, with regards to Lancaster University’s focus on employability: “The agreement outlines how the two organisations could work together in the future in areas such as collaborative research, knowledge exchange, jointly organising events, curriculum developments and staff secondments…”

However there has been confusion at the specifics of the talks and the University press office were reluctant to give any more details on the outcomes that students can expect from the recently signed memorandum.

“It is too early,” Vicky Tyrrell, Head of Media Enquiries, told SCAN. “We don’t know what to expect yet.” Other departments, such as Research & Enterprise, ISS and Management School, also hesitated in giving further insight into the negotiations.

It was pointed out in the press release that the memorandum is not a legal document but more of an “established framework for future collaborations”. So far, the co-operation between IBM and the University has been limited to cyber-security, Smart Streets, and smart healthcare. The recent communication brings hope for something more. The report concluded, “Both organisations will look to capitalise on each other’s significant international links, contacts and business networks”

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