IBM Australia has launched a $US23 million research and development centre in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont, which has been built to house consulting and technical professionals from IBM and its partners.
Baptised the "Sydney centre for e-business innovation", the centre will initially house 150 existing IBM employees, and the vendor plans to create an additional 340 new jobs there in the next five years. These positions will include creative developers, business and IT consultants, Java programmers and other technical specialists.
The Sydney building has been designed in such a way as to free up the space and allow for flexible working patterns, with each workstation linked via wireless connections. According to IBM, this will create an environment where teams can be reconfigured at short notice as projects change.
The centre includes three research and development laboratories that focus on the areas of security, networks and wireless technologies. The security lab will provide hands-on tools for the creation of new encryption modules for e-business. The network lab has been designed in conjunction with Lucent and Nortel and aims to reduce the cost of ownership of networks. The wireless technology section, dubbed the "mobility" lab, is aimed at the creation of wireless application protocol (WAP) applications and 3G technology in conjunction with Ericsson.
IBM has begun discussions about using the centre for the training and development of tertiary-level students, and plans to jointly develop curriculum and offer hands-on training at the centre with universities. The vendor has already announced an alliance with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) who will use the centre to train undergraduate students.