LITTLETON, Mass., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has opened the doors of the IBM Mass Lab -- IBM's largest Software Development Lab in North America. The IBM Mass Lab, a campus comprised of sites in Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts, brings together 3,400 of IBM's leading experts to design and develop first-of-a-kind solutions to respond to customers' computing challenges.
The IBM Mass Lab is creating software that manages some of the world's most complex process and infrastructure problems such as modernizing and automating the world's physical infrastructures -- from railroads, water management, food traceability and healthcare modernization. Much of the demand for software is being created by the need to automate and modernize virtually every system today such as electronic medical records, fraud detection and energy management through smart grids.
IBM employees at the Mass Lab will also advance new technologies focused on collaboration, social networking, cloud computing and analytics. Additionally, developers at the IBM Mass Lab are creating software for the new era of enterprise mobile computing fostering more effective collaboration and integration to support an increasingly global and mobile workforce. The explosion and sophistication of devices have generated a mountain of data, countless transactions, and increased complexity leading to a convergence of IT and mobility.
"The IBM Mass Lab helps demonstrate to the world that Massachusetts is a global leader in the innovation economy," said Deval Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "The IBM solutions developed right here in Massachusetts are helping to advance the Commonwealth's economic prosperity, and quality of life for citizens around the globe."
IBM Mass Lab Positioned for Growth
While it's the largest in North America, the IBM Mass Lab is one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe. With more square footage than Boston's Fenway Park or the TD Garden, the IBM Mass Lab will foster collaboration among employees while leaving space for organic growth and future acquisitions. Since 2003, IBM has acquired fourteen Massachusetts-based companies to broaden its software portfolio including Rational Software, Cognos, Ascential Software Corporation, and most recently Ounce Labs and Guardium Corporation.
IBM has partnered with more than 100 Venture Capital backed, small technology companies in Massachusetts, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England.
"IBM views Massachusetts as an innovation hotbed," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software. "IBM is committed to nurturing the human talent and economic strengths of the growing Massachusetts tech hub. The IBM Mass Lab is a critical component of our growth strategy for the state of Massachusetts."
IBM selected the towns of Littleton and Westford for its combined campus due to the proximity of its geographically dispersed employee population and burgeoning high-tech belt along I-495. IBM's Massachusetts presence also includes IBM Research in Cambridge, Mass., and the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., celebrating its 15th year of helping local companies enable their skills and applications around IBM products.
IBM is committed to environmentally friendly construction and technology. The IBM Mass Lab meets requirements set by nationally recognized standards for minimum energy use and incorporates many sustainable design and construction elements. When designing the Mass Lab, focus was placed on energy efficiency, recycling and reuse of materials and water conservation.
The IBM Mass Lab can accommodate 59,000 square feet of Lab server space and contains 31 miles of copper and fiber-optic wiring for data networking, virtualization and power monitoring. There's over two petabytes of data in the Mass Lab that allows the IBM engineers to harness an exceptional level of computing power and storage to develop software on the latest hardware technology.
The IBM Mass Lab also includes an Executive Briefing Center where IBM clients from around the globe can meet with subject matter experts from the Mass Lab to learn more about IBM Software.
IBM Mass Lab Gives Back to the Community
As a top corporate philanthropist, the IBM Mass Lab will help strengthen its continued contribution to the state's economy. IBM is focused on giving back to the Massachusetts community and sponsors many leading programs. For example, IBM Massachusetts employees in the last two years donated more than $1.8 million in cash and technology equipment and contributed more than 43,000 volunteer hours to schools and local organizations. IBMers in Massachusetts serve on more than 20 local boards including the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX), and Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.
IBM's contributions target critical societal issues and leverage our employee talent and expertise, as well as our technologies. In 2009, principal recipients of IBM's charitable activities in Massachusetts include United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Citizen Schools, Year Up, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and the Boston Latin Academy.
IBM and Harvard University researchers are partners on a World Community Grid project to discover organic materials to create a more efficient and lower cost solar cell. This project is aimed at helping society by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels to make a lasting impact by hopefully finding new sources of clean energy. The path-breaking effort uses idle computer power from volunteers to create large supplies of new clean energy. World Community Grid is the largest public humanitarian grid in existence with more than 510,000 members who represent more than 200 countries and links to more than one million computers.
IBM is also working closely with the town of Littleton to build partnerships and engage community members. Last fall, IBM awarded Littleton Public Schools a $40,000 grant for IBM's Reading Companion program. Reading Companion, a web-based tool, uses speech-recognition technology that "listens" to young children or adults read aloud and provides individualized feedback. This helps students practice fundamental reading skills as well as improve their pronunciation.
About IBM in Massachusetts
IBM is a truly global company and for 96 years (since 1914) IBM has been a key economic contributor to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, IBM is the second largest technology employer in Massachusetts.
IBM engineers in Massachusetts have developed ground-breaking and innovative technologies to the marketplace that have changed the way people work and collaborate. Since 1995, IBM employees in Massachusetts were awarded 2,950 patents.
IBM has been recognized for its economic and innovative contributions across the state. In 2010, IBM received a Gold award from MassEcon for its economic contributions to the Central Massachusetts region. Mass High Tech listed IBM as the largest IT consulting firms in New England in 2010, and the largest software developer in New England for 2009. In 2009, the Boston Globe named IBM #1 on its National 25 list of publically held companies based outside Massachusetts with a major presence in the state, ranked by competitive performance. In 2009, the Boston Business Journal named IBM one of the top 25 charitable contributors in the state, and Mass High Tech honored IBM for its leadership in Tech Citizenship.
Global Communications for IBM