SOURCE: IBM

July 14, 2005 08:30 ET

IBM Offers Free Technologies to Universities to Accelerate Open Standards Development Skills

More Than 1,400 Schools Already Eligible to Participate

SOMERS, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 14, 2005 -- IBM today announced a new initiative that will provide universities with free access to a range of emerging technologies developed in IBM's Research and development labs.

The goal of the new "Academic License" program is to help train, educate and accelerate development skills around open standards-based technologies. As a result, university professors can use the technologies to build course curriculum, while providing students a competitive advantage in the workforce. In return, faculty and students will also provide IBM with feedback on how to improve these technologies before inclusion into future IBM products.

Professors will have access to more than 25 technologies including games and simulations to accelerate skills around IBM on demand offerings including open standards technologies, such as Java and Eclipse, tools to enable Grid computing and new technologies to help developers create applications that are accessible to the visually impaired. No other vendor provides universities with this level of advanced technology.

The offering is based on an ongoing effort by IBM to develop closer ties with the academic community. Through IBM's Academic Initiative, the company is forging relationships with colleges and universities to encourage students to enter into the fields of science and mathematics. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that by 2006, the United States alone will need 1.5 million more information technology professionals. And that one out of every four jobs in this decade will be in technology.

More than 1,400 colleges and universities are part of IBM's Academic Initiative, which has helped colleges and universities serve up more than 2,000 new courses teaching more than 280,000 students open standards-based IT skills relevant to the jobs of tomorrow. IBM is expanding its Academic Initiative to offer faculty and students access to technologies and skills that could be relevant in jobs three or more years from now.

The new technologies will be made available through IBM's alphaWorks program, a strategic initiative that has enabled IBM to reach a broader range of early software developers and get its offerings to market faster. For example, IBM's early work around WebSphere and Autonomic Computing were launched through alphaWorks. And in 2004, 86 emerging technologies were delivered on alphaWorks; close to half of these graduated into IBM products.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard's Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences will be the first universities to participate in the program. The new program is open to academic institutions participating in IBM's Academic Initiative. Professors can get a list of the technologies and download them at www.alphaworks.ibm.com/academic.

"I am pleased that IBM continues to strengthen its ties to academia by making alphaWorks technology available to faculty and students," said Jayanta Sircar, director of Information Technology, Harvard Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "Having access to emerging technologies is essential for enhancing our scientific research and learning."

"With its alphaWorks program IBM is once again setting the pace for innovation by sharing its emerging technologies with MIT and all academic institutions," said Alfred Essa, Chief Information Officer at MIT's Sloan School of Management. "This is a welcome step for accelerating innovation at the earliest stages of research and development, in areas ranging from grid computing to SOA and web services."

As part of this program, IBM is offering:

--  Free licenses for emerging technologies that faculty can use for
    teaching purposes.  The licenses do not have a time restriction.
    
--  Education events for universities to provide information on how these
    emerging technologies work and the impact to software development
    
--  Assistance to help professors build these emerging technologies into
    their curriculum
    
--  Forums on alphaWorks to allow faculty and students to give communicate
    and give feedback directly to IBM researchers.
    
"IBM is dedicated to helping next-generation developers build the skills they need to influence the next wave of innovation in business," said Gina Poole, vice president of Developer Relations, IBM. "Allowing students to be involved at such an early stage of the development process gives students the opportunity to become more familiar with emerging technologies and understand how they apply and can become integrated into the core of today's and tomorrow's on demand business."

The IBM Academic Initiative is an innovative program offering a wide range of technology education benefits from free to fee that can scale to meet the goals of most colleges and universities. IBM will work with schools -- that support open standards and seek to use open source and IBM technologies for teaching purposes -- both directly and virtually via the Web. For more information on the IBM Academic Initiative, visit www.ibm.com/university.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with more than 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more information, see http://www.ibm.com.

IBM, DB2, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli and WebSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. All other company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Contact Information