IBM And SUNY Poly To Launch An AI Center In Albany

By Amit Chowdhry ● February 12, 2019

IBM is partnering with SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) to launch an artificial intelligence “hardware lab” in Albany, New York. This facility is going to be part of a larger $2 billion commitment from IBM to the state of New York.

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Empire State Development is going to provide a five-year $300 million grant to SUNY Poly for the AI Hardware Center at the institute’s Albany campus. And the facility is expected to create hundreds of jobs. IBM will be extending its presence at SUNY Poly’s Center for Semiconductor Research through 2023 and an option for another five-year agreement after that.

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Photo Credit: SUNY Poly

IBM’s $2 billion investment across the sites at SUNY Poly and across the state is the biggest set of commitments from the company in nearly a decade. And this deal will also lay the groundwork to make SUNY Poly and the state of New York a hub for artificial intelligence.

“New York has always been at the forefront of emerging industries, and this private sector investment to create a hub for artificial intelligence research will attract world-class minds and drive economic growth in the region,” Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement via Times Union. “Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform how we live and how businesses operate, ‎and this partnership with IBM will help New York stay on the cutting edge developing innovative technologies.”

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“AI will transform the world in dramatic ways in the coming year,” added IBM Research’s VP of semiconductor and AI hardware Mukesh Khare. “IBM is pushing the boundaries of AI faster — for the benefit of industry and society. By expanding our partnership with New York State, we are creating a global hub of AI hardware research with an ecosystem to innovate, incubate, and lead in the development of disruptive technologies.”

There will be other partnerships linked to the new artificial intelligence center as well. For example, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy will be involved with the AI center along with Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron — both of which have operations set up at SUNY Poly. Applied Materials and the state of New York agreed to jointly fund an $880 million research and development center at SUNY Poly in November, which will collaborate with the AI Hardware Center. And IBM is going to invest $30 million on artificial intelligence programs at SUNY schools across the state. Plus the SUNY system is going to contribute $25 million to the programs as well.

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“Our partnership with businesses continues to foster research breakthroughs and economic growth while working to combat everything from diseases and cancer, to mitigating climate change,” noted SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. “We continue to offer a world-class education in innovative fields, and artificial intelligence is just one example of how SUNY is investing in new tech clusters to prepare our students for the good paying jobs of tomorrow.”