Updated on 5 April 2016
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi witness the signing of an agreement for the planned Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Milan
IBM has announced plans to launch its first Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Milan near the Human Technopole Italy 2040 research campus, supporting the government of Italy's initiative to establish an international hub for the advancement of genomics, big data, aging, and nutrition.
The Center is part of a long-term collaboration between IBM and the government of Italy. IBM plans to invest up to $150 million (€135 million) over the next several years and bring together Watson Health data scientists, engineers, researchers and designers to develop a new generation of data-driven healthcare applications and solutions.
Further, the formation of the Center is intended to encourage the development of a pan-European ecosystem for healthcare reform, research, and health-tech start-ups. IBM data scientists, engineers and programmers are expected to work in collaboration with organizations across Europe to create a new class of cloud-based connected solutions at the intersection of cognitive computing, life sciences and healthcare. The Center is expected to provide access to resources and technology designed to help accelerate research into new treatment options, promote personalized medicine, and encourage discoveries aimed at improving overall public health management while advancing sustainable health systems.
"Italy is important to IBM - not only because of the creativity, skills and talent of the country's workforce, but also because of the Government's efforts to digitize Italy's economy," said Mr Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Europe. "That is why we are excited to announce our new Watson Health European Center of Excellence near Milan, which will support the Italian Government's healthcare reform and research agenda by bringing together Watson developers and IBM Research scientists to apply remarkable cognitive computing capabilities to modern healthcare problems."
The plans for the first European Center of Excellence underscore IBM's continued investment in Watson Health, a global business unit founded in 2015. Watson Health brings the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson to doctors and other healthcare professionals.