IBM wins defense deal

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y :International Business Machines Corp(IBM) won the $135.8 million defense contract from the United Kingdom and United States governments to develop a wireless communications network for essentially military purpose. Funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the U.K. Ministry of Defense, the alliance will include a consortium of 24 academic and technology partners.

Aptly termed as the International Technology Alliance, Dinesha Verma of IBM will be the program manger on this project. Gathering scientists from industry, academia and government, the research is directed at problems faced by the military's use of information technology and will be open for use by private enterprise as well as other government agencies at a later stage. The researchers will also explore options like building computer networks that would mimic a human immune system in fending off viruses.

"We hope to gain a lot from technology breakthroughs for both military and commercial applications as a result of this collaborative work," said Verma.

The ITA discussion began in May and will continue to develop technologies for the next decade.
While the research will examine four scientific topics: network theory; security across a system of systems; sensor information processing and delivery; and distributed coalition planning and decision making, Verma added that while many aspects of the research are likely to fail, the success achieved in few subsets of this work would be commendable.

The 24 industry partners include: IBM, BBN Technologies, Boeing, Honeywell, Applied Research Associates, while the academia include: Carnegie Mellon University, City University of New York, Columbia University, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Pennsylvania State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Cambridge, Imperial College of London, University of Southampton and University of York.

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