IBM invests $100 million in collaborative innovation ideas

IBMIBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Samuel J. Palmisano announced that the company will invest $100 million over the next two years to pursue ten new businesses generated by InnovationJam, an unprecedented experiment in collaborative innovation held earlier this year.

The largest on-line brainstorming session ever, InnovationJam brought together more than 150,000 people from 104 countries, including IBM employees, family members, universities, business partners and clients from 67 companies. Over two 72-hour sessions, participants posted more than 46,000 ideas as they explored IBM's most advanced Research technologies and considered their application to real-world problems and emerging business opportunities.

"Collaborative innovation models require you to trust the creativity and intelligence of your employees, your clients and other members of your innovation network," said Palmisano. "We opened up our labs, said to the world, 'Here are our crown jewels, have at them'. The Jam - and programs like it – are greatly accelerating our ability to innovate in meaningful ways for business and society."

Speaking at a global "town hall" meeting in front of more than 6,000 IBM China employees, Palmisano revealed a portfolio of near-, mid- and long-term initiatives that will require new models of development and co-creation to bring to market.

  • Smart Healthcare Payment Systems: Overhauling healthcare payment and management systems through the use of small personal devices (such as smart cards) that will automatically trigger financial transactions, the processing of insurance claims and the updating of electronic health records.
  • Simplified Business Engines: Developing and bringing to market an intuitive, easy-to-use and pre-packaged set of Web 2.0 services and blade server offerings that allow small and mid-size businesses to easily tap applications customized to their own specific business needs.
  • Real-time Translation Services: Offering advanced, real-time translation capabilities across major languages as a service for high-potential applications, industries and environments, such as healthcare, government and travel and transportation.
  • Intelligent Utility Networks: Increasing the reliability and manageability of the world's power grids by building in "intelligence" in the form of real-time monitoring, control, analysis, simulation and optimization.
  • 3D Internet: Partnering with others to take the best of virtual worlds and gaming environments to build a seamless, standards-based 3D Internet -- the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business operations.
  • "Digital Me": Creating a secure, user-friendly service that simplifies storage, management and long-term access to the deluge of personal content that people accumulate (digital photos, videos, music, health and financial records, personal identification documents, files, etc.).
  • Branchless Banking for the Masses: Enabling existing and new financial institutions to profitably provide basic banking services (checking, savings, payments, microlending) to often remote, inaccessible populations in fast-growing emerging markets.
  • Integrated Mass Transit Information System: Establishing on demand systems for integrating, managing and disseminating real-time data for all of a municipality's or region's transit systems, optimizing buses, rail, highways, waterways and airlines.
  • Electronic Health Record System: Creating a standards-based infrastructure to support automatic updating of, and pervasive access to, personal healthcare records and the integrating of patient data with global payer/provider transaction systems.
  • "Big Green" Innovations: Launching a new business unit in IBM that will focus on applying the company's advanced expertise and technologies to emerging environmental opportunities, such as advanced water modeling, water filtration via nanotechnology and efficient solar power systems.

Consistent with the open, collaborative nature of innovation, IBM intends to partner with multiple clients and universities to bring these ideas to market quickly.

InnovationJam builds on a highly successful series of internal "jams" IBM has held with employees annually since 2001, as well as the company's collaborative Global Innovation Outlook process, which brings together hundreds of organizations worldwide to identify key innovation opportunities in select business and societal areas. The company is currently in negotiations with more then three dozen companies and organizations to provide Jam offerings and services as a result of this year's program.

For further information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com

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