IBM Invests $200m in German Blockchain and IoT Lab

The investment responds to increasing demand from clients looking to transform their operations with IoT and AI technologies.

IBM today unveiled a $200 million investment in the new global headquarters for its Watson Internet of Things (IoT) business in Munich.

The investment, which is one of the company’s largest ever in Europe, responds to increasing demand from customers who are looking to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and artificial intelligence technologies. IBM currently has 6,000 clients globally tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just 8 months ago.

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Watson IoT 

The Watson IoT headquarters will be home to the first ever cognitive IoT Collaboratories where clients and partners can work together with IBM’s Munich-based researchers, engineers, developers and business experts to drive collaborative innovation in the automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance industries.

Together they will tackle challenges relating to their respective industries, applying new concepts and technologies to build IoT solutions while developing and testing new business models, solutions and services.

Harriet Green, Global Head of IBM’s Watson IoT business, said: “IBM is making tremendous strides to ensure that businesses around the world are able to take advantage of this incredible period of technological transformation and develop new products and services that really change people’s lives.”

She continued: “Germany is at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 initiative and by inviting our clients and partners to join us in Munich, we are opening up our talent and technologies to help deliver on the promise of IoT and establishing a global hotbed for collaborative innovation.”

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Companies that have demonstrated real business outcomes through Watson IoT include Schaeffler, one of the world’s leading automotive and industrial suppliers, which has signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with IBM to accelerate the digital transformation of its entire operations and customer solutions using Watson’s cognitive intelligence and insight from billions of sensors.

New Watson IoT Offerings

IBM is also announcing a number of new offerings to benefit IoT customers and developers.

Watson IoT and Blockchain is a new capability that connects Internet of Things data to Blockchain through the IBM Watson IoT Platform. Businesses will be able to share IoT data in a secure, private blockchain to reduce the costs and complexities of doing business across a network of people and goods. This capability is fully integrated into IBM Blockchain.

Security Solutions and Services is a new set of IoT Security Solutions and Services that help companies proactively identify potential risks and protect their devices from compromise. Enhanced security features in the Watson IoT Platform will provide visibility to possible exposures across the IoT landscape, alerts for immediate notification, and automatic operational responses tailored to individual customer environments.

Natural Language Interface comprises new offerings that will enable customers to tap the Watson IoT platform to develop new voice interfaces for customers in homes, cars, stores, hotels and offices.

Cognitive IoT Cookbook is a new resource that includes new recipes for developers containing code and best practice approaches for solving cognitive IoT challenges using Watson’s Natural Language Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

Today’s announcement is another step forward for IBM whose vision for making blockchain a powerful new business solution across multiple businesses is becoming a reality.

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