IBM and MBZUAI sign agreement to advance AI research with new centre
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IBM and MBZUAI sign agreement to advance AI research with new centre

IBM and MBZUAI sign agreement to advance AI research with new centre

The centre will leverage the talents of IBM researchers and MBZUAI faculty and students and will focus on the advancement of applied research objectives

Divsha Bhat
IBM, MBZUAI

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has collaborated with IBM to advance AI research. MBZUAI is the world’s first graduate research university dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI).

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Sultan Al Hajji, vice president for Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at MBZUAI and Wael Abdoush, general manager of IBM Gulf and Levant. The partnership aims to boost fundamental AI research and speed up scientific discoveries that might unleash AI’s potential to tackle some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

Central to the collaboration is the establishment of a new AI Centre of Excellence to be based at the university’s Masdar City campus. The centre will leverage the talents of IBM researchers in collaboration with MBZUAI faculty and students and will focus on the advancement of both fundamental and applied research objectives.

The initiative seeks to develop, validate, and incubate technologies that harness the capabilities of AI to address civic, social, and business challenges. Further, the collaboration aims to provide real-life applications, particularly in the fields of natural language processing, as well as AI applications that seek to further climate and sustainability goals and accelerate discoveries in healthcare.

IBM will provide targeted training and technologies as part of the initiative, which supports the university’s vision to be a global leader in advancing AI and its application for the good of society and business. For example, through the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM will provide MBZUAI students and faculty with access to IBM tools, software, courseware and cloud accounts for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. In addition, through the IBM Skills Academy programme, MBZUAI will have access to curated AI curricula, lectures, labs, industry use cases, design-thinking sessions, and an AI Practitioner certification.

“We’re excited to be among the first research universities in the MENA region to host a Centre of Excellence for AI research and development with technology and expertise from a world-leading technological giant like IBM. This centre will provide a highly valuable resource and collaborative environment to our faculty and students to broaden their work in AI,” MBZUAI president, Professor Eric Xing, said.

Saad Toma, general manager, IBM Middle East and Africa, said: “This collaboration will help drive innovations in AI, which is critical for the future of business and society. We’re bringing together some of the brightest minds across both the industry and academia while reinforcing IBM’s commitment to promoting knowledge and skills in critical areas for the UAE’s development, where the use of technologies like AI is fundamental.”

The planned relationship is subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements.

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