CSR that REALLY makes a difference

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CSR that REALLY makes a difference

IBM has a tradition of philanthropy and cause-based community work. But a new variety of more direct engagement with the humanitarian world has taken root in the form of its three-year-old IBM Research Science for Social Good initiative, which partners IBM Research scientists and engineers with academic fellows, subject matter experts from a diverse range of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public sector agencies and social enterprises to tackle emerging societal challenges using science and technology.

The program has researched a wide array of challenges so far, including creating algorithms that help detect new epidemics and diseases, recognize hate speech, understand causes of opioid addiction, enable financial empowerment, accelerate scientific discovery and detect humanitarian crises in real-time.

Science for Social Good in numbers


Projects. IBM Science for Social Good has executed 28 projects, from detecting new epidemics and diseases and understanding the causes of opioid addiction recognizing hate speech, and accelerating scientific discovery.


Partnerships. IBM Science for Social Good has partnered with 19 organizations. Partners include innovative NGOs, social enterprises, and government agencies.


Patents Pending. While working to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our world, novel solutions resulted in 9 pending patents.


Published Papers. IBM Science for Social Good has generated 47  published research papers since its launch in 2016. Many of the papers have been accepted by major research conferences.


Fellowships. IBM Science for Social Good has awarded 36 fellowships since 2016 and contributed over 13k hours advancing partner projects.


IBM Volunteer Scientists. IBM Researchers from our 12 global labs volunteer their time to support the IBM Science for Social Good projects by working with both the student fellows and partner organizations.

The 2019 projects

The next collection of projects will focus on the opioid crisis, poverty and cancer diagnosis and treatment – CSR projects that really creates a difference and impacts society in a good way.

For example, one of the most significant drivers of the current opioid epidemic in the United States is the lack of prescribing guidelines for physicians. In response, IBM researchers analyzed medical and pharmaceutical claims data to draw insights on the characteristics of patients who are more prone to adverse outcomes after an initial synthetic opioid prescription.

In other projects, the team will develop new methods for making AI-based skin cancer diagnosis models relevant for all populations of the world, as well as a system that analyzes data to find links between successful outcomes and the way services are delivered to help people out of poverty.

Do you want to learn even more about the initiative? Check out IBM Science for Social Good.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Research & Innovation Executive, IBM Research - IBM Watson

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