Building the pipeline
Launched in 2010 to help link postsecondary education more closely to the skills needed in the workplace, the IBM University Relations Future Skills Project engages first-year university students in a cooperative, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum. IBM in Japan is among the nearly 60 companies and 20 major universities that participate in the program. In 2015, an IBM volunteer conducted a series of workshops to introduce undergraduates at Yokohama National University to IBM Watson cognitive computing — thereby helping prepare the next generation to develop new business ideas incorporating leading-edge technologies.
Learning to innovate
In August 2015, the IBM China Software Development Lab, Taiwan’s Department of Transportation and Logistics Management, National Chiao Tung University, and transport engineering experts THI Consultants joined forces to compete in the first Electronic Toll Collection Innovation Contest sponsored by the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau. The goal was to encourage and support solutions to freeway congestion. The team of IBM and its government, university and industry partners won the top award for an innovative solution incorporating gamification, streaming analytics and user experience design — using IBM Watson analytics and cognitive capabilities.
IBM also initiated an IBM Bluemix development platform curriculum at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. IBM Taiwan’s chief technology officer and 12 software engineers from the China Development Lab ran the program, through which students gained hands-on opportunities to create web applications, mobile apps and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions using Bluemix. A second program united IBM in Taiwan with National Cheng-Chi University to teach Bluemix development for mobile applications. Additional university partners included National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University and National Chiayi University. The IBM team plans to combine the lectures and exercises from the various engagements into Taiwan’s first Bluemix textbook.
In India, Bluemix was the focus of an IBM collaboration with the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala. The partners sought to develop an IoT-based protocol for monitoring and adjusting water quality in public filtration and distribution systems.