Big Blue to explore green ideas

IBM has unveiled plans to set up a new research unit to investigate new environmental technologies.

    Nanotechnology to improve water desalination is among the ideas

    The as-yet-unnamed research unit will get about $10 million in seed money to try to turn technologies developed in IBM's labs into products with environmental benefits.

    Among the ideas the unit expects to explore is a networked system for efficiently managing a municipal water supply, methods of using nanotechnology to improve water desalination and filtration, and improved solar power cells.

    Paul Horn, who directs IBM's nearly $6 billion a year research and development organization, said: "We kind of think that given how big the opportunity is here, it's almost a slam dunk for us."

    Some such candidates already have gained some traction in IBM's labs, which has encouraged company executives to formalise the endeavour. IBM would likely partner with other companies to bring some products to market.

    The green idea was one of 10 that emerged from IBM's recent "Innovation Jam," a massive online suggestion box in which employees were asked for ways the company could grow.

    IBM chief Sam Palmisano has agreed to support all 10 with a total of $100 million, though the exact amount each will get has yet to be decided.

    Horn said leadership and other structural details for the environmental group will be sorted out by the end of the year, with a launch in 2007.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.