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IBM to Invest up to $150M to Support Italian Research Hub

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – IBM said today that it plans to launch the first Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Milan, Italy in support of the government of Italy's initiative to establish an international hub for research in genomics, aging, nutrition, and other areas.

IBM plans to invest up to $150 million over the next several years in the center, which will be located near the Human Technopole Italy 2040 research campus. According to IBM, it will provide resources and technology including the Watson Health Cloud to help accelerate research into personalized medicine and improve overall public health management.

"We are excited to announce our new Watson Health European Center of Excellence near Milan, which will support the Italian Government's healthcare reform and research agenda by bringing together Watson developers and IBM Research scientists to apply remarkable cognitive computing capabilities to modern healthcare problems," Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Europe, said in a statement.

Furthermore, by setting up the center, IBM hopes to encourage the development of a pan-European ecosystem for healthcare reform, research, and health-tech startups where IBM scientists will work in collaboration with European researchers to develop cloud-based applications that apply the company's cognitive computing capabilities to life sciences and healthcare.

"The volume and variation of health data is growing exponentially with each passing day and our ability to monitor new measurements of health — such as social data and weather data — are making global health an even more complex equation to solve," Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for IBM Watson Health, noted. "This new era in health will not be achieved through solitary efforts. It will require the work of countless experts together in an ecosystem where ideas are easily shared to improve and save lives around the world."