1. A Program That Works

If you were tripping over uncut jewels and precious metal ores, you’d probably find a way to take advantage of it. IBM Research can feel like that some days. In the hallways, you hear conversations about computers that understand natural language, advanced analysis of streaming data, or “green” ideas for reducing power and waste. Around you are people who think for a living, hard at work—taking on intractable problems of securing bank records during disasters, optimizing supply chains, or building systems that can simulate drug interactions. Good things are happening. Exciting things.

But for years, reaching out to the real world for innovation partnerships was not an obvious choice for IBM Research. IBM has always had ...

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