TechConnect News speaks with Dr. Peter Williams, Chief Technology Officer for IBM Big Green Innovations, where he assembles, maintains, and develops environmentally focused businesses for IBM. Dr. Williams will be speaking at the upcoming TechConnect World Conference this May.
In what specific technology/solution areas are you primarily interested?
At IBM, we are always interested in software products that give us new capabilities. We don’t make sensors or meters, so those are probably the two main areas of interest within water. If you broaden that out to cities, we are interested in basically anything that enables a city to work better. We would be very interested in partnering in those areas. Most recently, this has included areas like open data.
What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for in technology-partnerships?
IBM has it’s own research facilities, but we do partner with universities on certain research projects. We are usually looking for companies ready to go to market - they can be small and new in the market, but they need to have a product ready to go.
Please describe your company’s innovation model, and how it is utilized.
We have one of the world’s largest research organizations, and quite a lot of what we innovate comes from that research. Often times we buy software companies through which we see innovation. Often times partnering with clients to develop their client needs brings innovation. As individuals we are encouraged to generate patents. When you put all that together, the results are that we’ve had more patents than any other company in the world for the past twenty years.
What do you hope to get out of TechConnect World?
We are always looking for and hoping to learn something new.