IBM announced that it is establishing a Global Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power in La Gaude, France, to support safe, reliable and efficient electricity generation by energy companies worldwide.The new Center extends IBM's on-going work with leading nuclear power companies to support improved design, construction, safety and operation of power plants based on IBM software, hardware, consulting, and services industry offerings. These include IT systems design and architecture consulting, high performance computing, advanced simulation/modeling capabilities, plus Enterprise Asset Management and Plant Lifecycle Management solutions aimed at both the extension of existing nuclear power plant life, as well as streamlining new plant construction.
IBM has extensive experience in consulting and design of IT systems for the nuclear industry in France, where 80 per cent of energy is generated by nuclear power. The company strengthened its commitment and acumen in the nuclear power industry with two key acquisitions in October 2006: MRO Software and FileNet. Through establishment of the new Center of Excellence, IBM will extend access to this expertise to clients worldwide as energy companies develop roadmaps based on nuclear power generation.
"France possesses world-class expertise in the area of nuclear power," said Frederic Bauchot, Lead Architect, IBM Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power. "Establishment of the Center enables IBM to utilize not only local IBM talent and experience in nuclear systems design and implementation, but also advanced skills of a leading nuclear power market.
"This initiative reinforces IBM's globally integrated enterprise strategy - drawing on local specialist skills and knowledge to serve clients across the globe. This is very timely, as policy makers in Europe, Asia and the U.S. are examining ways to constrain carbon emissions while at the same time diversify their respective energy portfolios."
Based in the IBM Industry Solutions Center in La Gaude, France, the Global Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power will also capitalize on IBM competencies established in the deployment and modeling of nuclear equipment in nearby Cadarache, site of the International Thermo Nuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) fusion project. The new Center joins IBM's global network of Centers and research labs focused on the Energy & Utilities Industry. These include IBM Industry Solution Centers in Dallas, Texas, USA; Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China, as well as the IBM Austin Research Lab in Austin, Texas, USA.
"Today, there are more than 30 countries worldwide operating nuclear reactors for electricity generation. In these countries, nuclear power plant license extensions and new plant construction are driving the need for sophisticated risk modeling and information tools that ensure safe and reliable operations," said Guido Bartels, General Manager, IBM Global Energy and Utilities Industry. "IBM is uniquely qualified to help the nuclear power industry meet these needs. This Center is consistent with our long-term strategic vision that a diverse energy portfolio - including nuclear power, and renewable energy - as well as more efficient fossil generation, and a smart grid are the key to meeting growing global energy demand while protecting the environment."
The Center will support nuclear power operators' successful implementation of innovative IT systems; define and share best practice business processes for safety, reliability, compliance and efficiency; provide tools and consulting methodologies that enable effective business and IT alignment; ensure a robust IT infrastructure and architecture to support deployment of strategic enterprise applications; and serve as a demonstration center for joint IBM and industry partner solutions.
The Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power will host a portfolio of IBM and Independent Software Vendors' applications that are targeted to the nuclear power industry, as well as support the IBM Maximo Asset Management Solution. Maximo is one of the core applications used by nuclear power operators to help manage critical operational and IT assets throughout their life cycle. The Center will be closely connected to Maximo development labs in the U.S. and Brazil to help customers worldwide successfully implement the Maximo Nuclear Solution.
The announcement follows on IBM's recent $10 million investment program at IBM La Gaude. Establishing a new La Gaude Industry Solution Center that recreates real-life client scenarios across a number of industries, the newly-designed 10,000 sq ft (930 sq m) facility successfully connects industry-specific trends with advanced technologies and technical solutions, leveraging technical and business integration from across the company.
Currently featuring retail, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance and telecommunications simulations, the 'hands on' approach employed at La Gaude allows clients and IBM specialists to collaborate and work together to design and develop solutions that address clients' business challenges.
IBM La Gaude also hosts industry specialists applying Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles and other technologies to deliver value to customers. SOA allows companies of all sizes to reuse their existing investments in software and hardware, so that their businesses are run more efficiently, flexibly and securely. The new Center of Excellence builds upon this approach.
In addition, the Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power will forge strategic relationships with other industrial partners of the nuclear power industry, as well as industry regulators. The IBM Nuclear Advisory Council will provide governance for the new Center of Excellence.