IBM to expand Western Canada innovation centre in Calgary

The centre is expected to open in 2024

Calgary skyline shot from the top of the Platform Calgary Innovation Centre. LIVEWIRE CALGARY FILE PHOTO

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is creating a client innovation centre for Western Canada based in downtown Calgary, creating 250 jobs.

The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) announced early Wednesday $5 million in funding to support digital transformation, sustainability and talent development in Calgary.

The new IBM innovation centre will deliver services and technology to clients in emerging areas, such as artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud and blockchain.

According to IBM, jobs will be located in IBM’s existing building in the Beltline and include positions for testers and project managers, full-stack developers, and business analysts.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said today’s announcement adds more momentum to the economic shift.

“We have seen the number of tech companies in the province tripled since 2012 to more than 3,000,” said Kenney.

“The future of our economy is a digital future, and this is important for Alberta.”

According to Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, the center will help organizations accelerate their pathways to net zero, and it will continue to elevate Calgary’s position as a world leader in energy transition and transformation.

“We will continue to grow a diverse talent base for underrepresented communities in a high-growth sector of our economy,” said Mayor Gondek.

Destination for mobile tech investment: Premier Kenney

During the announcement, Premier Kenney thanked IBM for choosing Calgary for the investment.

According to Kenney, IBM has always had a presence in Alberta, and is one of the largest global companies.

“We continue to position Alberta as a destination of choice for mobile tech investment,” said Kenney.

“We are excited about what the future brings.”

IBM Canada’s president Dave McCann said he’s excited about the expansion as it showcases IBM’s capability in Calgary in support of their clients in Canada.

“The new IBM Client Innovation Centre will play an important role in contributing to Alberta’s economic growth through job creation and the engagement of local expertise,” said McCann.

“It will accelerate innovation in sustainable practices and advance the position of Alberta as a hub for energy transformation.”

The creation of the IBM Sustainability Center will open in 2024.

OCIF was created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. OCIF is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors.

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