WASHINGTON, May 22, 2009 (AFP) - US computer giant IBM on Friday announced it had set up its first "innovation center" in Vietnam and forged partnerships with leading Vietnamese universities.
The IBM Innovation Center, located in Ho Chi Minh City, aims to develop "new technologies to support demand for digital infrastructure projects in banking, telecommunications, energy and government industries," IBM said.
The center will provide entrepreneurs, business partners, academics and venture capitalists across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with access to training workshops and consulting services to help bring new technologies to market.
IBM, in a statement, also said it had agreed to collaborate with Vietnam National University's University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City and with VNU's College of Technology in Hanoi.
It said it will help establish a cloud computing center at the Ho Chi Minh City campus and a Service Science Management and Engineering department at the Hanoi school.
"With this IBM Innovation Center and new university collaborations, we are able to make IBM's technical resources and expertise more accessible to fuel innovation and help local businesses and academics compete on a global scale," said Jim Corgel, an IBM general manager for developer relations.
IBM said the information technology sector in Vietnam has been growing at more than 20 percent annually and that more than 20 million Vietnamese have access to the Internet today.
IBM currently runs 43 innovation centers around the world.