Mubadala partners with IBM

IBM recently entered into an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co., an investment and development company, to bring IBM Watson to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The companies will partner on initiatives to make Watson's cloud-based cognitive computing capabilities available to health care, retail, education, banking and finance companies.

Additionally, the partnership will create a network of partners, entrepreneurs, start-ups and app developers.

Mubadala has been working to bring innovation and new technologies to the MENA region. The collaboration will make it possible for IBM to access Mubadala’s deep regional market knowledge as the company becomes better known across MENA.

“This new joint venture with IBM will put both the UAE and broader MENA region on the leading edge for adoption of this breakthrough technology,” Homaid Al Shemmari, chief executive officer of aerospace and engineering services at Mubadala, said.

Mike Rhodin, IBM's senior vice president, agreed.

"This collaboration is another important demonstration of IBM's commitment to bringing Watson to all corners of the world and accelerating adoption of cognitive computing as the new technology standard for innovation," he said.

One of the major areas of impact will be the health care industry.

"Our collaborations with IBM to apply Watson in health care are helping Cleveland Clinic deliver on our mission of providing state-of-the-art education to our medical students," Dr. Delos Cosgrove, CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic, said.

Private businesses will also benefit.

"There is an increasing need of businesses across sectors to strengthen their analytics and cloud technology," Ibrahim Mohamed Lari, CEO of Injazat, said. “This joint venture signifies a strategic shift that will allow the delivery of a new class of Watson-specific capabilities that will help professionals in this region discover insights from massive amounts of big data.”

IBM is currently working on hundreds of projects to expand Watson's industry domain knowledge, as well as teaching the system new languages such as Arabic, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese.