Driving Enterprise R&D: the SAP and Intel Collaboratory

I was in Northern Ireland today to announce the opening of a new joint laboratory with SAP focused on Cloud Computing and Sustainable IT. The SAP and Intel Collaboratory, as it’s called, will be located at SAP’s research center at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

The Collaboratory builds upon a history of very successful collaborations between the two companies, including the Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) in Palo Alto, California, the LinuxLab in Walldorf, Germany, and the Innovation Value Institute at the National University of Ireland. Intel and SAP are also partners on various European Framework 7 projects.

The Collaboratory represents the natural progression of the research relationship between SAP and Intel. Its charter is to understand and drive enterprise computing in Europe such as Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. Using cloud-based services, businesses are beginning to “rent” IT, shifting capital expenditures on hardware to scalable, “pay-as-you-go” services. The implications of this shift touch almost every aspect of our products from the silicon microarchitecture through the software/solution stacks. The work at the Collaboratory will complement our internal research efforts in Cloud and Data Rich Computing, such as the Open Cirrus test bed.

Cloud computing is also driving up the size of datacenters which is leading to increased focus on energy efficiency and greater interest in sustainable IT. Beyond simply reducing the energy consumption of computing, sustainable IT applies the latest information and communication technologies to more efficiently manage the power grid, water supplies, and other large-scale resource management systems. The Collaboratory will be studying both: green “for” IT, and green “by” IT.

Additionally, through the Collaboratory we will work with academic institutions such as Queens University & University of Ulster to help develop more relevant research projects in these areas. I expect that as we build a network of industrial and academic research partners around the Collaboratory, it will emerge a leader in enterprise thinking in Europe.

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