Battling for the brightest minds, IBM provides free services for academia

Days after Microsoft offered scientists free use of the Windows Azure platform, IBM announced a program to give schools free use of IBM’s cloud services. The program is part of the IBM Academic Initiative and open to any research professional or faculty member at an accredited school.

The cloud can be used to provide academic services to students, so a professor would be able to setup their own lab or support their course work with a cloud work space. Membership is granted to individuals, not organizations and IBM said it will grant membership to any teacher affiliated with a university, research organization or school, including high schools and elementary schools. IBM’s FAQ on application guidelines.) IBM says it will grant access to most applications almost immediately.

IBM expects that its generosity will lead to future waves of students who enter the work force educated on IBM platforms like DB2, Informix, Rational and WebSphere. Coming soon are applications from Cognos, Lotus and Tivoli.

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