GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida is working with IBM to launch a comprehensive program to develop the skills of students and faculty in several “high-demand” technologies.
UF and IBM are collaborating to support skill sets in artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, quantum cloud computing, hybrid cloud, and data science that “align with industry needs and trends,” according to IBM this month.
The collaboration is intended to extend UF’s vision to be an international leader in the technologies and other related technologies, such as fintech, that can “help solve society’s biggest challenges.”
UF’s work with IBM is part of the school’s AI University initiative to help develop the workforce and improve research by “embedding technology into its curriculum across disciplines.”
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The collaboration will include West Palm Beach, Florida, where UF is exploring an opportunity to co-create academic programming at a new campus. The location would serve the needs of the area’s “rapid influx” of companies across sectors, including finance and technology.
By embracing AI and other technologies, UF believes it can help Florida “become an economic powerhouse.”
Under the multi-year initiative, IBM is pledging to UF software and tools to enhance the university’s work in AI, data science, and hybrid cloud. The partners plan to develop at least one new degree program in AI and provision online coursework, software, lecturers, and case studies from the IBM Academic Initiative.
IBM will help establish a campus center that focuses on finance, technology, and research. The company will also provide curated course content, access to the IBM Cloud, and digital certificates upon course completions.
UF’s AI University initiative includes over $250 million in support from the university, the state of Florida, and donors.
IBM’s relationship with UF is part of the company’s Global University Programs to “advance relevant skills for today’s workforce.” The company has committed to train 30 million people worldwide by 2030.
“If we are going to be successful in advancing technologies such as AI and training people to apply it to civic, social, and business challenges, it will require us to partner with key institutions of higher education and research like the University of Florida,” said Justina Nixon, VP and global head of corporate social responsibility, IBM.
“Skills are a human right, and we aim to work with partners to make state-of-the-art education and career readiness as widely accessible as possible.”
UF’s collaboration with IBM puts the university on “the fast track to leadership in helping the world meet the greatest challenges of the 21st century,” UF President Kent Fuchs said.
“By deepening our progress in artificial intelligence and other critical information technology, it will give our professors, scientists and students the right tools at the right time.”