I.B.M to open research center in Nairobi, Kenya
I.B.M. is opening a research center in Nairobi, adding an African lab to its global network.
Kenya will be the fourth nation where I.B.M. has opened a research outpost in the last two years, after Ireland, Australia and Brazil. The Nairobi center will bring the number of I.B.M. research labs worldwide to 12. By now, about half the company’s 3,000-member research staff is outside the United States.
“I.B.M. has not only one of the few major corporate research programs standing, but it is expanding,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst at the Envisioneering Group, a technology research firm.
The Nairobi lab is intended as a hub for nurturing home-grown skills.
I.B.M. plans to build the lab up to 50 researchers within five years. In addition, it will be the center for a “resident scientist program,” which will bring in researchers from Nairobi and elsewhere in Africa to collaborate with I.B.M. scientists. The candidates can come from universities, government or industry, typically for one-year stints.