The Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today signed an agreement for IBM to provide the technology and services needed to establish a new Centre of Excellence for Service Science Innovation at the university's campus in Irbid city, in northern Jordan.
The new centre will deliver teaching resources and technology expertise to students over a cloud computing infrastructure - the first system of its kind in the Middle East region. IBM consultants will also support JUST with curriculum development and provide expertise in the area of Services Science Management and Engineering (SSME).
Marawan Juma, Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Jordan commented: "The collaboration between JUST and IBM, especially as it relates to capacity building and knowledge transfer, will further strengthen Jordan's competitive position as a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa region and beyond. We strongly value IBM's recent engagements in Jordan and look forward to forging a deeper and mutually beneficial relationship in the near future."
The solution will be based on IBM's CloudBurst, which is an integrated service delivery platform that includes BladeCenter technology, storage, networking, virtualization and service management software. The workload-optimized system will provide JUST with a private cloud environment as a platform for innovation.
"Jordan has a strategic objective to become a knowledge-based economy and an internationally recognized exporter of ICT products and services by developing and leveraging its most important resource, the Jordanian people," said Dr. Wajih Owais, President of JUST. "Our agreement with IBM is an important part of delivering on this vision by strengthening our position as a leading institution of technical education and enabling us to deliver unique research, innovation and education that is relevant not only regionally but also globally."
Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will also help to coordinate the centre and assist JUST in developing new curricula on key technology areas such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Processes Management (BPM), Business Analytics, Business Processes Optimization (BPO), Service Science and Cloud Computing. IBM will use its expertise in these areas and draw on skills from its research and development laboratories to help develop educational resources and run workshops, courses, internships and certification programs. The initiative will support the university in driving skills and expertise in services science to the benefit of national schools, higher education and research establishments in Jordan and beyond.
"IBM will help JUST leverage some of the most advanced technologies to provide researchers, faculty and students with a powerful platform for innovation," said Amr Refaat, Country General Manager, IBM Middle East. "By working together with JUST, we will help ensure that Jordan and the Jordanian people are best positioned to address issues vital to the building of a smarter planet."
IBM will draw on its experience of best practice from around the world to ensure that the university benefits from the best possible educational models and ensure that students and faculty alike address pertinent industry issues crucial to business and government.
IBM continues to be a leader in the field of Service Science Management and Engineering. A term introduced by IBM, SSME describes a new academic research discipline that aims at studying, improving and teaching services innovation. It also calls for academia, industry, and governments to focus on becoming more systematic about innovation in the service sector, which is the largest sector of the economy in most industrialized nations, and is fast becoming the largest sector in emerging markets. IBM has been working with hundreds universities worldwide to design courses that combine disciplines including computer science, operation research, engineering, management science, business strategy and social and cognitive sciences.
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