The inventiveness of IBM Research shows no signs of slowing. In 2018, IBM was granted more U.S. patents than any other company. It's a distinction the company has held for 26 consecutive years.
IBMers also authored hundreds of journal papers, making it the second highest ranked corporations in the 2018 Nature index.
Around a third of those patents, and the majority of journal papers, came from the more than 3,000 scientists working within IBM Research, which boasts 12 labs located across six continents.
While the company's leadership in innovation is unchanged, the way it goes about research is not. Over the last decade IBM Research has updated its approach, becoming more outward-facing, collaborative, and situated closer to the action.
"In the early days there was an assumption that researchers need to be left alone. So our old labs are all in the middle of nowhere, park-like settings, where they don't get bothered by the rest of the world," says Juerg von Kaenel, who has been with IBM Research since 1985 and is now associate director of its lab in Melbourne, Australia. "We don't do that anymore."
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