Segmentation of technical activities within IBM Research.

puter systems and software; and services, applications, and solutions (see Figure 3.1). The first three areas are self-explanatory. The fourth is a segment of IBM Research that works closely with IBM customers to develop integrated solutions (hardware and software) for major industry segments such as health care, finance, manufacturing, utilities, and so on. Its goal is to bring IBM Research into direct contact with IBM's leading-edge corporate customers—in other words, to provide Research with an entry into the demands of the marketplace.

The fifth segment of technical work in IBM Research is science. As illustrated in Figure 3.1, our science programs touch all four "aligned" segments in a major way. We also conduct long-term exploratory work that is not directly aligned with a current product or development plan. This diverse mixture of work including basic science must and can be assessed. The assessment process, particularly assessment of the longer-term work, is the main topic of this paper.

IBM Research

IBM Research is just over 50 years old, tracing its roots to the Watson Computing Laboratory at Columbia University, which started in 1945. Box 3.1 lists some of the major contributions of IBM Research to science and technology. IBM scientists have garnered three U.S. National Medals of Science and six National Medals of Technology, shared three physics Nobel Prizes, and received

BOX 3.1 Major Contributions by IBM Research to Science and Technology

One-Device Memory Cell

Reduced Instruction Set Computing

High-Temperature Superconductivity

Magnetic Disk Storage

Thin Film Magnetic and Magnetoresistive Recording Heads

Relational Database

Token Ring


Scanning Tunneling Microscope


Speech Recognition

Scalable Parallel Systems

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