IBM has opened a research and development centre on Melbourne's Lygon Street -- a location that Australian R&D director Glenn Wightwick said was chosen for its proximity to the University of Melbourne, "cafes and good food".
Wightwick, IBM Australia managing director Andrew Stevens and global research director John E Kelly III hosted delegates from universities and organisations including NICTA and NBN Co at the nearby Melbourne Museum for the launch.
Kelly with Federal Innovation Minister Kim Carr.
Wightwick, University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis, and Victorian Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips perform a digital "ribbon-cutting" by using turning keys on wireless devices to light up the IBM logo.
Launch attendees were introduced to IBM's 16 other research laboratories around the world by the voice of supercomputer software, Watson.
IBM research scientist Christian Vecchiola demonstrates the laboratory's resilient architecture research, expected to support Victorian emergency management forces.
The laboratory will also tackle life science projects, in collaboration with the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative, which took delivery of a petaflop IBM supercomputer last year.
Researchers discuss techniques for traffic modelling.
A canned demonstration of supercomputing system Watson, which is hosted in the US and famously beat two human contestants in the quiz show Jeopardy! earlier this year.
Global research director Kelly delivered an academic lecture at the University of Melbourne the night before the launch, describing the challenges of developing cognitive computers to make sense of zettabytes of noisy data that the next decade will produce.