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All posts by William R. LaFontaine, Guest Contributor

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Collaboration is the Key to Addressing Tomorrow’s Grandest Challenges

Coming from IBM Research, I think of innovation in two dimensions.  First, there is the continuous innovation that goes into IBM’s products and services.  This innovation provides important advances to current technology as well as helps IBM introduce breakthrough products.  The benefits of this approach are clear in IBM’s next-generation computing platform PureSystems. But we also look for more exploratory challenges that help us advance science by leaps and bounds.  We call them grand challenges.  Meeting them requires a very different set of practices and capabilities – and presents some interesting problems. And that was the topic today as the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC hosted a forum with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, IBM and Qualcomm to discuss how we can meet the next Grand Challenges.

So, what makes a grand challenge?  It must be difficult, inspiring and risky.  These are scientific game-changers by nature – with broad implications for industry and society alike.  Some call them ‘moon shots.’

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