IBM gives $5-million in technology

May 3, 2007

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Crime-research duo Patricia and Paul Brantingham have received a $5-million technology donation from IBM to create a new crime prevention and analysis lab at SFU that will help law-enforcement officials target when, where, and why crimes are committed.

The husband-and-wife criminologists, RCMP chairs and co-directors of SFU's Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies will lead research into how city design, transportation routes and shopping-mall hours affect the location, frequency and severity of urban crime.

Using the latest IBM super-computing hardware and software the Brantinghams will collaborate with interdisciplinary criminology and computer-science research teams to crunch massive amounts of data, leading to sophisticated crime-prevention models that will help policy makers and law enforcement officials reduce crime.

"No place else in the world has the computing power dedicated to criminology research we now have at SFU," says Patricia Brantingham.

"IBM's technology, combined with the tremendous amount of data we have access to through our partnership with the RCMP, will allow us to put research theory into practice and make major headway in reducing crime."  

The SFU lab will be equipped with IBM's threat and fraud intelligence and law enforcement technology, including the company's Crime Information Warehouse, Entity Analytic Solutions, Global Name Recognition, Information Integration Suite, DB2 Data Warehouse Edition and OmniFind systems.

IBM's donation recognizes that intelligence is the key to crime prevention. "Law enforcement agencies must be able to take many different pieces of information from a variety of sources and transform them into knowledge they can act on," said Paul McCullough of IBM Canada.

McCullough says SFU is the first university in the world to use the IBM's super-computing hardware to do all-encompassing crime-trend research and modelling. "We chose SFU because it's a world leader in criminology research." The lab should be up and running within two months.

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