This component of the IBM EEIP is intended to address these two challenges.

We will leverage IBM’s existing education, training and research Programmes, along with resources and Programmes from collaborating institutions, to support the rapid deployment of the target agenda: to grow and elevate the level of ICT skills in South Africa.

The University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) will be awarding the Degrees in terms of our partnership towards the goals of this component of the EEIP.

WITS also have many formal and informal links with other historically Black South African universities and research institutes. These academic relationships will be leveraged to support this programme to ensure that the Academic Programme has national reach. Other collaborations will be entered into where applicable and appropriate.

IBM will invest a total of R97.8 million in its Academic Programme component over a 10 years’ period.

Under graduate Programme BSC in Computer Science

  • Beneficiaries refer to the number of students who will receive tuition and other funding whilst participating in the IBM-designated curriculum.

Applicant Profile

  • Applications will be evaluated according to the following elements:
  • Diversity, i.e., Black South Africans as defined in the Codes with preference given to females
  • Geography – national with preference given to rural applicants
  • Financial need / assistance*
  • Academic Results
  • *where NSFAS Applications have been made, and received by Wits, these will be assessed in the first instance as the financial need will have been thoroughly evaluated.

Financial Support:

The 100% Bursary will cover:

  • Tuition fees
  • Books
  • ICT-related charges (as part of the course, e.g., lab costs)
  • Laptop
  • Residential fees – including accommodation and meals
  • Stipend

Personal Support:

In order to ensure that the students achieve a subject pass rate equal to, or better than, the rest of the class, IBM and/or Wits will include the following:

  • Match each student with a mentor if agreed to between the student and the IBM Academic Programme Manager.
  • The Science Teaching and Learning Centre offers career guidance as well as free counselling – study skills; personal issues; financial, amongst other services
  • The CCDU aims to facilitate the career development and general well-being of students. The Unit is the first line of support if the student requires assistance in making career decisions, developing job search skills, acquiring information on study opportunities or requires personal counselling.
  • By being located on Campus, the Academic Programme Manager will work closely with both Faculty and the Beneficiaries to intervene where needed in order to ensure that an intervention is initiated with a view to supporting an under-performing Beneficiaries.

Internship Programme

At IBM, we have a longstanding and strong commitment to encourage and mentor the next generation of top research talents. With this in mind, the EEIP will reach out to outstanding young research talent in South Africa. We will invite qualified students to apply for an internship at IBM Research.

The internship is open to any full-time South African student enrolled in a Master’s or PhD programme at a recognised university in South Africa.

  • Applicants must be nominated by a faculty member. A recommendation letter from the relevant faculty member is mandatory.
  • Applicants need to submit their current CV.
    • The CV must include personal information (name, address, phone number, email address) as well as education, graduation date, skills, and work experience.
    • Applicant to include any awards and recognition they have received and other activities considered important for an internship position.
    • In addition, include three areas of research (in line with EEIP Research focus areas) and possible dates and duration for the internship.
  • The position paper (1–2 pages) should address the following points:
    • What the applicant sees as the most interesting and relevant applications in their areas of interest.
    • What the applicant believes to be the most important technical challenges in these applications?
    • What does the applicant personally want to achieve in these fields?
    • What would the applicant like to accomplish during an internship at IBM Research?

An IBM committee will choose the winners at its discretion. The internships will start in 2016 on a mutually agreed date.




The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is focused on developing Black owned and Black woman owned businesses with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and South African youth, within the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) domain.

The objective of the EDP is to augment these SME’s and individuals, with relevant and marketable skills and service offerings by providing them with a combination of:

  • Financial support
  • Coaching and Mentorship
  • Business and technical enablement.

During the 10 year period, the EDP aims to develop a total of 74 beneficiaries that are either individuals’ with aspirations of being entrepreneurs; Small enterprises or Medium to Larger mature enterprises seeking to grow through the acquisition of new skills and capabilities in the following key game changing focus areas albeit it not exclusive:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Analytics and Big Data
  • Mobile Technologies
  • Social Business
  • Security and Safety

The EDP will have impact on various aspects aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives, particularly in the areas of:

  1. An economy that will create more jobs
  2. Improving the quality of education, training and innovation; and
  3. Transforming society.

Components of the EDP

The EDP has three interrelated components. These are:

  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs
  • Start Ups
  • Deep Skills

Enterprise Development Programme

Enterprise Development Programme


Background of IBM Research

IBM Research is the largest industrial research organizational in the entire IT industry worldwide. Starting with a setup on the campus of Columbia University in New York City in 1946, IBM Research has grown into an organization with over 3000 scientists and engineers, including 5 Nobel laureates, 6 Turing awardees and many other individuals recognized for their significant achievements in science and technology. IBM Research is an established and very well protected brand that resonates well both in the industry as well as in academia.

IBM has opened its newest addition and 12th laboratory, IBM Research – Africa, in order to focus on the entire African continent. IBM Research – Africa was established to address key challenges in Africa through commercially viable innovation that impact people’s lives. IBM Research – Africa is problem centric, focusing on issues of national priorities. The technology deliverables will be commercially viable to ensure the sustainability of the solution.


The South Africa laboratory will develop commercially-viable innovations that will capture value by focusing on national priorities, addressing continental grand challenges, and setting global technology trends. The laboratory will also advance scientific and technological breakthroughs that will transform not only South Africa, but also Africa and the rest of the world. The focus areas of the laboratory will be aligned to the strategic ICT RDI roadmap formulated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The laboratory is part of the local community, thereby embedding the focus on national priorities into its culture. Furthermore, the laboratory is part of the local eco-systems consisting of private and public institutions, which will be required to effectively encourage local innovation. The following four areas of research have been identified:

  • Smarter Decision Making: Leveraging Smart Infrastructure and Analytics, the optimised monitoring and management of assets, resources and environments both natural and built for e.g. Smarter Cities.
  • Analytics: The identification (from large and possibly streaming volumes of both homogenous and heterogeneous sources of data) of patterns and the generation via modelling, simulation and visualisation inter alia, of insight for the purpose of smarter decision-making.
  • Cloud: Potential relating to Public Cloud, infrastructure for particular domains and Cloud in Smarter Cities.
  • Next Generation Infrastructure: The use of sensors, sensor networks and models for the management and optimisation of networked infrastructure including water, electricity grid and the transportation systems.

Research Staff

Establishing a research laboratory living up to the legacy of IBM Research requires first and foremost the best scientists and engineers on the market. Any IBM Research laboratory, including IBM Research – Africa, follows the global hiring policies focusing on attracting world-class talent.

Researchers employed at IBM Research – Africa are charged to develop original and cutting-edge innovations. Furthermore, they are expected play a major role in influencing the next generation tech community of the region. To this end, the research scientists are expected to mentor selected students in concrete projects.

The measurement process of IBM Research is rigorous and detail oriented, not quantity oriented. Each research scientist will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • Technical Impact: the innovative output of a researcher to solve a problem in novel, original ways through technology. This impact will be measured through the quality of output, such as code, scientific papers and/or patents.
  • Leadership Impact: the ability of researchers to influence others through ideas and to building eco-systems of partners to achieve the goals for any given project.
  • Team Impact: the ability of researchers to engage in the community and help with the education and growth of students and faculty alike.

Contact Us