June 2, 2020, Sofia, BULGARIA – IBM and the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT) today announced the launch of the project Tech Lab: Go tech with IBM to skill up the next generation of IT talent and to help narrow high-tech skills gap in Bulgaria.
The project Tech Lab: Go tech with IBM consists of establishing a Technical Lab at ULSIT university, practical training activities for students and joined research projects between the University and IBM.
The Tech Lab will serve as a collaborative place where the students will be able to gain advanced knowledge in new technologies from IBM like Cloud computing, AI, quantum computing as well as in IT infrastructure and architecture, virtualization, service innovation, deep learning and business knowledge.
The students and professors are able to access tools and technology in the Lab virtually as well as mentorship and will be able to work on research and development projects to enhance their skills, knowledge and explore new ideas, topics and careers even from their homes.
“Bulgaria is one of the countries where employers experience difficulties in finding required skills, with the top knowledge shortage in IT and electronics jobs (according to OECD). In addition, the skills gap will widen even faster in today' digitalized world. The ULSIT university is delighted to partner with IBM as through joint cooperation linking academia and industry, the Lab will help students to get the opportunity to start working in their respective industries even before graduation and will accelerate the creation of new innovation to further support country's growth and competitiveness,'' said Assoc. Prof. Georgi Dimitrov, PhD, Vice Dean, Faculty of Information Sciences, ULSIT.
"In addition, as the current pandemic accelerates digital transformation, new ways of learning will be crucial for skills development and this way we wanted to help our students to be on track and ready for the post-covid-19 era.”
The students will be able to experiment and test their ideas in IBM Public Cloud by creating hybrid models of modern infrastructure and to work on various features of different kind of applications.
The Lab is equipped with IBM infrastructure including IBM Power Servers, Storage systems and PCs and through this infrastructure the students will be able to access the platforms and applications like IBM Power AI vision, IBM Storage Insights, and IBM Kubernetes.
"IBM has been present in Bulgaria for the past 83 years and we have helped shape the country's technological development. This newest collaboration is a part of IBM's ongoing and lasting relationships with universities that help students develop skills and understanding of new technologies like Cloud, AI and quantum computing that will help fill the highest priority capability gaps in the increasing demand for high-skilled technology professionals,“ said Igor Pravica, Country Leader, IBM Bulgaria.
IBM experts will train professors and students in using IBM development toolkits on business processes and software engineering, they will mentor training practices, manage students’ certification in IBM technologies, cooperating in postgraduate and doctoral studies and guide students; participation in research and development projects.
ULSIT university will use the technical capabilities of the installed IBM infrastructure as a pathway for academic research projects ranging from hybrid cloud configurations, experimenting with quantum computing systems through the cloud, to cognitive systems developer tools, storage insights and mainframe knowledge platform.
"New ways of learning are now more essential than ever. We're proud that through our IBM Bulgaria University Relations program we have the opportunity to equip students with both the needed skills and technology relevant in the new normal and help them be successful in the advancing digital era," concluded Dimitar Bairev, IBM Client Innovation Center Manager, IBM Bulgaria.
By bringing together university professors, students and IBM subject matter experts the Tech Lab is expected to provide students with diverse hands-on training opportunities addressing the skills shortage needs as identified by the business and prepare the future specialists for their jobs.