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IBM in Nova Scotia, Canada

Building Partnerships: IBM

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chris MacIntosh explains that IBM’s incredible complexity is focused on a simple principle.

“Thomas Watson founded IBM in 1911 on a core principle: “THINK.” It’s so simple, but it applies to everything we do. Our focus is to make a difference to the world by using technology. It’s working. We’re rolling out world-changing technology in areas like cognitive and cloud-based solutions. And what we do here in Halifax, we’re part of the IBM global consulting network serving Canadian clients.” - Chris MacIntosh, IBM

Why Nova Scotia?
IBM chose to locate its first Canadian Client Innovation Centre (CIC) in Halifax to access talent. Nova Scotia’s universities and community colleges produce more post-secondary graduates per capita than any other province, giving IBM access to skilled and enthusiastic graduates from engineering, applied sciences, and mathematics. Since the CIC opened in 2012, IBM has hired more than 500 new employees from the area, more than half of them new graduates.


With 10 universities and 13 community college campuses, Nova Scotia boasts more university students and graduates per capita each year than anywhere else in Canada. Our skilled, accessible, and well-educated workforce is one of Nova Scotia's greatest assets. Learn more about why Nova Scotia is built for business. 

What challenges have you faced and overcome?
The CIC’s biggest challenge is understanding the new skills and capabilities they need to manage extremely rapid changes in technology and software. An ability to pivot and become competent quickly is no longer a nice-to-have; in today’s economy it’s a necessity. IBM needed to be able to build the right team at the right time to respond to changes and support their clients.

Where NSBI comes in.
Through innovative programs such as the Collaboration for Analytics Research, Education, and Technology (CARET), IBM has partnered with Nova Scotia to create career opportunities for new graduates and drive new research in data analytics and optimization.“NSBI worked with us, NSCC, and universities to build a partnership that provides the flexibility and resources to meet our clients’ needs.”

"We know what makes the difference here is we work together in a partnership. We work with government, we work with schools, and we work with NSBI. And NSBI is focused on building partnerships and they are committed to working with industry and to make a difference for us. So that’s what allowed us to grow. That’s what will continue to allow us to grow and evolve, and really the key is partnerships. NSBI is aligned with this way of thinking; they’re as focused on innovation and partnership as we are.” - Chris MaCintosh

A future in Nova Scotia.
When IBM established the CIC in 2012, it signed a payroll rebate agreement with NSBI to create 500 positions in 8 years. Having met that goal in just over 4 years, IBM has expanded its target to grow to 750 positions in the original 8-year time frame.


Looking to invest, relocate or expand in North America or Canada? Discover the advantages of investing in Nova Scotia. Strategic geographic locationhighly skilled and educated workforcecompetitive business costs, and of course the ocean lifestyle.

Nova Scotia businesses like IBM are focused on building a strong and thriving community for today and for generations to come. We’re proud to be able to support them. Our 2016 - 2017 Annual Report tells their stories. View the full report.