Three Broad Themes of Research

The groundbreaking work being done at Frontiers Institute is organized into three broad themes based on how we see the role of technology evolving in business and society. Our researchers are pushing the performance of computing and developing new information processing platforms. They’re making sense of the ever-growing mountain of data at our disposal. And they’re continuing the great scientific tradition of developing new tools to see further into and farther beyond the world we live in.

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Computing Reimagined

Quantum Applications

Quantum computers are coming. They hold the potential to solve intractable problems, reveal unforeseen opportunities, and fundamentally change the way we look at the world around us. What will you do with so much power to process information?

Neuromorphic Devices and Architectures

Today, the process of training a machine learning system can take days or even weeks. What if it could happen in minutes or even seconds? Where and how would you use a tool capable of helping you making decisions in real time?

Machine Intelligence

We're using the brain's wondrous neocortex as a model for developing flexible systems that continuously learn - and without human supervision.

Data Experienced

Internet of the Body

Imagine wearable sensor arrays with a host of embedded functions: compute, memory, communication, and power. Now imagine they’re tiny and inexpensive enough to be put anywhere. In an age when we’re all becoming an internet unto ourseleves — capable of delivering, receiving, and analyzing data in real-time — how will these devices change communication? Business? Healthcare? Privacy and Security?


As each of us increasingly loses ourselves in ever-smaller and ever-more-powerful personal computing devices, we’re increasingly missing out on the rich dynamics of human collaboration. But what if we could marry the benefits of the digitization with the intimacy and spontaneity of face-to-face interaction? How would your group collaborate in a device that they could actually walk into?

Accelerated Materials Discovery

The current development timeline for a new material is in excess of 10 years. Can cognitive and analytic systems learn materials science and help discover new materials in a significantly shorter time?

The Invisible Made Visible


From tweets to the weather, IoT sensors to video, the world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This torrent of information has the potential to become the world’s greatest natural resource – if we can make sense of it. Which is what the macroscope intends to do.


Microfluidic technologies may enable ultra-affordable, on-the-spot precision diagnostics of diseases. How would that change healthcare? What would happen to hospitals? What would it do for your well being?


Some of the world’s largest problems are rooted in behaviors happening at the nanoscale. We’re building tools to reveal these underlying phenomena in hopes of understanding the inner-workings of our world – and their impacts on your business.


What if we could see far beyond the visible spectrum, anywhere, at any time? Imagine how a clear view into any object could change airport security or food inspections. Imagine how it could enable self-driving cars or improve public safety.

IBM Research Frontiers Institute Quantum Leaps

Quantum Leaps provide Institute members early access to the game-changing computing breakthroughs being imagined and tested inside IBM Research. An example is the World’s Most Advanced Multi-Qubit Quantum Computer.

The World’s Most Advanced Multi-Qubit Quantum Computer

In our first project, we’re working on a multi-qubit quantum computer with the potential to process information millions or even billions faster than any imaginable bit-based computer.

Our Next Quantum Leap

Stay tuned for an announcement from the frontiers of science and technology about our next Quantum Leap.