"For China, CRL is a bridge to the most advanced technologies, a cradle for developing talents in technology and management." - Song Song, senior manager for pervasive computing

Since opening its doors in 1995, IBM's China Research Laboratory (CRL) has opened new opportunities for a developing country eager to make a global mark on technological innovation, and for a technology giant that's always seeking creative researchers and new markets.

"CRL is a source of first-class researchers and developers for IBM, and a showcase for technologies, new products and capabilities - better for market opportunities than any advertisements," says Song Song, senior manager for pervasive computing - a hot area, in a country that could become the largest market for computing away from the desktop.

Located in a part of Beijing popularly known as China's Silicon Valley, the China Research Laboratory is one of eight IBM research centers worldwide. It was the first of those to be built in a developing country.

Besides Chinese speech and language technologies, CRL also emphasizes pervasive computing; the lab has pioneered HotVideo innovations that allows hyper links to hot spots in digital videos; and the lab explores e-business solutions that help businesses extend their reach beyond national boundaries.

The lab is just a 15-minute walk from some residential areas, although most researchers rely on shuttle buses to get to work. Visitors to Beijing may be delighted by CRL's proximity to the ancient royal gardens of the Summer Palace. More important to researchers, it's close to leading institutes and universities. CRL participates in 7-10 joint projects with the universities each year.