What is CAS?

IBM Advanced Studies (CAS) is a system of engagement for academic collaboration with IBM. We network IBMers with a community of students, researchers, educators, change makers and entrepreneurs to attract ideas, talent, partners and clients to IBM. Together, we explore technical and social challenges around emerging architectures that will define business and computing for the next quarter century.


The IBM CAS Design team embraces diverse experiences and perspectives, reframes technical and social challenges, and launches meaningful engagement and transformation.


The IBM CAS Research team engages students and faculty in joint research projects with IBM product teams to shape industry-leading offerings, grow IBM market share, and advance academic research and publication. We currently support 51 joint academic-industry research projects associated with 73 different IBM products, involving 101 IBMers, 45 faculty and 80 graduate students. In advancing the thesis research of each student, these projects also generate publications, patents and IBM product contributions.


The IBM CAS Technology team applies IBM offerings and expertise to create learning opportunities and proof-of-concept solutions. Provide rapid and cost effective access to people, expertise and technology to build businesses/business solutions. Shared benefits of co-funding training via skills academy. IBM API calls deliver value.

Internationally Recognized

2017 Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering (TCSE) Synergy Award Internationally Recognized

The TCSE Distinguished Synergy Award is presented annually to a team for outstanding and/or sustained contributions that stand as a model in the software engineering community of effective partnership between industry and universities. IBM CAS has initiated and sustained software engineering research partnerships for over 25 years. Our steady efforts with the CASCON annual conference fostered a large, diverse, and vibrant research community, leading to collaborative projects, innovative technology, joint publications, and influential consortia. These collective outcomes and individual perspectives are chronicled in a book that documents the lasting impact of the CAS ecosystem. This collaboration model influenced not only the Canadian software research and industrial landscape, but has been adopted in many CAS centers around the world.

2006 NSERC Leo Derikx Synergy Award for Innovation

Innovation paves the road to success in the new global economy. The Synergy Awards for Innovation were launched in 1995 by NSERC to recognize partnerships in natural sciences and engineering research and development (R&D) between universities and Canadian industry. Since their inception, the Awards have honoured the most outstanding achievements of these collaborations in the natural sciences and engineering. By working together, effective partnerships enrich the academic and research programs within Canadian post-secondary institutions while providing tangible benefits to Canadians. In 2006, CAS and 12 universities received an NSERC Leo Derikx Synergy Award at the awards ceremony in Winnipeg during CASCON. Research students, funded by CAS, worked together during the summer at IBM on their prototypes and the integration of their prototypes which allowed for rapid refinements and validation. Our partnership opened opportunities for faculty members to visit IBM and interact with students, other faculty and IBM employees. This synergy was very beneficial to the research, and demonstrated the values of the prestigious award.

The Founding of CAS

The Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) was established in 1990 at the IBM Toronto Software Laboratory. The primary aim of CAS is to facilitate the transfer of research ideas into the products and services in IBM. The first CASCON was held in November 1991 at IBM Toronto Lab, which grew to become the premiere conference in computer science and software engineering in Canada. Today it is one of the most important international conferences in the world in areas such as software engineering, database technology, and the smart internet. Meanwhile, the Centre for Advanced Studies itself rapidly became a model for university-industry interaction. Under the founding leadership of CAS Director Jacob Slonim and Associate Director Arthur Ryman, CAS sought out university professors to partner with IBM developers and researchers in a relationship that was unique in the world at the time. Collaborations of a different kind were forged, and soon innovations in compiler technology, the seeds of model-driven architecture, radically new database interaction techniques, and other ground-breaking innovations became regular products of CAS partnerships. CAS' success rapidly became visible world-wide, and other companies and universities began to use the CAS model as a template for successful university-industry relationships.

In 2006 this success was recognized by NSERC with the Leo Derikx Award for Excellence in continuing university-industry interaction. In 2017, CAS was awarded the TCSE Distinguished Synergy Award in recognition of the powerful partnerships we have established in natural sciences and engineering research and development (R&D) between universities and Canadian industry. CAS continues today with partnerships focused on innovations in business intelligence, cloud computing, smart applications and services, big data and more.

From the beginning CAS and CASCON have been a catalyst and key enabler for Canadian researchers, kickstarting one of the largest and best-known computing and software engineering communities in the world. We would like to thank every single person who contributed to the great success story of CAS and CASCON over the past 25 years.

Collaboration and Innovation: Honouring 25 Years of IBM CAS and CASCON Paperback

In recognition of the 25th Anniversary of IBM Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) and its conference CASCON, CAS solicited short chapters for a book to document and highlight the importance and influence of CAS within IBM, academia, and Canada. Through the chapters of the book, readers can trace the history of CAS and read stories of early CASCON experiences and large-scale CAS projects. The breadth of perspectives in this book articulates the full scope and influence of CAS and CASCON, describing significant research resulting from CAS collaborations and documenting the impact of CAS and CASCON on individuals and institutions. The authors have illustrated how CAS was initiated within IBM Canada and how it has changed the IBM research and development landscape, the Canadian computer science and software engineering communities, the Canadian software industry, and the lives of the people in the CAS ecosystem.