BlackBerry Limited (BB.T) and Carleton University have entered into a $21 million USD, five year partnership agreement. According to this partnership, Blackberry Limited will provide software engineers and researchers with access to BlackBerry® QNX® technology for use in a variety of industries including automotive, robotics, transportation, Internet of Things (IoT), aerospace and medical devices.
“As a Carleton University graduate and active alumnus, I know first-hand the passion that exists within the student body and faculty community to go beyond the classroom and foster the skills that will allow graduates to make an impact from day one of their working careers…With our new partnership, we’ve created a unique experiential learning environment that is designed to do just that, providing students with the foundational tools and technologies that will enable them to solve real industry problems upon graduation. My team and I are very much looking forward to working more closely with the university in the months and years ahead to help students build the safe and secure autonomous systems of tomorrow,” said John Wall, SVP and co-head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions.
I never thought the day would come where I would be writing about Carleton University, the school that taught me the fundamentals of good journalism. In fact, the entirety of BlackBerry’s latest news is one hell of a trip down memory lane. I still remember the days of texting my middle school crush on the bus ride home from school, melodramatically staring out the window listening to One Republic. Sure, I may not have been the talk of the town with my BlackBerry Pearl, but it was a damn good phone nonetheless. Even now, nothing quite compares to the subtle ‘tac tac’ of BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard phones.
Next thing I knew, I was packing my bags and heading to Ottawa to pursue journalism at Carleton University. As Mr. Wall perfectly captures is his statement, the student body and faculty community at Carleton go beyond the classroom in order to foster the skills that will enable graduates to perform from day one of their careers. To me any many others, Carleton was a place that fostered growth by providing its students with as much practical experience as possible.
Self-indulgent nostalgia trip aside, BlackBerry intends to build upon this method of growth by establishing and providing technology for a new embedded operating system software research lab in the Advanced Research and Innovation in Smart Environments (ARISE) building on Carleton’s campus. At this lab, researchers will be able to use BlackBerry® QNX® technology in a wide range of applications. BlackBerry® QNX® is a real-time operating system (RTOS), which is essentially an operating system capable of processing data immediately without buffer delays. Furthermore, the Company will provide 600 BlackBerry® QNX® licenses annually in addition to training and product support for students.
Moreover, senior representatives from various BlackBerry® QNX® teams will collaborate with faculty and students to advance research projects, providing real world experience on transitioning technologies more efficiently to the market. With this in mind, BlackBerry is going above and beyond to enrich the educational experiences of students at Carleton. However, BlackBerry already has an extensive history of engaging with post-secondary and secondary institutions in support of educational programs, school projects, women in engineering and STEM-related activities. For example, on May 11, 2020, BlackBerry partnered with the University of Windsor to educate future data scientists.
Taking the rose-tinted glasses off, BlackBerry’s overall sales declined 25% year over year according to the Company’s fourth quarter results for fiscal 2021. However, the Company remains optimistic that its QNX® sales will continue to climb relative to the growth of the global electric vehicle (EV) deliveries market, which is expected to grow at an annual rate of around 20% in the next decade. Overall, BlackBerry has its foot in both the cybersecurity and software markets, two sectors which have experienced significant growth. With this in mind, BlackBerry’s QNX® technology could generate some long-term growth for the Company.
BlackBerry’s share price opened at $11.60 today, up from a previous close of $11.46. The Company’s shares are currently down 3.75% and are trading at $11.03 as of 1:50PM ET.