IBM has donated a p690 supercomputer to the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) at Rice University that will be used to study the behavior of carbon molecules. Eventually, the research results will contribute to the development of new medicines or agents that will be used to clean up environmental contaminants. In turn, IBM will be able to incorporate much of CBEN's research into its own work.
Although a small university (2,700 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students), Rice is a major engineering research center and generally viewed as one of the leading institutions in nanotechnology. Professor Richard Smalley won a Nobel Prize for his work on carbon nanotubes. IBM obtains its carbon tubes from the company that Smalley founded, Carbon Nanotechnologies.