IBM is opening what it calls at Education Collaboration Center on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, saying it wants to work with faculty and students to “make a difference in the world.”

The tech giant is launching the center with some $30 million in research support, gifts, equipment and other in-kind contributions.

Big Blue, which has a major campus in Research Triangle Park, says it plans to emphasize products and services built around its Watson cognitive computing, Internet of Things and blockchain (bitcoin, digital currency) initiatives as well as security.

“We seek to collaborate with NC State (and academia generally) on solutions that will make a difference in the world and to absorb the creativity and energy from the students as we transform IBM development,” said Fran O’Sullivan, IBM’s North Carolina Senior State Executive. She also is general manager of IBM’s GBS [Global Business Services] Global Operation.

iBM (NYSE: IBM) sees the center as an expansion of its IBM’s RTP Center for Advanced Studies as as part of what it calls IBM@edu, a new effort aimed at university collaboration efforts.

One of IBM’s newest data centers also is located at its RTP campus.

“The new IBM Education Collaboration Center on Centennial Campus is especially exciting as it builds upon the longstanding R&D collaborations between IBM and NC State,” said Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor at NCSU. “It will enable a new level of student-centric engagement to help solve tomorrow’s grand challenges.”

O’Sullivan is a longtime IBMer who joined Lenovo when it acquired IBM’s PC division in 2005. She later retired from Lenovo and rejoined IBM. She was named IBM’s top North Carolina executive last summer.

The Centennial Campus is already home to more than 75 corporate, nonprofit and other governmental offices.