Technology giant IBM has announced plans to invest $200m in the new global headquarters for its Watson Internet of Things (IoT) business in Munich, including blockchain-related IoT capabilities.

The investment is the largest ever made by the company in Europe, and forms part of a global plan to invest $3bn for bringing Watson’s cognitive computing to IoT.

The Watson IoT headquarters will house the first ever cognitive IoT Collaboratories or industry labs where clients and partners will work alongside IBM Munich-based researchers, engineers, developers and business experts to drive automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance innovation.  

At present, 6,000 IBM clients worldwide are using Watson IoT solutions and services, a rise from 4,000 eight months ago.

Users of Watson IoT include German industrial heavyweight and automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler, Dutch producer of unmanned aircraft systems Aerialtronics and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

IBM Watson IoT business global head Harriet Green said: "IBM is making tremendous strides to ensure that businesses around the world are able to take advantage of this incredible period of technological transformation and develop new products and services that really change people's lives.

"Germany is at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 initiative and by inviting our clients and partners to join us in Munich, we are opening up our talent and technologies to help deliver on the promise of IoT and establishing a global hotbed for collaborative innovation."