IBM still isn't sure the number of jobs it will bring to downtown Hamilton as part of a new partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences, but Dino Trevisani is hoping it's hundreds.

The head of IBM Canada didn't give an exact number how many jobs the company would start with at a media event on Tuesday. But he said if it's as successful as a similar project the tech giant launched in Halifax, hundreds will move in to three floors of the Stelco tower downtown.

'If we're successful and we execute, we should do a great job and there should be a lot of jobs.' - Dino Trevisani, IBM Canada president

"What do I hope?" said Trevisani, a Hamilton native. "Well, if you look at what we did in Halifax, we started with 100 jobs and now over 600 jobs.

"If we're successful and we execute, we should do a great job and there should be a lot of jobs."

The IBM jobs will be new to Hamilton. Some will be filled, Trevisani said, by Hamilton IBM workers who commute to Toronto every day and are anxious to work in their hometown.

In addition to the IBM partnership, HHS will move more than 300 existing administrative jobs into 100 King Street West from the Chedoke site, which the corporation is selling. 

Both IBM and HHS staff plan to move in to the high-rise building this fall.

The IBM partnership will involve researching ways the company's Watson cognitive and analytics software can improve healthcare. HHS, with its "more than 1,500 principal investigators," will provide a "real-world test environment," the company's said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Trevisani grew up in Hamilton, and his brother and sister still live here, as does his parents, who are in their 90s.

He hopes this project will attract other investment to Hamilton as well. 

"That passion for me is very personal," he told the crowd at Hamilton General Hospital.

The two parties plan six projects right now. In the first two, IBM and HHS will test how Watson can be applied to learn more about how patients use the health care system. They will also look at how to make a current HHS system of monitoring a patient's vital signs mobile.