Welcome!

News Feed Item

IBM Awards Cities and Regions With Grants to Fund Collaborations With IBM Problem Solvers

Winning municipalities to work with top IBM experts funded by IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants

ARMONK, N.Y., March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) will be helping at least 16 cities and counties around the world this year to address issues ranging from clean water, healthy food, and revenue generation, to job development, efficient transportation, and public safety.

IBM Corporation logo

To that end, IBM today named recipients of its Smarter Cities Challenge for 2014, a competitive grant program that sends teams of some of IBM's most talented experts to select cities and regions worldwide to provide expertise on the most critical issues faced by communities today.

For these pro bono consultative engagements, IBM teams invest months studying a local issue chosen by a winning municipality.  They then spend three weeks on the ground in the region gathering and analyzing all relevant data and reports, while meeting in person with dozens of members of the government, citizen, business, and not-for-profit communities. In doing so, they gather diverse perspectives about the factors involved and potential solutions to the opportunity at hand. At the conclusion of these studies, IBM presents comprehensive recommendations for addressing the issue in line with recognized "best practices." This is followed weeks later by a more detailed, written plan for its implementation.  

Smarter Cities Challenge was originally conceived in 2011 as a three-year grant program, but highly positive feedback and significant results have encouraged IBM to extend the initiative. In its first three years, IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge deployed 600 experts on six-person teams that provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities. These highly prized three-week engagements, each currently valued at USD $500,000, have helped local government address key challenges.

Given that effective local governance today relies on the coordination of multiple municipalities, IBM made regional governments eligible for the grant program this year, not just cities. With the previous participation of 100 cities, the Smarter Cities Challenge program now also offers winning municipalities access to fellow leaders with whom to consult on similar issues, so as to share strategies that have been effective elsewhere. 

IBM will work with municipalities this year that seek its input on projects such as the following:

  • Improving transportation options by connecting roads, bikepaths, sidewalks and rails
  • Protecting the environment with better water quality
  • Collecting revenue, lowering costs and managing budgets more efficiently
  • Leveraging local industries and natural resources for tourism and economic development
  • Making more nutritious and affordable food available in urban neighborhoods
  • Harnessing the sun and converting waste products into electrical energy
  • Preserving public safety during dangerous weather and man made events
  • Decreasing high crime impacts in blighted neighborhoods

Following are cities and regions that IBM is today announcing as winners of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants for 2014: 

Abuja, Nigeria
Ballarat, Australia
Baton Rouge, United States
Birmingham, United States
Brussels, Belgium
Dallas, United States
Dublin, Ireland
Durban, South Africa
Jinan, China
Mombasa County, Kenya
Niigata, Japan
Perth, Australia
Suffolk County, United States
Tainan, Taiwan
Vilnius, Lithuania
Zapopan, Mexico

Many previous grant recipients have implemented IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge recommendations and tangibly improved the lives of their citizens. For example:

  • Da Nang, Vietnam and the Delhi-Mumbai, India Industrial Corridor are improving the coordination of municipal agencies as they manage complex projects.
  • Date, Japan now provides more and better information to consumers about the safety of its agriculture -- key for a city perceived as near the site of a nuclear power plant disaster.
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands has reduced crime with strategies that include citizens' use of social media. Meanwhile, St. Louis, USA provides better information about criminals to judges prior to sentencing.
  • Edmonton, Canada has improved road safety by analyzing accident data and improving education programs. Meanwhile, Boston, USA is using data to manage traffic more efficiently and reduce pollution.
  • Jacksonville, USA has hired an economic development officer and passed legislation that streamlines city council processes for economic development.
  • Ottawa, Canada is developing the neighborhoods near its light rail system by giving incentives to developers and streamlining the permit process. Meanwhile, Providence, USA has streamlined and shortened the process for reviewing and approving construction plans and permits by putting more processes online and by creating a nimble agency.  This will improve economic development and inspire the streamlining of other city services.
  • Syracuse, USA created one of New York State's first land banks, enabling the city to reclaim  and work with the private sector to transform vacant properties.  This is revitalizing its neighborhoods and restoring its tax base.
  • Townsville, Australia is reducing its water and energy costs.  Its efforts have earned it that country's prestigious National Smart Infrastructure Award.  Meanwhile, Tshwane, South Africa conducted a successful crowdsourcing project to pinpoint and reduce water leaks. 

Smarter Cities Challenge is an elite program, having picked only 116 municipalities out of more than 500 applicants over the last four application cycles. Strong applications propose projects designed to address high priority problems of critical importance to citizens. The city or region must be able to share detailed information to help the IBM team analyze the issue. Leaders must also guarantee face-to-face access to city, regional, civic and business stakeholders for interviews with IBM team members so that they may comprehensively assess a given problem and recommend solutions.

IBM dispatches IBMers on these engagements who hail from all over the world, and who offer diverse perspectives and skills in the areas of marketing, communications, technology, research and development, government, human resources, finance, business, legal matters and specific disciplines such as transportation, energy and health.

Jennifer Crozier, IBM's vice president of Global Citizenship Initiatives, and whose team directs the Smarter Cities Challenge, said, "Congratulations to all of the cities and regional governments that have secured IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants for 2014. If history is any guide, these municipalities can look forward to tapping a treasure trove of skills and knowledge from some of IBM's best and brightest.  By collaborating with our experts, local governments will be receiving valuable counsel that could very well influence the success of issues that are foremost on the local agenda.  We hope to be a useful resource to the winning cities and regions and be a catalyst for progress."

A video summarizing the first three years of IBM Smarter Cities Challenge can be viewed here and more background about the program and its many successes can be found here.

Follow all of IBM's citizenship initiatives by visiting the CitizenIBM blog at www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM. For more information about IBM citizenship, please visit www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility

Contact(s) information
Ari Fishkind 
IBM Media Relations 
914-499-6420
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO

SOURCE IBM

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
"We are a modern development application platform and we have a suite of products that allow you to application release automation, we do version control, and we do application life cycle management," explained Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...