Tuesday, March 22, 2011

IBM Announces Smarter Cities Challenge Grant Recipients

IBM has selected twenty-four cities to receive inaugural Smarter Cities Challenge grants. The grants will provide each city with IBM technology and services valued at $400,000.

Over the next three years, the Smarter Cities Challenge initiative will award a total of $50 million to one hundred cities around the world. Officials of the winning city will receive recommendations designed to support successful growth, better and more efficient delivery of municipal services, and increased citizen engagement. Issues to be examined include health care, education, safety, transportation, communications, sustainability, budget management, energy, and utilities. Applicants in this funding round proposed a wide range of projects, though a consistent theme was the desire to collect, share, analyze, and act on data such as school test scores, crime statistics, foot and vehicle traffic counts, library usage, and tax revenues.

To address that need, IBM experts will help familiarize recipients with its City Forward Web site, which uses urban statistics to rate cities' comparative performance across a range of categories. According to a 2008 United Nations report, more than half the world's population is now living in cities, making the need for effective urban management greater than ever.
"We selected these cities because of their commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for their desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to their most pressing concerns," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM. "The cities we picked are eager to implement programs that tangibly improve the quality of life in their areas, and to create road maps for other cities to follow. The stakes have never been greater, but we're excited at the prospect of helping cities tackle the most pressing challenges of our time."
For a complete list of Smarter Cities Challenge grant recipients, visit the IBM Web site.

Any thoughts on how BDPA can get engaged with IBM on this Smarter Cities Challenge?

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