Tuesday, March 15, 2011

24 Cities Get Grants to Become Smarter

    24 Cities Get Grants to Become Smarter
  • IBM has awarded the first batch of the 100 grants it plans to bestow over three years as part of its $50 million Smarter Cities Challenge program.
  • IBM has awarded the first batch of the 100 grants it plans to bestow over three years as part of its $50 million Smarter Cities Challenge program.IBM has awarded 24 cities grants to help make them smarter. Announced last week, the awards are the first batch of the 100 grants IBM plans to bestow over three years as part of its Smarter Cities Challenge program.
    The goal of the program is to help cities collect, analyze and act upon information across multiple departments and agencies. The hope is that this will make the cities more vibrant and livable places for all their citizens.
    IBM received more than 200 applications for the grants. Each city had to describe areas of focus in their applications where they would leverage smarter technology. One city wanted IBM to study the feasibility of delivering school coursework to mobile devices. Another city expressed a desire to study how analytics might be used to determine the wisest use of land relative in its efforts to develop a planned community. Other cities want to improve public transportation or link public safety more explicitly with public school education. 
    Winning entries, while diverse in their needs and plans, had a common theme. "We selected [the 24] 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, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM's Foundation. "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."   


    Winning cities will have access to City Forward, an interactive tool that allows cities to analyze, compare and visualize data across systems. (Source: IBM) 
    There were winning cities from Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia. A complete list of the recipients can be found here. Each gets a grant reported to be worth up to $400,000, which must be matched.
    Winning cities get access to IBM experts. Teams of specially selected IBM experts will provide city leaders with analysis and recommendations to support successful growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement and improved efficiency.
    Cities will also have access to a wide array of IBM resources, including City Forward, a new tool that allows cities to analyze, compare and visualize data across systems.
    All told, IBM will award a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide over the next three years.
     

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