IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

Posted by on November 21, 2010

IBM Announces New Grant Program to Create Smarter Cities
Deadline: December 31, 2010

IBM has inaugurated the Smarter Cities Challenge, a competitive grant program through which IBM will award a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to a hundred municipalities across the globe.

Over the next three years, IBM will send top experts to those cities that have made the strongest case for participating in the Smarter Cities Challenge. IBM consultants will immerse themselves in local issues involving the administration of healthcare, education, safety, social services, transportation, communications, sustainability, budget management, energy, and utilities.

IBM consultants and technology specialists will help participating municipalities analyze and prioritize their needs, review their strengths and weaknesses, and learn from the successful strategies used by other cities. After studying the role that intelligent technology might play in uniting and advancing different aspects of city life, IBM will recommend concrete strategies designed to help make regions healthier, safer, smarter, more prosperous, and attractive to current and prospective residents and businesses

Municipalities will be selected based on a number of criteria, including the ability to clearly articulate between two and four strategic issues that can potentially and reasonably be acted upon. Also considered will be the city’s track record of innovative problem solving, commitment to the use of technology and open data, and demonstrated willingness to provide access to and time with city leaders.

The most successful proposals will offer clear, compelling evidence that a particular city is poised to best utilize the resources offered through the competition, that the grant has the potential to substantially enhance a city’s capacity to act on key issues, and that the city is ready to match IBM’s investment with its own commitment of time and talent.

Municipalities of all sizes are eligible, although IBM believes cities with populations between 100,000 and 700,000 will gain the most from the experience.

The approximate value of each Smarter Cities Challenge grant will be equivalent to $400,000. Each city’s team will comprise top IBM talent who bring their unique expertise to the program. The engagement will be conducted in a collaborative, constructive, and transparent manner, with IBM team members working alongside leaders from the public, private, and volunteer sectors.

Following the November 2010 program launch, applications will be accepted annually, with the first cycle closing December 31, 2010.

Cities interested in researching, and potentially applying for, a Smarter Cities Challenge grant, will find complete program information at the Smarter Cities’ Web site.

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