IBM CSR Project - The Smarter Cities Challenge

IBM CSR Project
The Smarter Cities Challenge

In 2010, IBM Citizenship created the Smarter Cities Challenge to help 100 cities over a three-year period to address some of the critical challenges facing cities. The Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program awarding $50 million worth of IBM expertise over the next three years to 100 cities around the globe. Designed to address the wide range of challenges facing cities today, these grants have addressed topics from urban agriculture to public safety. Cities around the world are invited to apply.
How IBM, through the expertise of its employees, can add value as city leaders look for solutions. IBM do this by contributing the time and expertise of IBM's top experts from different business units and geographies, putting them on the ground for three weeks to work closely with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective.
Do more with less - In today's difficult global economy, municipal governments are struggling with demands to increase basic services and to do so with fewer available resources. Smarter Cities Challenge teams from Newark to Mecklenburg County have delivered recommendations that are helping these cities make smarter, more strategic investments in their communities, maximizing value in the long term.
Bridge silos in information and operations - Even as cities tackle issues that cut across segments of society - for example, transportation policies that affect economic development - their operations are organized and their data is collected separately. IBM work in cities like St. Louis, Providence and Ho Chi Minh City has revealed that changes in technology, data analytics and other tools can help cities bridge those gaps and enhance collaboration across departments.
Use civic engagement to drive better results - When cities contemplate new ways to deliver basic services, support from their citizens is essential to their success. Citizens who are uninformed or disengaged cannot support, and may actively oppose, even the best policies. In collaboration with their IBM teams, cities like Guadalajara, Townsville and Sendai are reimagining their relationships with citizens, leveraging them as both sources of data - the pulse of the city - and as partners in seeding change.
Invest in infrastructure for better management - Many of today's cities are suffering from years of disinvestment in basic infrastructure, and especially technology infrastructure. These gaps, due in part to budgetary pressure but also to the regular turnover of leadership, have kept cities, their leaders and citizens from realizing their full potential, slowing economic development and constraining their ability to make informed, data-driven decisions. Smarter Cities Challenge engagements all over the world are demonstrating how the right investments in infrastructure can introduce long-term efficiencies and dramatically transform a city's prospects for growth.
With a number of projects, IBM look forward to extending these insights to a growing cohort of city partners around the world, investing in a global network of leaders in cities and across IBM.  
2011 Smarter Cities Challenge Grant Recipients
When selecting the 2011 Smarter Cities Challenge grant recipients, several key criteria were considered. The cities had to be prepared to match IBM's investment with their own commitment of time and resources. Proposals articulating pressing urban concerns that could be addressed by implementing *smarter* technologies and processes rose to the top of the list. Access to publicly available data that could leverage the capabilities of City Forward was an important consideration. And cities that demonstrated a solid track record of innovative problem solving were also viewed favorably.
·        Africa
1)      Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Americas
2)      Antofagasta, Chile
3)      Boulder, Colorado
4)      Edmonton, Canada
5)      Chicago, Illinois
6)     Guadalajara, Mexico
7)      Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
8)     New Orleans, Louisiana  
9)     Newark, New Jersey  
10)  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  
11)  Providence, Rhode Island  
12)  Rio de Janiero, Brazil  
13)  St. Louis, Missouri  
14)  Syracuse, New York  
·        Asia
15)  Chengdu, China  
16) Chengdu, China  
17)  Chiang Mai, Thailand  
18) Delhi, India  
19) Jakarta, Indonesia  
20)  Sapporo, Japan  
  • Europe
21)  Bucharest, Romania  
22)  Eindhoven, Netherlands  
23)  Glasgow, United Kingdom  
24)  Helsinki, Finland  
25)  Nice, France  
  • Oceania
26) Townsville, Australia

How to Apply:
The Smarter Cities Challenge 2012 application cycle is now open to apply and close on December 16, 2011. The application consists of a fillable PDF form (Download it at following links in your language) which can be uploaded to the Smarter Cities Challenge website upon completion.
In addition to the form, each applicant is required to submit a brief letter from the Mayor, or equivalent executive officer of the municipal government, affirming the validity of the submission. The final selection of 2012 grants will occur in March 2012, and all applicants will be notified by email about their status.