IBM Smarter Cities Grant Now Open To Local Governments Than Just Cities

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IBM has extended its Smarter Cities Challenge competitive grants program to local governments than just cities in a move that will them come up with projects that address economic development; water, energy and environment; health and social services; transportation; and public safety.

For the 2014 cycle, the Smarter Cities Challenge is open to local and regional, general purpose governing bodies, including cities, counties, prefectures, boroughs, and districts.

Jennifer Crozier, IBM’s vice president of Global Citizenship Initiatives, and whose team directs the Smarter Cities Challenge, said, “We believe that our program can be an especially valuable resource to new mayors, with whom we can share successful strategies that have been put into place elsewhere. We’re humbled by the reception this program has enjoyed all over the world these past three years, and we’re pleased that we can continue Smarter Cities Challenge for 2014.”

Launched in 2011, IBM Smarter Cities Challenge has deployed 600 experts on six-person teams who have provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities for three weeks each, prized at $400,000.

Some of the smart cities awarded include Korea’s Cheongju which received $2.7 million to redesign bus routes. UK’s Glasgow which announced a new £1 million fuel subsidy to provide affordable warmth to low-income elderly citizens. The city also won a £24 million grant from the Technology Strategy Board.  US’s Syracuse which reclaimed nearly 4,000 vacant properties and re-purpose them in ways that revitalize neighborhoods and restore the tax base by as much as USD $11 million over eight years and South Africa’s   Tshwane which launched a project where citizens can report water leaks via text. The data will be used to map their water distribution network. And many others not listed here.

Applications may be submitted to IBM beginning today through November 8, 2013 by visiting www.smartercitieschallenge.org.

Smarter Cities Challenge has picked only 100 cities out 400 applicants over the last three years therefore strong applications ought to have projects designed to address high priority problems of critical importance to citizens.