Abuja, the Nigerian seat of power and capital has been chosen by IBM as a beneficiary of the Smarter Cities Challenge grants set up by the US technology giant to promote development.[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”IBM”]The Smarter City Challenge grant is a competitive grant fund that picks recipient recommended by IBM’s experts to select cities and regions worldwide and provide expertise on the most critical issues faced by communities today based on their research. [/blockquote]
The Nigerian capital was named among 16 cities across the globe to benefit from this year’s grants to promote initiatives that address issues ranging from clean water, healthy food, and revenue generation to job development, efficient transportation and public safety.
The Smarter City Challenge grant is a competitive grant fund that picks recipient recommended by IBM’s experts to select cities and regions worldwide and provide expertise on the most critical issues faced by communities today based on their research.
Jennifer Crozier, IBM’s vice president of Global Citizenship Initiatives, and whose team directs the Smarter Cities Challenge, said, “Congratulations to all of the cities and regional governments that have secured IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants for 2014. If history is any guide, these municipalities can look forward to tapping a treasure trove of skills and knowledge from some of IBM’s best and brightest. By collaborating with our experts, local governments will be receiving valuable counsel that could very well influence the success of issues that are foremost on the local agenda. We hope to be a useful resource to the winning cities and regions and be a catalyst for progress.”
Other cities to benefit from the grant include Ballarat in Australia, Baton Rouge, Suffolk County, Dallas and Birmingham in United States, Brussels in Belgium, Dublin in Ireland, Durban in South Africa and Jinan in China. Others include Mombasa County in Kenya, Niigata in Japan Perth in Australia, Tainan in Taiwan, Vilnius in Lithuania and Zapopan in Mexico.
Smarter Cities Challenge was originally conceived in 2011 as a three-year grant programme but highly positive feedback and significant results have encouraged IBM to extend the initiative, the technology company said.
In its first three years, IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge deployed 600 experts on six-person teams that provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities. These highly prized three-week engagements, each currently valued at $500,000, have helped local government address key challenges.
IBM will work with municipalities this year that seek its input on projects such as Improving transportation options by connecting roads, bikepaths, sidewalks and rails,Protecting the environment with better water quality,Collecting revenue, lowering costs and managing budgets more efficiently,Leveraging local industries and natural resources for tourism and economic development,Making more nutritious and affordable food available in urban neighborhoods and Harnessing the sun and converting waste products into electrical energy