IBM has announced Pune and Ahmedabad as the only cities in India to be awarded with IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Grant for 2012. This grant provides the city with access to IBM's top experts to analyze and recommend ways that will enable Pune and Ahmedabad to become even better places to live and work.
The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program in which IBM is awarding a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide through 2013. In general, 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.
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) plans to work with IBM to provide better healthcare for its citizens. The project will involve creating a blueprint for setting up a surveillance system to address important issues related to health of citizens of Pune. Data related to epidemics, hospital facilities, vulnerable constituents like senior citizens, pregnant women etc will be collated from different sources and through the use of Predictive analytics it will become possible to detect emerging health threats enabling proactive action.
Speaking on the occasion, Anup Yadava, IAS, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation said, “This is a great initiative from a global technology leader to focus on Indian cities and citizens. The Pune Municipal Corporation looks forward to working with the IBM team in the area of healthcare”.
IBM selected cities that made the strongest case for participating in the Smarter Cities Challenge. During these engagements, IBM technical experts, researchers and consultants immerse themselves in local issues and offer a range of options and recommended next-steps. Among the issues they examine healthcare, educations, safety, social services, transportation, sustainability, budget management and energy.
"Pune has demonstrated a strong commitment to put in place an integrated strategy for smarter healthcare for its citizens. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Pune Municipal Corporation. The project will draw on IBM's expertise in the area of providing technical solutions in healthcare and implementing recommendations that the city feels are most feasible and beneficial to its residents," said Mamtha Sharma, Manager, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM India.
IBM’s consultants and technology specialists will help municipalities understand and prioritize their needs, review strengths and areas of improvement, and learn from the successful strategies used by other cities worldwide. After studying the role that intelligent technology might play in uniting and advancing different aspects of city life, IBM will then outline a range of concrete strategies designed to help make cities healthier, safer, smarter, more prosperous, and attractive to current and prospective residents and businesses.
A consistent theme in these projects is the collecting, sharing, analyzing and acting on data generated by urban interactions and transactions. Such information can include everything from school test scores, smartphone adoption, crime statistics, foot and vehicle traffic, to tax revenue and Library usage. Correlations are then made that link seemingly unrelated aspects of urban life to develop innovative and cost effective strategies to address persistent challenges.
The need for better city management has never been greater. In 2008, according to the United Nations, more than half the world's human population began living in cities for the first time in the world's history. India will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades. If there were ever a time to focus on developing solutions for sustainable cities, that time is now.
IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge is an outgrowth of IBM's Corporate Service Corps grants program, in which IBM deploys teams of top employees to areas in the developing world to work on projects that intersect business, technology and society. Since the launch of Corporate Service Corps in 2008, nearly 1,400 IBM employees based in 50 countries have been dispatched on more than 140 team assignments in 24 countries.