Photo - Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM's Foundation.
The Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan has received an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for next year. It joins 30 other cities from all over the world that gain access to some of IBM's top experts who would analyse and recommend ways the state can become an even better place in which to live and work.
IBM Foundation president and vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs, Stanley S Litow, said: "Congratulations to Negeri Sembilan for earning an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2013. Negeri Sembilan distinguished itself among itself peers by convincingly demonstrating its preparation and willingness to make the kind of improvements that will improve its residents' quality of life and become a smarter city."
"The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, which was launched in 2011, is a three-year, 100-city, US$50 million competitive grant programme," said Litow. "The programme, which is IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative, assigns a team of six top IBM experts to each winning city to study a key issue identified by the city's leadership."
He said the need to use innovative approaches that address civic challenges has never been greater." In 2008, according to the United Nations, more than half the world's population began living in cities for the first time. These population centres are more economically powerful, politically influential, and technologically advanced than at any time in history. But they also struggle with increased demand for services, along with budgetary and operational challenges."
Litow said the Smarter Cities Challenge is a variant of IBM's Corporate Service Corps, a pro bono consulting programme that assists government with projects that intersect business, technology, and society. Since its launch in 2008, Corporate Service Corps has sent more than 2,000 of IBM's top talent based in 50 countries on more than 200 team assignments in 30 countries.
"We consider it a privilege to share with Negeri Sembilan the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees, who are the envy of the industry," said Litow. "They have premier skills in a range of disciplines -- all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet."
He said some of the aspects of the programme for Negeri Sembilan include:
· Economic and Workforce Development -- reducing local dependence on a single industry
· Social Services - creating an ecosystem that supports independent living for a growing senior citizen community
· Sustainability - setting policies around billing rates, electric vehicle use, and solar power generation on an upgraded power grid
· Capital Budget Planning - enabling citizens to request expenditures, while analysing their potential impact
· Urban Planning - taking a more systematic, data-driven approach to housing policy, downtown revitalisation, zoning, and permits
The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship programme and IBM's International Foundation.Other recipients of the 2013 Smarter Cities Challenge grant are Belfast (UK), Buffalo (USA), Burlington (USA), Cape Town (SA), Chennai (India), Christchurch (NZ), Copenhagen (Denmark), Date (Japan), Faro (Portugal), Foshan (China), Fresno (USA), Gurgaon (India), Jeju (Japan), Khon Kaen (Thailand), Knoxville (USA), Kyoto (Japan), Lagos (Nigeria), Lodz (Poland), Makati City, (Philippines), Pingtung County (Taiwan), Porto Alegre (Brazil), Québec City (Canada), Reno (USA), Richmond (USA), Stavanger (Norway), Trujillo (Peru), Tucson (USA), Valparaiso (Chile), Vitória (Brazil) and Waterloo (Canada).
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