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IBM Bestows Makati City Smarter Cities Challenge Grant

By Lionell Go Macahilig - on 19 Nov 2012, 3:59pm

IBM Bestows Makati City Smarter Cities Challenge Grant

Part of its smart cities initiative, IBM has chosen Makati City as a beneficiary of the Smarter Cities Challenge for 2013. As a beneficiary, Makati will be granted access to the IBM’s experts who will assess the city’s key issues. After a series of thorough research and evaluation, the experts will recommend solutions that will help Makati become a better place for residents and workers. One issue in Makati that IBM could address would be its traffic management system. This year, IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge included cities that are based in countries like Australia, Brazil, Germany, Kenya, South Korea, Spain, and the United States. For more information, read the press release below.

Receiving the Top Employer Organization Award were IBM Philippines President and Country General Manager, Mariels Almeda Winhoffer (center), together with Dod Peralta, Director for IBM Global Delivery Center, and Cassandra Soto, Director for IBM Global Process Services.

On another note, at the Asia CEO Awards ceremony, IBM Philippines received the top employer award in recognition of its history of managing the world’s finest business and technology professionals. The ceremony was held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Pasay City.

Makati City Earns IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Grant

IBM announced that it has selected the City of Makati to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant (#smartercities) for 2013. The grant provides Makati City with access to some of IBM's top experts to analyze and recommend ways to become an even better place in which to live and work.

Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, US$50-million competitive grant program. The program, 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.

Well before the team arrives for its three-week pro bono consulting engagement valued at approximately US$400,000, the IBM volunteers are already hard at work studying the city's issue. Upon arrival, the team works with city officials to analyze data, and solicit the input of dozens of local agencies and advocacy groups. IBM then provides detailed recommendations for how the city might efficiently and effectively address the issue.

For year-three of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, cities around the world once again competed vigorously to benefit from IBM's expertise. The winning cities proposed innovative projects and areas of focus. These included strategies that address:

• 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 analyzing their potential impact
• Urban Planning - taking a more systematic, data-driven approach to housing policy, downtown revitalization, zoning, and permits

"Congratulations to Makati City for earning an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2013. Makati distinguished itself among its 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," said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and President of the IBM Foundation. "We consider it a privilege to share with Makati City the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees. They have premier skills in a range of disciplines -- all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet."

In 2012, IBM provided expert counsel to 33 cities worldwide who had earned IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants. These included engagements in:

• Cheongju, Korea, where IBM recommended smarter transportation strategies
• Dortmund, Germany, and Malaga Spain, where IBM formulated plans for economic, workforce, skills development
• Jacksonville, USA, where IBM outlined steps for downtown revitalization
• Louisville, USA, where IBM showed how the city could use data to identify, predict and mitigate conditions that trigger asthma
• Nairobi, Kenya, where IBM created a plan for traffic management
• Geraldton, Australia, where IBM suggested ways for the city to become a leader in smart grid technology adoption and digital services
• Curitaba, Brazil, where IBM suggested approaches to sustainability and citizen engagement

In the first two years of the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM completed work in 64 cities globally, deploying nearly 400 of its most talented experts who delivered concrete and measurable results to winning cities.

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 centers 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.

Smarter Cities Challenge is a variant of IBM's Corporate Service Corps, a pro bono consulting program 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. While Corporate Service Corps focuses on the developing world, IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge addresses urban concerns in both industrialized and developing countries.

Visit the CitizenIBM blog to read about some of the lessons learned during previous IBM Smarter Cities Challenge engagements, and to better understand the challenges that cities face.

The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for more than 100 years.

To learn more about IBM's corporate citizenship initiatives, visit: and To find out more about IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge web site at Follow us on Twitter @citizenIBM.