Jacksonville Named by IBM as Smarter Cities Challenge Grant Recipient for 2012

March 15, 2012  
Rick Qualman from IBM, Mayor Alvin Brown, Renee Finley and Steve Swaim from IBM.

Mayor Alvin Brown announced today that IBM has selected Jacksonville to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant. The grant provides Jacksonville with access to IBM's top experts to analyze and recommend ways the city can become an even better place in which to live and work.

“This is about turning our downtown’s potential into a vibrant reality that will attract major employers, create jobs, draw new residents and serve as a focal point of our city’s unique identity,” said Mayor Brown. “Being the recipient of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant places us among an elite number of national and international cities. This public-private partnership is possible because of IBM’s confidence in the talent, vision and energy of Jacksonville’s leaders to revitalize downtown.”

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. Jacksonville is the first city in Florida to be selected.
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.
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 will examine are healthcare, education, safety, social services, transportation, sustainability, budget management and energy.
Mayor Brown and the City of Jacksonville look forward to working with a grant-funded IBM team on ways to develop a plan that will increase residential and commercial occupancy and community activities Downtown.
"The cities that have been selected are all different, but they had one clear similarity: the strong personal commitment by the city's leadership to put in place the changes needed help the city make smarter decisions," said Steve Swaim, IBM Jacksonville Senior Location Executive. “Mayor Brown and his leadership team demonstrated a desire to set an example for other municipalities, an eagerness to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, and a strong commitment to consider implementing recommendations the city felt would be the most feasible and beneficial to their residents."
IBM's consultants and technology specialists will help municipalities analyze and prioritize their needs, review strengths and weaknesses, 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 then outlines a range of concrete strategies designed to help make cities healthier, safer, smarter, more prosperous, and attractive to current and prospective residents and businesses.
The approximate value of each Smarter Cities Challenge grant is equivalent to as much as $400,000. 
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.
The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation.
To find out more about IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit http://smartercitieschallenge.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/citizenIBM.
The following cities earned IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants in 2012:
Accra, Ghana
Ahmedabad, India
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Birmingham, UK
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Cheongju, Korea
Chonburi, Thailand
Curitiba, Brazil
Da Nang, Vietnam
Dortmund, Germany
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Geraldton, Australia
Houston, Texas, USA
Ishinomaki, Japan
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Jurong Lake District, Singapore
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Malaga, Spain
Medellin, Columbia
New Taipei City, Taiwan
Nanjing, China
Nairobi, Kenya
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Pune, India
Rabat, Morocco
Rosario, Argentina
Siracusa, Italy
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Tshwane, South Africa
Toluca, Mexico