The city of Glasgow has become the first UK city to win a Smarter Cities Challenge grant from IBM.
The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant programme which will see IBM awarding a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide over the next three years.
The value of the grant to Glasgow is worth up to $400,000, or around £250,000. Teams of IBM staff will provide city leaders with analysis and recommendations to support successful growth, better delivery of city services, more citizen engagement, and improved efficiency.
Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said, “This will help Glasgow as we move forward with our aim to become a European leader in environmental, social and economic sustainability.
“Through IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative we hope to maximise the tremendous opportunities for Glasgow to develop low-carbon energy technologies, efficient homes, the provision of affordable heat and the creation of sustainable communities. IBM has recognised the work underway in our city and it wants to work with us to enable Glasgow to be a smarter and more sustainable city.”
In selecting its grant-winning cities IBM technical experts, researchers and consultants look at local issues covering healthcare, education, safety, social services, transportation, communications, sustainability, budget management, energy, and utilities.
IBM received several hundred applications from more than 40 countries for the 2011 grant programme. The review team were “highly impressed” by the Glasgow bid, which is one of 24 cities worldwide to be selected to receive a Smarter Cities Challenge grant this year.
Jennifer Crozier, director for IBM corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, said, "We selected Glasgow because of its commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for its desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to their most pressing concerns."
In other news for the city, three years ago Glasgow signed a ten-year £265.5 million IT outsourcing deal with Serco. It said the deal would save it more than £70 million over the decade.