Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, US$50 million competitive grant program. IBM’s single-largest philanthropic initiative, has been granted this year to the city of Khon Kaen in Thailand northern province.

Well before the IBM team arrives for its three-week pro bono consulting engagement valued at US$400,000, the IBMers are already hard at work studying the city’s issue. After they arrive, the teams work with city officials to analyze data, soliciting the input of dozens of local agencies and advocacy groups. IBM then provides detailed recommendations for how the city can efficiently and effectively address the issue.

The grant recipients are being announced at an invitation-only summit bringing mayors and city leaders together with experts and urban policy leaders. Mayors in attendance include those from among cities that were previously awarded Smarter Cities Challenge grants, as well as those whose cities are today being named 2013 winners.

The Bangkok Post reported Thursday the IT vendor will be looking to push its enterprise analytics software to customers as part of its focus to provide innovative technologies and high-margin products


At the summit, mayors will share successful strategies on topics ranging from transportation and economic development, to sustainability and citizen participation. They will review innovative solutions to the major challenges facing cities today, such as identifying financing, refining operating strategies, improving productivity, driving organizational change, and using data and technology effectively.

For year-three of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, cities around the world once again competed vigorously to benefit from IBM’s talent and expertise. The winning cities proposed innovative projects and areas of focus for IBM experts. 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 a smart power grid

·     Capital Budget Planning – enabling citizens to request expenditures, while also analyzing their potential impact

·     Urban Planning – taking a more systematic, data-driven approach to housing policy, downtown revitalization, zoning, and permits

Following are the 31 cities that have won IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants for 2013:

Belfast, United Kingdom

Buffalo, USA

Burlington, USA

Cape Town, South Africa

Chennai, India

Christchurch, New Zealand

Copenhagen, Denmark

Date, Japan

Faro, Portugal

Foshan, China

Fresno, USA

Gurgaon, India

Jeju, Korea

Khon Kaen, Thailand

Knoxville, USA

Kyoto, Japan

Lagos, Nigeria

Lodz, Poland

Makati City, Philippines

Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

Pingtung County, Taiwan

Porto Alegre, Brazil

Québec City, Canada

Reno, USA

Richmond, USA

Stavanger, Norway

Trujillo, Peru

Tucson, USA

Valparaiso, Chile

Vitória, Brazil

Waterloo, Canada

“It’s a privilege to share with these cities the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees, who are the envy of the industry. They have premier skills in a range of disciplines — all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet.”

Source: IBM News room

IBM has revealed plans to set up a business analytics innovation center in Thailand, which wil provide high-value analytics products to local customers as well as those in the Southeast Asian region.

The Bangkok Post reported Thursday the IT vendor will be looking to push its enterprise analytics software to customers as part of its focus to provide innovative technologies and high-margin products. It will be moving away from commodity products because of fierce price competition, it added.

Parnsiree Amatayakul, managing director of IBM Thailand, said the company plans to open the business analytics center in the country in June to improve its local capabilities. The center will also serve other Southeast Asian markets, she added in the report.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

True-DTAC Merger Faces Delay

The plan originally called for a voluntary tender bid to be made within a year in order to proceed with the US$8.6 billion merger, but this need was not reached, according to Telenor of Norway.

New investment makes LINE MAN Wongnai Thailand’s largest tech startup

LINE MAN Wongnai was established in 2020 from the merger of LINE MAN, Thailand’s No. 1 on-demand assistant app, and Wongnai, a restaurant review platform. The company aims to be the most innovative e-commerce platform for services in Thailand

China continues to lead global e-commerce market with over $2 trillion sales in 2022

China accounted for over 37% share in the global e-commerce market, in terms of payments value in 2021. The country was followed by the US with $1.5 trillion, while the UK stood at a distant third with $292.1 billion in 2021