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IBM Dedicates $50M to 100 Metros in Smarter Cities Challenge

IBM is committing $50 million to 100 cities around the world as part of its new Smarter Cities Challenge, which will help cities grow, improve delivery of municipal services, increase citizen engagement, and improve efficiency. The project marks the single-largest philanthropic investment by IBM.

Within three years, IBM will send experts to cities that are chosen for the challenge. Those experts will help the cities analyze and prioritize their needs, review strengths and weaknesses, and adopt successful strategies used in other cities.

IBM has done similar work in cities including Ho Chi Minh City; Rio de Janeiro; Chengdu, China; and Katowice, Poland. To prepare for the program's full deployment, IBM has completed or is conducting pilot grants in Baltimore; Austin, Texas; and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, which encompasses Greater Charlotte.

"Over the last number of weeks, we enjoyed brainstorming with IBM about making the delivery of Baltimore City's citizen services even more effective," said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "It was refreshing to hear new and creative points of view, and inspiring to hear about the successful approaches undertaken by other like-minded cities. I was particularly pleased that they quickly grasped our vision for the future, and offered strategies for realizing and even enhancing those potential plans."

The program grants are valued at $400,000 per city. Locations interested in learning more or applying for a Smarter Cities Challenge grant can visit the program website.

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