IBM To Award Grants to Innovative Cities

Press Release
Press Release

IBM, an NLC Corporate Partner, has launched the third Smarter Cities Challenge application process, and cities are now welcome to apply for a 2013 grant. Applications are being accepted through September 7, 2012, for the grant program, which is IBM's single largest philanthropic initiative.

Cities around the world are facing complex challenges that IBM has the capability and perspective to help address. IBM is looking for applications from city leaders who have a track record of innovation and collaboration and a commitment to turn strategic recommendations into action.

The program is deploying teams of top IBM experts to work with a total of 100 cities around the world. Earlier U.S. winners include: Atlanta, Boston, Boulder, Durham, Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Newark, Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Louis, and Syracuse.

During immersive, 3-week engagements, teams of 5-6 experts in a range of disciplines work in their host cities to deliver detailed recommendations addressing key urban issues identified by local elected officials and other stakeholders.

Smarter Cities Challenge Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated for the strength of the proposal and potential for a Challenge grant to make a positive impact. The IBM review team is looking for submissions that: 

  • Clearly outline a problem or opportunity to explore, rather than a solution to be implemented.
  • Provide evidence that the proposal is connected to top priorities and challenges of city and community leadership.
  • Emphasize cross-system or services challenges that demonstrate that the city is composed of a system of systems.

Apply for a Smarter Cities Challenge Grant

To apply for a Smarter Cities Challenge Grant, please visit: 

Applications must be submitted by September 7, 2012.

About the Smarter Cities Challenge

The Smarter Cities Challenge was created by IBM in 2010 as a competitive grant program that focused on helping metropolitan areas embrace technology to make their cities a more vibrant and livable place for residents. IBM consultants work closely with city hall’s technology department to help them improve processes and innovate new programs. Over three years, $50 million worth of technology and services will be provided to 100 cities around the globe.

To learn more about the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, please visit:

About the NLC Corporate Partners Program

The National League of Cities Corporate Partners Program promotes the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America’s cities in order to strengthen local government, encourage economic competitiveness and promote corporate civic engagement.

NLC Corporate Partners provide valuable insights and perspectives on issues facing cities and towns and offer resources to address those opportunities and challenges.

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