IBM to Offer Free Consulting Services Via ‘Smarter Cities’ Challenge

IBM has selected five municipalities across the world to receive pro bono consulting services from the company's teams of experts on issues related to public safety, immigration, economic development and affordable housing as part of the Smarter Cities Challenge program.

The company picked San Jose, California; Busan, South Korea; San Isidro, Argentina; Yamagata City, Japan; and Palermo, Italy; out of at least 100 cities worldwide that applied for consultative engagement grants, IBM said Thursday.

IBM teams will work with city personnel of selected municipalities to identify local challenges and offer recommendations to address such issues over a period of three weeks under the Smarter Cities Challenge.

The company may use Watson's cognitive analytics functions and The Weather Company's weather data sets to identify and analyze meteorological events, public health trends, transportation patterns and other data.

IBM has provided pro bono consulting services worth approximately $68 million combined to at least 130 global municipalities through Smarter Cities Challenge grants since 2010.

Each consulting engagement is valued at approximately $500,000.

Memphis, Tennessee was one of the recipients of the grants and worked with IBM to develop a plan designed to speed up response time and reduce the demand for emergency health services.

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