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IBM seeks applicants for latest 'smart cities' challenge

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Resources within the $50 million program will come in the form of technology and consulting talent.

If you have a great idea for a smart cities project, but lack the money to get it off the ground, you might be able to find some money through the 2012 edition of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge.

The $50 million grant program teams IBM technical experts and consultants with municipalities and communities that are looking to use technology to address the issues of health, public safety, transportation, social services, energy management, recreation, education and sustainability. Each of the individual grants will be worth approximately $400,000 in "talent and technology."

The applicants must be ready to use publicly available urban data for their projects; that means IBM wants your team to use the City Forward tool for statistical research.

IBM has put together a video that discusses some of the results of the 2011 program. Highlights include:

  • A program that helped cities and towns in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, better integrate their capital budgets so that money would go farther and joint development opportunities could be leveraged
  • A traffic analysis project in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that was designed to reduce traffic fatalities
  • The development of an aquaponics program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that will use water from fish farms in other agribusiness applications.

The deadline for the 2012 grant program is Dec. 16, 2011.

Teaser photo of Edmonton skyline courtesy of Stock.xchng.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure