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Ballarat - 26 Mar 2014: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the City of Ballarat has been selected to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2014. As part of the grant, a team of IBM experts will work with the City of Ballarat to analyse existing data to help the city make more informed decisions about their waste management systems.
Ballarat is one of Australia’s fastest growing inland cities, with a projected population of 128,190 people by 2026. In preparation for this increase, and the impact on the city’s existing waste management system, Ballarat’s grant submission highlighted the need to integrate and analyse data being captured by the city to develop system that minimises the impact on the environment and creates local employment.
As part of the pro bono engagement, a team of IBM consultants will spend three weeks on the ground in Ballarat. During this time the IBM team will meet in person with government, citizens, businesses, and organisations to gather a diverse perspective about the causes, impact and potential solutions to the waste management challenge. At the conclusion of the engagement, IBM will present a comprehensive set of recommendations to assist the City of Ballarat plan for an effective waste management system for the city.
“As Ballarat looks to expand as a pivotal industrial and commercial hub for Victoria, we’re looking at waste management in not just environmental terms, but also the financial impact and job creation opportunities which it can afford our citizens”, said Joshua Morris, Mayor of Ballarat.
“By refining how we monitor and analyse fragmented data from multiple sources we’re hoping to reduce burden on ratepayers and increase value to our economy and also plan for the future waste requirements for the city,” added Morris.
In addition to the City of Ballarat, five Australian cities have now been awarded Smarter Cities Challenge grants, including Perth in 2014, the Gold Coast in 2013, Geraldton in 2012, and Townsville in 2011. The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge was originally conceived in 2011, and in its first three years, deployed 600 experts on six-person teams to provide strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities around the globe.
“We would like to congratulate both Ballarat and Perth on earning an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2014. The City of Ballarat’s entry demonstrated a forward thinking approach to waste management. The city clearly wants to improve its citizens' quality of life by looking to use insights from captured data to better manage and plan the city’s waste management needs in the future,” said Miranda Scarff, Manager, Corporate Citizenship and Affairs, IBM Australia.
The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for more than 100 years.
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