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IBM selects Belfast for Smarter Cities initiative

City-wide IT consultancy worth $400,000 says Big Blue

IBM said that Belfast will be the latest UK recipient of its Smarter Cities data analytics programme.

Belfast City Council will gain access to IBM experts for three weeks next year as part of IBM’s city-wide IT consultancy scheme.  IBM claims the consulting engagement is worth $400,000, and comes as part of its $50 million initiative to provide data analytics services to improve various forms of infrastructure.

Belfast was one of thirty-three cities worldwide that have received the latest planning assistance from IBM for the third year of its project.  Elsewhere in the UK, Birmingham has also received support for implementing big data analytics previously, alongside Glasgow.

The aim of the scheme is to show how big data can be used in a way that impacts on wider civic and social infrastructure, utilising the analytics of big data that is becoming more commonplace.  Collating data from a variety of embedded sensors also points to some of the practical ways in which the Internet of Things could impact on companies delivering IT in the future.

Some of the ways in which IBM is using IT to improve cities include smarter metering of energy services, with a view to providing more affordable and sustainable energy, and urban planning, to provide a more data driven approach to housing policy for example.

“Congratulations to Belfast City Council for earning an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2013,” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM’s Foundation. “Belfast City Council distinguished itself among itself peers by convincingly demonstrating its preparation and willingness to make the kind of improvements that will improve its residents’ quality of life and become a smarter city.”

“We consider it a privilege to share with Belfast the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees, who are the envy of the industry. They have premier skills in a range of disciplines – all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet.”

IBM has previously stated that as part of its investments in its Smarter Cities portfolio, technology is made available to its Business Partners to provide their own services in line with the company’s strategy.

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