IBM to Donate Technology to Make Cities More Efficient


International Business Machines (IBM) has launched a grant contest that could help it wade deeper into the municipal market. The company Tuesday said it will donate $50 million worth of goods and services to 100 U.S. municipalities that can benefit most from technological improvements.

Cities that make the best case will win the services of IBM technology experts, who will observe municipal operations related to healthcare, education, transportation and other areas over the next three years and will offer tech recommendations for boosting government efficiency. While all municipalities will be eligible, cities with populations between 100,000 and 700,000 will likely benefit the most from the Smarter Cities Challenge, the company says.

IBM, which donated $186 million in goods and services last year, says this is its single largest philanthropic project so far.

The company has been dipping into the government market. Last week, IBM announced it would provide cloud-computing services to the U.S. federal government and also planned to expand into state and local governments.