Smarter City Collaborations

(Image by Scott Maxwell)

I’ve been lucky enough this week to take part in the “Science of Smarter Cities” colloquium IBM has held at our new Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin. The colloquium has brought together stakeholders from public sector, private sector and Universities across Europe to discuss key issues to driving Smarter City agendas forward. We’ve been discussing issues such as Open Data, the economics of social capital and Smarter City technologies.

The colloquium also coincided with the formal opening of the Technology Centre, with presentations by Richard Bruton, the Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and John Kelly, IBM’s Senior Vice President who runs IBM Research worldwide.

Richard and John both spoke about the reason why IBM chose Dublin – out of all of the cities in the 170 countries the company operates in – as the site of the new centre. They both singled out the collaborative relationship the city of Dublin, the country of Ireland and IBM have established in recent years. Dublin is engaged in some exciting Smarter City programmes, such as the “Dublinked” open data project; and IBM has been engaged in the “Smart Bay” project in Galway with the Marine Institute of Ireland and many other partners for some time now.

I spoke with a delegate from the Marine Institute at the colloquium today about the way that they’ve successfully engaged a number of large and small organisations across public and private sector in the Smart Bay project; and created a research programme that encourages innovation in that ecosystem.

It’s a great example of something that seems to be common across many of the most innovative “Smarter City” projects – new collaborations between organisations of different sizes and types; finding new ways to deliver not just financial but social and environmental value too. I hope the colloquium this week leads to more opportunities to do that.

About Rick Robinson
I’m the Director of Smart Places for Jacobs, the global engineering company. Previously, I was the UK, Middle East and Africa leader of the Digital Cities and Property business for Arup, Director of Technology for Amey, one of the UK’s largest engineering and infrastructure services companies and part of the international Ferrovial Group, and before that IBM UK’s Executive Architect for Smarter Cities.

One Response to Smarter City Collaborations

  1. Pingback: Are Smarter Cities the Key to Social Mobility? « The Urban Technologist

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