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IBM awards Brussels Capital Region with Smarter City Grant to research innovative mobility solutions

Ass IBM Gare du NordBrussels Minister for Public Works, Transport, Regional and Communal IT and the Port of Brussels Brigitte Grouwels and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that Brussels Capital Region has been awarded the IBM Smarter City Grant to address the capitals transportation needs of the future.

As one of the most congested capitals in the world, Brussels is struggling to meet the transportation needs of its inhabitants and to drastically improve traffic fluency. It is looking towards an integration of the different transportation modes (train, bus, tram, subway, Vilo, Cambio, taxi, etc.) into a coherent and consistent system.  There for the Brussels region is looking for a roadmap to achieve a governance system that will enable the region to implement and integrate a multi-model transport system.  Thus reducing congestion and improving the flow of traffic. An improved traffic situation has a positive impact on the air pollution, will give the economy a boost and make the region more attractive and viable,   This was the challenge that Brussels Capital region entered in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge.

Quote Minister Grouwels “I’m convinced that technology really can help make Brussels mobility smarter. There for I’m pleased that IBM awarded our beautiful capital, the heart of Europe, a Smarter City Grant.”

Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program that sends teams of some of IBM’s most talented experts to select cities and regions worldwide to provide pro bono consulting expertise on the most critical issues faced by communities today.  This year, the company will be helping at least 16 cities and regions around the world this year address issues ranging from clean water, healthy food, and revenue generation, to job development, efficient transportation, and public safety.

IBM teams invest months studying a local issue and working out a solution. The drive and preparedness of the Brussels Government to address this issue, was one of the compelling arguments to award the Brussels Capital Region the Smarter City Grant.”

An IBM team will spend three weeks in Brussels gathering and analyzing all relevant data, while meeting in person with dozens of members of the government, citizen, business, and not-for-profit communities. In doing so, they gather diverse perspectives about the causes and potential solutions to the challenge at hand. At the conclusion of these studies, IBM presents comprehensive recommendations for solving the problem, followed weeks later by a more detailed, written plan for its implementation.

Smarter Cities Challenge was originally conceived in 2011 as a three-year grant program, but highly positive feedback and effective results have encouraged IBM to extend the initiative. In its first three years, IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge deployed 600 experts on six-person teams who provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities. These highly prized three-week engagements, each valued at USD $500,000, have helped cities address key challenges in a variety of spheres.

Jacques Platieau, Country General Manager, IBM Belgium

  • A video summarizing the first three years of IBM Smarter Cities Challenge can be viewed here.
  • More background about the program and its many successes can be found here.
  • Follow all of IBM’s citizenship initiatives by visiting the CitizenIBM blog and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM.
  • For more information about IBM citizenship, please visit

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