In the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the recovery from the worst American recession since the Great Depression, government leaders have learned that they need to do more, like make improvements to infrastructure, basic services and governmental programs, but with shrinking resources.
Municipal governments have the greatest direct impact on the lives of their constituents and no matter how tight the budget, citizens expect, and deserve, action. So mayors have to think innovatively to accomplish goals, deliver services more efficiently and effectively and stimulate economic development.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has not pared back his ambitious agenda despite reduced funding. One major focus: access to a quality education, which he refers to as “the new civil rights fight.” Mayor Nutter supports a number of creative initiatives designed to provide Philadelphians with educational opportunities and job skills to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.
Philadelphia is one of more than 60 cities worldwide that have participated in IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge program. IBM sends teams of six executives to participating cities to help them develop solutions to difficult problems. Nutter and other mayors have provided insights in to what it takes to transform cities. The lessons they learned are captured in a white paper, How to Reinvent a City.
Stand on a busy big-city street corner at lunch time and you will witness a chaotic scene. Thousands of people are walking every which way, getting on and off buses, descending to subways, riding in cars, and walking in and out of buildings. Where did all these people come from? And where are they going? Until now, such questions were unanswerable–mysteries of the city. But no more.
Today, thanks to deep analytics, we can for the first time understand the complexities of cities in motion.
IBM Researchers have developed analytics software that provides accurate and meaningful information about massive numbers of peoples’ movements. These insights can be used by city managers to plan new transit routes, improve the efficiency of current transit systems, and coordinate the various transportation modes with a goal of making moving around in cities a lot more convenient and comfortable. The project, Insights in Motion, is a so-called First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) collaboration with transportation officials in Dubuque, Iowa, and Istanbul, Turkey.
A paper about Dubuque’s piece of the project, Dubuque Smart Travel, was presented Jan. 16 at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
By Martin Kienzle
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, the hype wasn’t all about the latest smartphone or tablet launch. Exhibitors and attendees alike were abuzz about the rapidly evolving smarter home – a concept that calls for connecting not only your mobile device to the web, but your TV, fridge, washing machine, thermostat and even your carbon monoxide detector.
The analyst firm Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected to the home network by the end of 2015. The breakthrough that’s driving this mass adoption – cloud computing. Cloud is quickly becoming the common platform to connect these disparate devices into an “Internet of Things.” Continue Reading »
By Ben Goldhirsh
With major technological advancements coming at an accelerated pace, success in our increasingly global economy depends more and more on intellectual property assets.
Patents, copyrights, and trademarks play a vital role in the economies of developed countries – in fact, intellectual property (IP) has been a key factor in the initial development of developed economies. Increasingly, emerging markets are seeing the value of fostering and keeping their own IP to help spur innovation, and provide both large and small firms with technologies that will drive success. This creation of competitive products and services that results from intellectual property ownership benefits not only consumers but society and the economy as a whole. Continue Reading »
By Kali Klena
At the National Retail Federation conference today, IBM will announce the results of a massive study of 26,000 shoppers from 14 countries – one of the largest surveys of its kind – designed to better understand their attitudes.
Now in its fourth year, the IBM Institute for Business Value survey points to a number of evolving trends from which retailers of all sizes around the globe can learn. For example, while online sales are expected to continue to rise, other aspects of the online experience are taking shape as well. Things like, “showrooming,” in which shoppers visit brick & mortar stores to browse goods, but then return home to purchase them online, is becoming more common.
So-called “showroomers” accounted for only six percent of all shoppers, but their impact on online sales was striking. Nearly half of all online buyers in the retail categories covered by our study were showroomers. Further, 25 percent of these shoppers said they initially planned to buy in store, but were swayed by their online experience – and 65 percent of these showroomers said they planned to buy online for their next purchase. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Tom Corr
High performance computing was once the domain of big corporations, governments and universities. But not anymore. Global economic pressures to innovate and compete are intense, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs), recognized as economic powerhouses around the world are being ushered into the world of big data.
Thanks to an innovative and unprecedented partnership between Ontario Centres of Excellence, IBM, seven Ontario Universities, the Province of Ontario and FedDev, high performance computing (HPC) resources and technical expertise are now available to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME) in Southern Ontario – businesses that are looking to expand their research capabilities.
Today we are pleased to announce that an additional 31 research projects have been added to this portfolio, enabling more than 20 Ontario SMEs to participate in this truly advantageous partnership. Continue Reading »
By Paul Michel
America’s Founding Fathers considered patents important enough to put the patent right to exclude into the U. S. Constitution. In Article 1, Section 8, they listed patent protection above even the establishment of an Army and Navy. Their sequencing of priorities for Congress to address was not accidental, but reflected their plan for transforming the new nation from a poor, agrarian, former colony into the wealthy, independent, industrial and commercial power it became.
So in April, 1790, the first Congress enacted the first Patent Act. Over the next two centuries, the Act was amended and strengthened regularly, because successive Congresses observed industrialization and economic growth all around them, as under the Founders’ system, the United States went from importing nearly all manufactured goods to itself manufacturing all the products it needed and prospering as a major net exporter.
Within just a little over one hundred years, America surpassed all other nations in wealth and technology, partly because of its strong patent system, aided by wide oceans, abundant natural resources, and universal public education. Throughout the 19th century American inventors outpaced their counterparts elsewhere. During the 20th century, the American patent system helped stimulate the computer revolution as well as astonishing advances in medicine, including creation of whole new fields, such as bio-technology. After a slump in the 1970s, when Japan replaced America as the leading maker of consumer electronics, in the last two decades of the century our nation regained its rapid growth and technological leadership. Continue Reading »