By Jonathan Marshall, Chief, External Communications
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Electric vehicle (EV) owners and electric utilities may soon enjoy a much closer and more fulfilling relationship than traditional car owners have with gas stations, thanks to a new pilot project announced today by IBM, Honda Motors, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). This collaboration aims to demonstrate the ability to optimize the charge schedule for each customer’s EV battery so that the needs of customers and the electric grid are satisfied on an ongoing basis. That’s still a stretch for most utilities. Continue Reading »
Today researchers in life sciences are required to work with and analyze giga and terabyte size data sets. Similarly, students on university campuses walk around with hard drives in their backpacks with terabytes of research data. Much of this data moves at variable speeds, and is in different formats fueled by a new generation of high throughput data production technologies such as DNA sequencers and super resolution microscopes. Continue Reading »
Editor’s note: Nearly two-thirds of all deaths globally occur due to non-communicable diseases. Better prevention and treatment could save tens of millions of lives and reduce healthcare costs dramatically. IBM and Novartis recently sponsored the NCD Challenge, a global university competition aimed at producing innovative solutions addressing NCDs. The winners are Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; and ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, Spain. This guest post was written by the leader of the University of California, Berkeley team.
By Emily S. Ewell, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley
Chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes and cancer need tangible, targeted solutions that maximize impact with the right intervention. Our university’s team in the NCD Challenge chose to narrow in on Type 2 diabetes – a measurable condition and intersection point for countless chronic risk factors. The good news is Type 2 diabetes is nearly 100% preventable by addressing risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Continue Reading »
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Guru Banavar, Chief Technology Officer, Smarter Cities, IBM
When you think of the world’s smartest cities, London, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Kitakyushu and others might come to mind for their innovative projects to reduce traffic, energy and waste.
But if you look deeper, there are hundreds of smaller cities that are getting smarter – and even outpacing big cities — by applying digital tools like analytics and location-based services to improve the way they manage city water, roads, parks, and utilities.
Take Corpus Christi, Texas, population 280,000. Corpus Christi has rolled out an intelligent city-wide system to help the city to quickly evaluate and respond to issues, anticipate and prevent problems and improve the quality of life for the citizens.
Before working with IBM, each city department had its own process for handling incoming work requests and maintenance, mostly tracking those problems on 3”5” index cards. Now with a city-wide call center, city managers can digitally see all the hotspots on a map, prioritize their responses and know who is handling problems across the city in real time. When data analytics showed that a third of the Corpus Christi’s water department’s effort was spent resolving problems at just 1 percent of customer sites, the city shored up those sites, ultimately cutting costs.
I think Steve Klepper of Corpus Christi captures this concept best when he talks about a city as a collection of data points — streets, bridges, parks, buildings, fire hydrants, water mains and storm water ditches. If you manage your data, you can measure it, and improve it continuously. And Mayor Joe Adame is pleased that city departments are coordinating and integrating around the data they all generate and share.
Today another city — Providence, Rhode Island — is taking an innovative step today to address their energy consumption. A public/private partnership called OSCAR (Ocean State Center for Advanced Resources) is aiming to make Providence become greener and more sustainable, focusing first on smarter buildings and better energy consumption. This is just the tip of the iceberg. With help from IBM, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island and more than 30 local organizations, OSCAR aims to tackle healthcare, education, environmental, and economic development across the state. See here: www.Oscarri.org
In addition to Corpus Christi and Providence, IBM is working with 300 cities around the globe to be smarter by rolling out new projects (such as City of Cambridge in Ontario, Chesapeake Va), forging greater public/private partnerships and research projects (such as Dubuque Iowa, Cape Cod)http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/28981.wss, and even issuing philanthropic grants for cities (Smarter City Challenge).
The bottom line is that cities need to be smarter; Cities are stressing the world’s resources. They consume an estimated 75 percent of the world’s energy and emit more than 80 percent of greenhouse gases.
India, where I spent the last 5 years, presents its own issues — rapid urbanization and population growth, as well as a rapidly rising middle class with disposal income is driving growth of cities. In fact, every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas. At this rate, India will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades.
Many of the world’s emerging countries face similar issues, and I’m currently working with countries like Brazil, Vietnam, and China, in addition to India to address these issues. Countries in the developed world have a different set of problems related to economic slowdowns and changing demographics. Urban revitalization and improved services while cutting costs can also be addressed by developing innovative solutions. In short, if there were ever a time to focus on developing solutions for sustainable cities around the world, that time is now.
Instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Most often used to describe systems and technology, these words have echoed loudly through the halls of Lancaster House during the first few days of the IBM Summit at Start.
Imagination, Inspiration, Innovation, and Interactivity. This weekend at IBM Start a new set of “I” words emerged as the debates shifted to the people power that is and will be building a smarter and more sustainable planet.
Throughout the weekend one main idea was prevalent — changing human behaviour is critical to creating a more sustainable planet. On Saturday, business leaders were challenged to think about working with capital markets to change financial models, the need to change customer behaviour and attitudes, the skills needed for the future and how to make the journey to sustainability simpler for everyone. The debates that followed focused on how businesses could make more concrete advances towards sustainability and encourage the ideas and innovation needed to drive that agenda forward.
Then, on Sunday, the business leaders passed the baton to the Start Young participants knowing they could be the ones to win the sustainability race.
The Start Young for a Sustainable Future day at the IBM Summit welcomed more than one hundred and fifty, 16-21 year-olds to join the conversation on sustainability. The goal of the day was to empower youth attendees to grab the proverbial baton and start running fueled by the power of their imagination and ideas. Attendees were challenged to become the “I” generation and start building the planet they want to inherit by taking clear, simple and positive steps to build a more sustainable future.
Perhaps the most compelling directive from the weekend devoted to the people side of the sustainability debate came from Dame Ellen MacArthur who challenged attendees to “assume nothing, question everything and rethink the future.”
The IBM Summit at Start is honoured to welcome His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales gave a special address to attendees on the importance of sustainability.
To watch the speech visit the event live stream: http://www.livestream.com/ibmuk
Video Highlights of Day 3 at the IBM Summit at Start
Cities generate the vast bulk of the world’s CO2 emissions, and they account for 60 percent of all water allocated for domestic human use. As urbanization levels increase, how do city leaders ensure continuing water and energy supplies – while also promoting environmental sustainability? If you ask me, a good place to start is by making sure local utilities, government agencies, businesses and citizens alike are looking at the same information when making decisions about collective and individual energy use.
Fifteen years ago Peterborough was made one of four UK Environment Cities by The Department of the Environment and is set to become one of a cluster of IBM “Smarter Cities” being developed around the world. Peterborough’s growth targets to transform the city are ambitious and connecting the city systems is central to increasing quality of life for the proposed extra 20,000 jobs, 25,000 homes and 40,000 people that will be in the city by 2021 compared to 2001.
A new collaboration between the Peterborough City Council, Opportunity Peterobrough, Royal Haskoning, Green Ventures and IBM will help the city visualize energy, water, transport and waste systems to produce a real-time, integrated view of the city’s environmental performance. And citizens will be able to log on to the web portal to make more ecologically-minded decisions about their resource usage.