Sensitive southern Queenslanders may bristle at the suggestion they need to be smarter, but IBM has named the Gold Coast as the latest recipient of its IBM Smarter Cities Grant.
The arrangement is pro bono in nature and will see IBM gift the city best of breed solutions directed towards improving its public safety disaster response capabilities in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
IBM will work with city officials to sift through data and gauge local feedback to inform its blueprint for improving emergency systems.
“The Gold Coast has a crucial role to play, not only as one of Australia’s major tourist destinations but as a fast-growing centre for international trade and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Tom Tate.
“More than ever before, we have a responsibility to ensure the highest safeguards for the community’s welfare through the smarter use of technology within our response agencies and public infrastructure.”
Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is three-year, $US50 million philanthropic initiative by Big Blue. The Gold Coast brings to three the number of IBM smart cities in Australia, with Townsville and Geraldton already on board.
IBM Australia’s head of corporate affairs and citizenship Miranda Scarff congratulated the Gold Coast for being chosen.
“The grant was awarded on the basis of Gold Coast Council’s strong leadership and demonstrable track record in forward-thinking initiatives and we’re looking forward to working with the Gold Coast to develop recommendations to assist one of Australia’s most iconic tourism hotspots,” she said.
“We consider it a privilege to share with the Gold Coast the talent and expertise of our employees in a range of disciplines - all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet.”