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Christchurch Innovation Noted in Smarter Cities Challenge

Media Release

15 November 2012

Christchurch Innovation Recognised in IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

A Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) initiative designed to record the innovation being used in the city’s earthquake rebuild and make it available for use on other projects has been named as a winner in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge for 2013.

“Our vision for this project is to create a ‘smart framework’ that will improve the city’s innovation eco-system and help create opportunities for both collaboration and commercialisation of ideas,” said CDC chief executive Tom Hooper.

“By understanding and implementing such a framework, it is anticipated that the city would generate higher levels of economic growth across all sectors following a sustained period of earthquake-related rebuild activity,” said Mr Hooper.

The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is the corporation’s single largest philanthropic initiative and assigns a team of six top IBM executives to each winning city to study a key issue identified by the city’s leadership. IBM staff will spend three weeks in Christchurch some time next year. Of the 31 cities announced today as winners for 2013, Christchurch was the only city from the Australasia or Oceania regions.

CDC’s application was officially endorsed by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, who was also interviewed by IBM executives during the process.

“When talking about a re-imagined Christchurch I have always envisaged collaborative projects such as the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge helping us create a dynamic and innovative society,” said Mayor Parker.

“To be chosen as one of the IBM Smarter Cities is both an honour and dynamic opportunity that speaks to our innovators, engineers, entrepreneurs and scientists with the clear message that we are building a city of the future.

“Today’s announcement also neatly reinforces the Lonely Planet ranking for the city at six among the world’s top 10 cities for its ability to rise from the rubble with a breath-taking mix of spirit, determination and flair," said Mayor Parker.

Announcing this year’s winners, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation Stanley S. Litow said, “it is a privilege to share with Christchurch the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees to help build smarter cities and a smarter planet.”


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