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IEEE ‘brain trust’ to help cities smarten up

The IEEE professional organization aims to make its “brain trust” of technology experts available to city leaders who want to develop smarter, more sustainable communities.

The IEEE’s Smart Cities Initiative aims to work with 10 cities in both developed and developing countries between now and 2016.

“Designing successful and sustainable smart cities requires careful planning about citizens’ energy, water, transportation, communications and public health and safety,” said Gilles Betis, chair of the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative. “IEEE has cultivated a powerful and talented brain trust that can assist municipalities in addressing all essential services that need to be managed in unison, to support the smooth operation of critical infrastructure while providing a clean, economic and safe environment for inhabitants to live, work and play.”

The deadline for cities to apply for the IEEE’s assistance is May 16, 2014. To be successful, applicants will need to clearly demonstrate their municipalities are ready to commit to and act on plans to evolve into smarter cities.

The IEEE has already worked with one city — Guadalajara, Mexico — during a pilot project that launched in October of 2013.

“Guadalajara was an ideal candidate for the inaugural pilot and an excellent model for future projects, as it had already established an organization called the Ciudad Creativa Digital (CCD) to drive the transition to a smart city,” Betis said. “This effort is part of a comprehensive strategy for the revival and regeneration of the historic city center.”

In addition to gaining access to the IEEE’s leading lecturers, cities chosen for the new initiative will receive funding to develop content for massive open online courses (MOOCs) and get help with organizing an international conference on smart cities.

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