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IBM Awards Grants to Help Build a Smarter Planet

Not for Profit Organizations and Educational Institutions Receive Nearly $1 Million in Additional Grant Support

Published 07-20-11

Submitted by IBM

/PRNewswire/ - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today awarded nearly $1 million in Smarter Planet grants to 11 organizations around the world. The IBM Centennial Grants are both monetary and in-kind awards up to US$100,000 each and fund innovative projects in areas such as healthcare, energy and food safety.

"Non profit and education organizations are the lifeblood of local communities, and we want to help them by offering support to build a smarter planet," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM. "In conjunction with our employees making their skills available through massive volunteer efforts, IBM's Centennial grants will help non profits and educational organizations meet their key goals."

IBM recently completed a Celebration of Service Day, a milestone in its year long commitment to skills based volunteering. The event included more than 300,000 IBM employees donating 2.7 million hours of service time at 5,000 large scale activities, serving over 10 million people on just one day, which represented the largest activity of its kind. The organizations of the IBM Centennial grant recipients collaborated with significantly large numbers of IBM volunteers during the Celebration of Service Day.

The IBM Centennial grant recipients include:

  • ATN Telecentre Information and Business Association (Brazil) - Research has demonstrated that lack of technology is one of the main reasons non profit organizations and small and medium enterprises fail to survive in Latin America. This grant will help create a smarter network of non profits in Latin America including the creation of a toolkit for non profit organizations, and small and medium size businesses, to influence public policy and enable economic development.

  • Drishtee Foundation (India) - Rural India is on the wrong side of the Digital Divide - financially and socially deprived by a lack of access to critical information and technology leading to a big gap in opportunities. This grant will fund a Smart Rural Aggregation Platform which will help create Drishtee's model villages into a sustainable Smarter Villages in rural India. The solution will help to aggregate critical services and products related with livelihood, agriculture and information services and making services accessible to farmers and village community.

  • El Agora (Argentina) - In Argentina, citizenship observatories publish quality of life indicators for cities - including housing, public utilities, transportation, environment, health and education - used to propose public policies for local mayors. This grant is designed to help promote the exchange of information across several cities and promote specific improvements in those cities.

  • Foundation for the Training and Protection of Mentally Handicapped Children (Turkey) - An estimated 12 percent of the people of Turkey are disabled. Since there is no exact data for the disabled population, health and public services for the disabled population have been neglected. This grant will help build a database of Turkey's people with disabilities, interconnect the database with government institutions and NGOs, and develop web services and a web portal for people with disabilities.

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Khraragpur (India) - Urban flooding is a severe, annual problem in India where heavy monsoon rainfall damages property, disrupts transport, even causing loss of life directly or indirectly. This grant will help fund a Sensor Web for Smarter Cities (SENSIT) project which will develop a low-cost sensor based solution to assist with rainfall monitoring and flood forecasting, providing flood warnings to citizens and local authorities.

  • Irish Cancer Society (Ireland) - Since its founding in 1963, the Irish Cancer Society has provided support and services to help ease the stress associated with managing cancer treatment. This grant will help develop a smart cloud-based system to support the expansion of the Society's "Care to Drive" program, which provides free patient transportation to and from cancer treatment appointments, including scheduling, route planning and mapping, volunteer reimbursement and data management.

  • National Association of Community Health Centers (United States) - This grant will help more than 20 million patients through the creation of a dashboard and knowledge management system. The software will connect 8,000 health centers to share ideas, exchange best practices, and move toward establishing a "medical home" for every patient.

  • Singapore Green Building Council (Singapore) - In conjunction with the Singapore Green Building Council and Ministry of Education, this grant will help advance energy efficiency by raising awareness in Singapore schools. The Singapore Green Building Council's Project Green Insights will use the grant to develop a system to track power usage and reduce energy and maintenance costs, promoting Smarter Buildings across 20 schools in Singapore.

  • United Way Ottawa - Ottawa Neighborhood Study (Canada) - This grant will expand a database that will help the Ottawa Neighborhood Study better understand where people live, work and play together to help shape the health and well being of individuals, families and communities. The data will be analyzed and shared with local leaders to stimulate change in the community. The partners in the Ottawa Neighborhood Study are United Way Ottawa, the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health, the University of Ottawa, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, and the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa.

  • The Vermont State College system (United States) - In 2009, Vermont launched an initiative to become the first "Smart Grid" state and boost energy efficiency and reliability while creating jobs. For the past ten years, the IBM Vermont manufacturing facility's Smart Energy Management Program has used its own smart grid to reduce energy use 20 percent while increasing manufacturing capability. IBM will partner with the Vermont State College system through the "Managing Energy - Sustaining Our Community" initiative to help two statewide non profits - Vermont Technical College and HowardCenter, Inc. - reduce their energy use by at least 5 percent annually, creating a model that can then be applied throughout Vermont's non profit sector.

  • Wiener Tafel (Austria) - Austria has nearly 1 million people on the edge of poverty and hunger, yet countless tons of surplus food are thrown away every day. This grant will help deliver healthy food for people in need through the creation of a smarter logistics solution to assist in the distribution of surplus food from supermarkets to those in need. The solution aims to also help with the reduction of CO2 emissions and protect the environment. Wiener Tafel and IBM will develop a Smarter Logistics concept aiming to increase food donations from Vienna supermarkets by 20 percent.

Throughout 2011, IBM is awarding a total of $12 million in grants worldwide to that support employees' volunteer activities to build a smarter planet. The new technology and cash grants expand IBM's commitment to communities worldwide by 140 percent over the previous year. IBM's total worldwide giving program in 2010 was $189.2 million.

To help commemorate IBM's Centennial and build on IBM's long tradition of community service, IBMers around the world are volunteering their time and talent in unprecedented amounts throughout 2011 in support of smarter planet initiatives. These efforts make up a global 'Celebration of Service' ( in which hundreds of thousands of IBMers and retirees get out into their communities and apply their best expertise to the most pressing civic challenges facing society.

For more information about IBM's Centennial, please visit

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Innovation – joining invention and insight to produce important, new value – is at the heart of what we are as a company. And, today, IBM is leading an evolution in corporate citizenship by contributing innovative solutions and strategies that will help transform and empower our global communities.

Our diverse and sustained programs support education, workforce development, arts and culture, and communities in need through targeted grants of technology and project funds. To learn more about our work in the context of IBM's broader corporate responsibility efforts, please visit Innovations in Corporate Responsibility.

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