International Business Machines (IBM) will grant $50 million to 100 municipalities across the globe in order to turn them into Smarter Cities.
 
The three year plan will have IBM send its experts to various global cities to provide technology guidance in selected areas including healthcare, education, transportation, energy and utilities. It's all part of an initiative called the Smarter Cities Challenge.
 
Cities are vitally important to society and the economy. But they have enormous challenges and need the innovation, creativity and technical know-how to tackle longstanding, tough issues and plan for the future.  We're excited at the prospect of helping city leaders address the most demanding challenges of our time and make their cities even more livable, said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM's Foundation, in a statement.
 
The project will go beyond giving blanket guidance, as the experts plan on analyzing and acting on specific data. One example is linking the processes in multiple departments, such as education and social services, as a way to save costs. The project also hopes to implement technologies that can save time. Digitizing information to police officers, so it can be received instantly, and using ultra-precise weather data for snow removal are examples.
 
IBM recently completed pilot programs in Baltimore, Austin, Texas and Mecklenburg County, N.C.
 
 Over the last number of weeks, we enjoyed brainstorming with IBM about making the delivery of Baltimore City's citizen services even more effective, said Baltimore's mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in a statement.
 
The grant to each city will be approximately $400,000. The company will select municipalities based on two to four strategic issues. It will also look at the city's technology innovation track record. It did not say when it is announcing the selected municipalities.