September 16, 2009 12:25 ET

IBM, Shenyang, and Northeastern University Collaborate to Create Smart, Eco-City

Shenyang Aims to Be China's Model City for Environment Protection and Development

SHENYANG, CHINA--(Marketwire - September 16, 2009) - Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM), the City of Shenyang, and China's Northeastern University announced they are embarking on a major "smart city" collaboration effort focused on enabling Shenyang to improve the lives of its citizens by meeting its environmental responsibility goals.

An industrial hub in northeast China with a concentration of heavy industry manufacturing and mounting environmental pressures, Shenyang aims to be the country's model city for environment protection and development, and lead China in innovation related to environmental responsibility and creating a city for citizens and businesses to thrive in. Shenyang seeks to be an example for cities around the world to follow. Throughout China, the government is focused on creating a harmonious society, and environmental responsibility is critical to reaching that goal.

"We believe our collaboration with IBM and Northeastern University will play a critical role in meeting our city's environmental goals," said Yingjie Li, the Senior Mayor of Shenyang. "Furthermore, we expect this collaboration will help incubate environmental solutions for use in other cities in China, contributing to the national government agenda of building a harmonious society in China and even in other countries."

IBM, the City of Shenyang, and Northeastern University have established the Shenyang Eco-City Research Institute -- a Collaboratory -- to advance technology solutions that enable cities to conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, and create a healthy environment in which citizens can live and work. A Collaboratory is a laboratory where IBM Researchers co-locate with a university, government, or commercial partner to share skills, assets, and resources to achieve a common research goal.

In establishing this Collaboratory, technologists and environmental specialists from IBM, Shenyang, and Northeastern University will partner to advance smart, eco-city technology solutions to help Shenyang achieve its goals, but also to create solutions to help other cities be more environmentally responsible.

"Our aim is to gain new knowledge through real-world Research to further advance our smart city technology solutions, so that we can improve our ability to help cities around the world meet their sustainability goals," said Thomas Li, director for IBM Research - China.

The Collaboratory will focus on advancing technology solutions that: significantly reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy, manage water efficiently, effectively track food from farm to fork, enhance the intelligence of transportation and traffic systems, create environmental emergency response plans, and allow a proactive approach to environmental responsibility vs. reactive. Many of these solutions will involve advanced analytics and information management, areas in which IBM has unique expertise. IBM will also bring to bear its expertise and experience in areas such as: smart water management, traffic and transportation management, food traceability, greenhouse gas reduction, and more.

For example, the Collaboratory will apply water management solutions from IBM Research to analyze the immense amount of data that is produced from the city's water systems, in order to gain real-time understanding about water quality, energy utilized for water management, and more. Through this analysis, the city will be able to make more proactive decisions about water, cut down on expense and energy-usage related to water management, and maintain high water quality to provide the best possible service to citizens.

To this collaboration, IBM will provide Research scientists and technology solutions, Shenyang will provide environmental experts as well as critical city data and insight, and Northeastern University will contribute research experts. Each party will gain new understanding related to smart cities and environmental responsibility.

"All of us at the Northeastern University are extremely excited as this collaboration offers us an opportunity of a lifetime to contribute to the environmental protection of Shenyang, China and other countries," said Yicheng He, Chancellor, Northeastern University. "We are grateful to the Shenyang Government for giving us the opportunity, and are confident that our researchers and developers can improve their skills by working with the researchers from IBM's Research Lab in China and other countries."

The collaboration will also focus on improving communication between public and private sector entities, and creating methods for organizations in a city to share data to make environmental management and decision making more effective. IBM analytics and dashboard solutions will be applied to helping public and private sector entities share data and make collaborative decisions.

"Whereas as generations before us pursued the moon race, our generation is faced with the earth race, and collaboration is critical to the mission of saving our planet," said Sharon Nunes, Vice President for Big Green Innovations at IBM. "We expect this collaboration to not only provide benefit to Shenyang, IBM and Northeastern University, but believe it will contribute greatly to cities around the world and our planet as a whole."

A recent report from the IBM Institute for Business Value, "A Vision of Smarter Cities," outlines the new central role that cities are playing in the world economy and the associated need for cities to address their sustainability challenges by transforming their core systems -- individually as well as holistically.

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