IBM to Collaborate with Shenyang on Smart City Project

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Photo by flcker user Prince Roy under creative commons licenseSept. 18 – IBM will be collaborating with China’s Shenyang City and Northeastern University on a research lab to bring high-tech solutions that will allow the city to responsibly solve its environmental issues as well as provide a healthier environment for its citizens.

The products that come out of the lab could later be sold to other local Chinese governments looking for green projects,  Thomas Li, director of the IBM China Research Lab told IDG News.  Part of the revenues will also go to Shenyang and Northeastern University.

IBM has veered away from manufacturing and is focusing more on its consulting and software strengths. The Shenyang project will serve as an entry ticket for the U.S. company to gain access to other urban-planning projects in the mainland and even tap into similar projects in emerging economies.

The Shenyang Eco-City Research Institute will function as a “collaboratory” where IBM researchers will work together with university, government, or local partners in finding ways to conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions and more importantly address the city’s water treatment system problems.

The local government is initially paying the company RMB275 million for the lab while it provides its own data modeling, analytics, placement selection for sensors and high-speed computing applications for use as well as 20 to 25 full-time researchers.

Shenyang City is an industrial hub located in northeast China with mounting environmental problems. If the collaboration proves successful, the city will be model of environment protection and development for the rest of China.

‘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,’ Li said in a statement.