The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge last year achieved concrete results in cities in Australia, Ireland, Mexico and the United States, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.
This included improving infrastructure and its effectiveness, integrating municipally-owned solar energy into the existing power grid, planning for economic development and reversing neighborhood decline while increasing tax revenue.
The report details how the company’s technology and talent are transforming governments, institutions, communities and the quality of life for people around the world.
Promoting public health also was a priority for IBM in 2014, the report said. Two significant IBM Corporate Service Corps engagements focused on improving women’s health. A collaboration among IBM, the Ghana Health Service and the Yale School of Medicine is working to reduce Ghana’s mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to less than 1 percent by 2020. In Peru, IBM worked with Becton Dickinson and Company and women’s health nonprofit CerviCusco to more than double the organization’s outreach to rural, low-income women.
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IBM World Community Grid played an essential role in the Chiba Cancer Center’s breakthrough in childhood cancer research. And in the fight against the Ebola virus, World Community Grid joined the Outsmart Ebola Together partnership as the computing power behind the Scripps Research Institute’s accelerated search for a cure.
Previously used for predictive analytics to transform health care management services for patients with chronic disease, Watson now is being used to improve quality of education. Codename: Watson Teacher Advisor is a new IBM Watson cognitive computing tool that can serve as a virtual mentor to educators. Teachers will be able to access this powerful application of IBM Watson whenever they need it, anonymously and free of charge.
Highlighting the company’s efforts to improve access to education, the report said six students from IBM’s inaugural P-TECH grades 9 to 14 school in Brooklyn, New York completed their “six-year” P-TECH program two years ahead of schedule — finishing high school and college in just four years. Three of the graduates have taken high-paying jobs with IBM, while the remaining three will enter four-year colleges and universities with scholarships this fall.