Is Mobile Africa’s Future?

The economy of Africa consists of the trade, industry, agriculture, and human resources. As of 2006, approximately 922 million peoplewere living in 54 different countries. Africa is a resource-rich continent but many African people are poor. Recent growth has been due to growth in sales in commodities, services, and manufacturing.Africa is by far the world’s second poorest inhabited continent, second only to Asia in the number of poor people. Though parts of the continent have made significant gains over the last few years. In recent years, African countries consist of the fastest growing economies in the world.

 

Is Mobile Africa's Future?

 

ASTRON and IBM Collaborate to Explore Origins of the Universe

From Big Bang to Big Data:

Scientists estimate that the processing power required to operate the telescope will be equal to several millions of today’s fastest computers. The computer system will be targeted to read, analyze and store one exabyte of raw data per day, two times the entire daily traffic on the World Wide Web

The Telescope: The most sensitive radio telescope known as Square Kilometre Array SKA

 

 

“Large research infrastructures like the SKA require extremely powerful computer systems to process all the data. The only acceptable way to build and operate these systems is to dramatically reduce their power consumption. This will give us a unique opportunity to try out new approaches in Green Supercomputing.”

 

Full  article

An Intelligent Museum – The Louvre

With its new intelligent management system, the Louvre Museum can protect and maintain artwork while keeping galleries open to the millions of customers who visit yearl.

“Managing thousands of repairs, cleaning and maintenance visits per year to preserve the facilities and artwork while keeping the galleries available and accessible to visitors is a daunting undertaking,” said Metin Pelit, department manager of computerized maintenance management system, The Louvre Museum. “Thanks to our new software systems, we’re able to visualize our entire infrastructure and make better, more informed decisions about when and how to respond to problems — and about when to proactively address a potential problem that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen coming.” 

The Louvre’s management system can now aggregate data from individual systems within the museum, providing the museum staff and its vendors, coherent and real-time information on each asset. Additionally, the software provides a predictive view into the performance and reliability of the facility equipment and systems, allowing museum staff to better determine which assets need to be repaired or replaced.

   

“Buildings are massive systems of systems, and these systems need to talk to each other for a building to become smarter,” added Pelit. “In the Louvre’s case, there’s the added challenge of being home to thousands of irreplaceable pieces of art which must be carefully preserved while trying to accommodate millions of visitors annually. By using Maximo software to monitor the condition of assets across the museum’s facilities in one single database, these systems begin to talk to one another, allowing staff to preserve artwork and facilities with more ease and efficiency. As a result the Louvre is now able to keep the majority of their galleries open to customers on a daily basis while simultaneously reducing costs and energy consumption.”

For more on this story please visit: UK Smarter Buildings

IBM Watson to add Citi Bank to its CV

So here I am watching I,Robot and doing my banking, which I do online because lets be honest, banking customer service is often lacking.

I then recall a colleague mentioning Watson, the IBM SuperComputer, was entering into the financial industry. It’s first job looks like it will be with Citi Bank, one of the largest institutions. With Watsons huge data crunching capabilities, you should be able to ask question such as: “How much money do I need to retire?” or “Should I reshuffle my investments given the volatility of the world markets?” And then imagine getting an expert, personalized response in just a few seconds time.

Citigroup, is the first to tap Watson’s enormous data-crunching capabilities and is planning on using the supercomputer to “analyze customer needs and process financial, economic and client data to advance and personalize digital banking.”

(I am are not sure what it says about the state of banking that it takes a robot to make it personal.)

‘Watson’ already has started working in health care. IBM formed a board on Friday that will explore how ‘Watson’ can help the health care industry. ‘Watson’ started working for WellPoint, one of the largest health insurers, in September.

 

Smarter Planet Blog – Financial Services

 

What does it mean to be smarter?

We are living in a time of turbulent change, putting pressure on businesses of all sizes, across all industries and even down to the individual. The world is also changing, in other fundamental ways. It is becoming smaller, flatter and smarter.

As a result, leaders across all types of enterprises are faced with new challenges in order to remain successful. Those organisations who address these challenges are best positioned to outperform in the coming years.

By smarter, we mean the world is becoming: instrumented, interconnected, intelligent.

The signs of a smarter planet are all around us.

The infusion of digital intelligence into the world’s systems is changing the way people, organizations and entire industries approach what they do—how they interact, organize and create value. Nowhere is the potential for transformation greater than in our cities. Around the world, city leaders are struggling with economic challenges, overtaxed infrastructures and dramatic demographic shifts. In more than 2,000 Smarter Cities engagements, we see forward-thinking leaders emerging with new approaches to make their communities smarter and to make them work better.

 

Smarter Law Enforcement

30% decrease in serious crime. 15% decrease in violent crime.

Memphis Police Department
Memphis Police Department precinct commanders start their day with data. A predictive analytics system looks for patterns in criminal activity that help the department see emergent trends in their communities in time to make a difference.

Inside the solution:
The system relies on predictive analytics software that correlates historic data with the latest incident reports to create multilayer maps of “hot spots.”

“Memphis Police Department now has the invaluable insight all of our staff can use—from the commanders to the patrolling officers—to specifically focus investigative and patrol resources with the goal of preventing crime and making our neighborhoods safer.”

– Colonel James Harvey, Commander, Ridgeway Station, Memphis Police Department

 

Smarter Water and Sewer Systems

70% increase in ability to track critical assets. 11% improvement in the ratio of preventative to corrective maintenance.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Drawing on usage data and many other variables, San Francisco is predicting and preventing breakdowns and reducing pollution from its sewer system’s 1,000 miles of pipes and three treatment facilities, which together process 500 million gallons of wastewater and storm runoff per day during the rainy season.

Inside the solution:
The system integrates asset management and geographic information software to locate and monitor assets such as pumps, fittings and other parts of the water infrastructure.

“Not only can we solve most problems within 24 hours, but we’re able to use insights from the data to reduce water pollution.”

– Tommy Moala, Assistant General Manager, SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise

 

Smarter Government Services

80% of participants felt more secure. 70% improved their mobility through exercises.

Bolzano, Italy, Remote Patient Monitoring
As part of a pilot to extend healthcare services without increasing costs, elderly citizens in Bolzano, Italy were given access to advice and medical attention from their homes, via mobile devices. In addition, wireless sensors monitored the environment within the homes, generating alerts delivered via SMS text message, email and Twitter to family members and social services professionals.

Inside the solution:
The solution was created by IBM with the support of TIS Innovation Park, developed on an application server, with data management and messaging software integrated with Android mobile devices.

“The monitoring network allows us to provide services with a human touch—but it’s now the right touch, at the right time.”

– Michela Trentini, Director of Social Planning, Bolzano

 

Smarter Transportation

80% reduction in lost transactions due to system issues. 100% increase in performance capacity to 20 million fare transactions per day.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority
Singapore commuters move easily among all forms of public transportation, thanks to a smart system that charges by distance, not by mode of transport. A highly intelligent algorithm constructs the ideal journey for each commuter across rail and bus lines. In the process, the Land Transport Authorty gets real-time insight to anticipate capacity needs.

Inside the solution:
The Authority’s fare processing clearinghouse uses data management, analytics and transaction processing software running on Power systems.

“By unifying our payment systems, we can build composite models of typical journeys, such as a person driving a car into the city, being charged for congestion, parking his car, catching the bus and then the rail.”

– Silvester Prakasam, Director of Fare Systems, Singapore Land Transport Authority

 

Smarter Operations Center

30% decrease in emergency response times.

Rio de Janeiro’s Integrated Operations Center
Rio de Janeiro’s operations center provides a single dashboard of the city’s critical systems. Information on weather, traffic and medical services helps city agencies anticipate looming problems, engage citizens as part of the solution and plan for major events, like the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games. A predictive weather forecasting system designed by IBM researchers helps model flooding patterns, identifying where events such as mud slides are likely to occur.

Inside the solution:
The Intelligent Operations Center combines patented analytics technologies, created by IBM Research in collaboration with the city, and collaboration, analytics and asset management software and systems integration expertise.

“Communicating with citizens about Rio’s day-to-day life is key. When people are well-informed, they act in ways that help the city work better.”

– Eduardo Paes, Mayor, Rio de Janeiro

 

So the above are some great examples from around the globe. In my opinion there are six imperatives that are fundemental for the enterprise to suceed. These are:

 

Smarter planet in the UK

Watch the video to learn how and why the UK is getting smarter.

 

Outstanding technology + Innovative business plan = Winner of IBM SmartCamp London

Profitero has been named as the winner of the 2011 IBM (NYSE: IBM) SmartCamp London. They help retailers maximise profits by analysing online competitive information on thousands of products and dozens of competitors, helping to build smarter retail solutions. Profitero was selected from more than 80 entries and won due to its outstanding technology, innovative business plan and alignment with IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy. They will receive three months of mentoring from IBM and go on to square off against other SmartCamp winners from around the globe to compete for the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Today, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed by IBM have identified analytics, the ability to extract actionable insights from “Big Data” as their top-priority investment area. Profitero represent a new generation of entrepreneurs who are entering the market with technology and business model designed to capitalise on this trend.

“We are delighted to have won the London IBM SmartCamp award for 2011 and are looking forward to working with IBM on delivering completive intelligence to retailers and manufacturers.” said Volodymyr Pigrukh, CEO and Co-Founder of Profitero.

Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said: “Congratulations to Profitero. Businesses continually tell us they want to get advice from other experienced business people and we know that those seeking support are more likely to succeed.

“Innovative projects such as this one are very encouraging because they bring together entrepreneurs wit h venture capitalists, academics and other industry leaders to provide coaching and critical industry support and advice. This will enable growing businesses to gain the mentoring and insight needed to continue to drive growth and innovation in their markets.

“Mentoring can deliver significant economic benefits from just a small commitment of time and resources. Building a relationship with a mentor can have a positive effect on your business, whether you are just starting up or are already established.”

“Entrepreneurs are critical to driving the next era of innovation and growth. I’ve been hugely impressed by the range and quality of startups we’ve seen entering the London IBM SmartCamp programme this year. Congratulations to Profitero and all the finalists. They’ve showcased solutions that seize major growth opportunities in the market to help make the world work smarter.” said Stephen Leonard, Chief Executive, IBM UK & Ireland.

All the finalists in the London SmartCamp are developing new technologies in critical areas such as healthcare, energy and environment, and other services that improve the life of citizens around the globe. IBM SmartCamps bring together innovative entrepreneurs with venture capitalists, academics and other industry leaders to provide coaching and critical industry support and advice.

Driving economic growth
Small and medium sized companies have long been the engines driving economic growth. They are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP – representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world’s workforce. This group of entrepreneurial companies faces stiff competition, not only in their local markets, but also with larger enterprises across an increasingly global marketplace. (Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation). The IBM SmartCamps are designed to provide these entrepreneurs with the mentoring and insight needed to continue to drive growth and innovation in their markets.

In addition to Profitero, 2011 London SmartCamp Finalists included:

·    PageHub, a young and fast moving company based in Brighton. They have developed an easy to use, powerful analytics tool for brands to more effectively manage their presence on Facebook and other social media sites.
·    Radisens Diagnostics whose analytics device platform is helping to drive a step change towards a single device for point-of-care medical testing, helping to build smarter healthcare systems.
·    RSM, the creators of FITS, an analytical and traffic management software system for cities, helping to build smarter transport systems.
·    Visible Light Communications Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Edinburgh. They are developing smart lighting driven by high efficiency LEDs, which delivers high speed data communications over visible light.

Visible Light Communications Ltd won the People’s Choice Award.

About IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme:
www.ibm.com/isv/startup

About Profitero:
www.profitero.com

About PageHub:
www.pagehub.co.uk

Glasgow’s leadership in the area of fuel poverty is to be commended

The Leader of Glasgow City Council has today launched a £1m affordable warmth initiative marking the start of efforts to eradicate fuel poverty in the city.

Councillor Gordon Matheson said £100 dividends would be paid to 11,000 of Glasgow’s most vulnerable elderly citizens.

It will help give every Glaswegian over 80 and who receives Pension Credit an extra hand as the city moves into the winter months.

The initiative was one of a number of new measures announced today aimed at helping to make Glasgow one of Europe’s most sustainable and green cities through the Sustainable Glasgow partnership.

Speaking at the BaseGlasgow sustainability conference, Councillor Matheson, who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow, said: “This winter we will give a £100 affordable warmth dividend to every Glaswegian over 80 on Pension Credit. That’s 11,000 of our most vulnerable citizens.

“It’s money to help these people so they don’t have to worry about putting on heating and ensure they can keep healthy and warm during the winter.

“All partners in the Sustainable Glasgow partnership are working for all the people living in our city. This new initiative is a measure of our commitment – a green future, social justice and leaving no one behind.

“The Warm Glasgow project will tap into savings and income generated by future sustainability projects to ensure that affordable warmth becomes a reality for all our citizens.”

Councillor Matheson also told delegates that the Sustainable Glasgow partnership was a key commitment of his administration.

He said he would be asking the Sustainable Glasgow partners to join the council in tackling the challenge of affordable warmth through the creation of a new taskforce on the issue.

This announcement comes just months after Glasgow was named as the UK’s first winner of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. IBM experts were asked to help Glasgow with the issues around fuel poverty or affordable warmth and report back to the council on a way forward.

Councillor Matheson said: “I’m going to use the IBM report as a basis for a new affordable warmth strategy. I’m not prepared to see another winter of hardship for our people. Affordable warmth is my commitment. Sustainable Glasgow is the means by which we will deliver it.”

He also announced two major projects with a Sustainable Glasgow partner – SSE.
The council and SSE have now reached the final agreements on a wind farm in the south of Glasgow, and the second is the launch of a £2 million pilot to renew 1000 lighting columns in the city which will use “green” technology.

He added: “I’m also delighted to announce that my council will allocate our revenue share from the wind farm to an affordable warmth commitment. This money will be used to provide direct support to some of our most vulnerable communities.

“On lighting we have been exploring a public private partnership which will look at the renewal of the city’s lighting network. There are currently 69,000 lighting columns in Glasgow – almost half of which are over 30 years old. The pilot to renew 1000 lighting columns is a first step looking at using new technology to save energy and carbon.

“That is the Sustainable Glasgow dividend – green energy, strong partnerships and benefits for all Glaswegians.”

The Sustainable Glasgow partnership includes Glasgow City Council, the University of Strathclyde, Clyde Gateway, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Glasgow Housing Association, Scottish Enterprise, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, IBM, BT, Honeywell, Siemens, ScottishPower, SSE, Scottish Water and the City of Glasgow College.

Through this ambitious city strategy, Glasgow has been positioned as a new centre of excellence in renewable-energy research and industry. Hundreds of new green jobs have been created in Glasgow by industry leaders including SSE, Mitsubishi and Iberdrola, the Spanish firm which owns ScottishPower.

Sustainable Glasgow partners are also supporting many hundreds of groups across the city which are running green community-led initiatives. These projects will be vital in helping the Sustainable Glasgow partnership hit its target to reduce Glasgow’s carbon emissions by 30% within 10 years.

Councillor Matheson told delegates that the city was well on track to meet this target. He said: “Our most recent results on this are just in and they show there has been almost a 9% reduction in Glasgow’s CO2 emissions. The trends show that Glasgow should meet our 2020 reduction targets.

“But I would challenge all the people who live and work in Glasgow to make a difference in their own lives so our city can beat this target.

“We’re on the cusp of a new and green industrial age in Glasgow. By everyone working together in partnership I am determined to let Sustainable Glasgow flourish.”

Mark Wakefield, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager, said: “Glasgow’s leadership in the area of fuel poverty is to be commended – whilst it is demonstrably a priority issue for Glasgow, this is a universal and rapidly escalating challenge for us all.

“Glasgow’s response to our report demonstrates their aspiration to become the most energy literate city in the UK. We welcome Glasgow’s clear commitment to inclusion and the establishment of the task force to implement its recommendations. We hope that the 60 insights from our report can help others address fuel poverty in their cities.”

 

Over a third of Britain’s want to do more for the planet but don’t know how

A YouGov survey of more than 2000 GB adults shows that although 73 per cent of British citizens consider sustainable living to be important to them, more than a third (36 per cent) admit being confused about what they should or shouldn’t do to do more for the planet. In response to the growing need to change consumer behaviour, and specifically the role businesses can play in inspiring people to do more with less, an IBM (IBM:NYSE) summit is bringing together some of the biggest brands in the UK on 1 November to discuss new ways that businesses can empower consumers to achieve sustainable behaviour change.

This event follows the success of last year’s IBM Summit at Start held in association with Start, a charitable initiative by HRH The Prince of Wales to inspire people with simple steps for sustainable living. Last year’s summit saw 1000 British business leaders collaborate over nine days to discuss some of the key business, economic, societal and environmental issues of the 21st century.

“We believe the imperative for sustainable action is strong and businesses have a real hunger to make a difference. No one organisation can do this alone and collaborative approaches are now needed to discover new ways for businesses to empower consumers to create a new era of innovation and growth” said Stephen Leonard, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland. “To help make the planet smarter IBM is uniting powerful brands and some of Britain’s leading business figures to identify how they can play their part in driving social change by encouraging customers across the UK to think, act and live more sustainably.”

This year’s summit – START Now START Today! – has been organised by IBM, The Marketing Society, and Start. The summit will see some of the UK’s best-known brands including P&G, M&S, Asda and British Gas join forces to discuss how to engage consumers on sustainability issues, while providing real value back to business, with the ultimate goal of driving social change and encouraging the British public to live more sustainably.

“Start Today aims to unite powerful brands to inspire behaviour change in the UK public towards more sustainable living. The IBM Summit is central to this mission as it brings together some of the UK’s leading brands to examine the role of businesses in driving change for a sustainable future.” said Joey Tabone, CEO of Start. “Small changes in behaviour when multiplied by millions of consumers can make a real difference and show that marketing and marketers can be a force for good.”

The research, commissioned by Start, also found that although just under half (49 per cent) of those surveyed believe they themselves (i.e. the general public) are ultimately the most responsible for encouraging others in the UK to live more sustainably, a quarter (25 per cent) feel this is the responsibility of the Government, and one in six say it should be the role of British businesses (17 per cent).

Additionally, just over a third (34 per cent) said a simple idea to help them live more sustainably from a company whose products they already buy would make them more inclined to try the idea than if the Government suggested it. However, if multiple companies came together with a set of ideas, this number rose to almost three in five (57 per cent), highlighting the power of collaboration and working together to tackle this important issue.

During the course of the day attendees will discuss how businesses can reach out and influence consumers, ultimately driving social change to start building a smarter planet. They will be addressed by inspiring keynote speakers including Stephen Leonard of IBM and David Green, CEO of Ecolsland. Delegates will then break into smaller groups to debate key issues such as ‘how to engage and empower customers’, and what ‘incentives will be effective in accelerating behavioral change’.

At the end of the conference each delegate will be given a summary of the actions and decisions taken to help put these ideas into practice and make the UK smarter and more sustainable.

For further information please visit: www.ibm.com/uk/start/

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Notes to Editors  

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2107 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th – 12th October 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).