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Surrey Wins Prestigious IBM Grant

Aerial view of Surrey City Centre during the daytime.

March 15, 2012

Surrey – The City of Surrey is one of only two Canadian cities to win a $400,000 grant from IBM, which will provide access to IBM’s top experts who will analyze and offer recommendations on how Surrey can improve growth strategies, service delivery, community engagement, and efficiencies.

"We're excited to embark on this new collaboration with IBM and we're honoured that Surrey was one of only 33 cities in the world to be selected this year to receive the $400,000 grant," says Mayor Dianne Watts. "We’ll focus the resources on youth and childhood development because we want to use this unique opportunity to help improve our human capital and ensure our future leaders have the tools they need to succeed in the global marketplace."

The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year competitive grant program in which IBM is awarding a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide through 2013. During these engagements, IBM technical experts, researchers and consultants immerse themselves in local issues and offer a range of options and recommended next-steps. Among the issues they examine are healthcare, education, safety, social services, transportation, sustainability, budget management and energy.

"The cities that have been selected are all different, but they had one clear similarity: the strong personal commitment by the city's leadership to put in place the changes needed help the city make smarter decisions," said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and President of IBM's International Foundation. "These cities demonstrated a desire to set an example for other municipalities, an eagerness to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, and a strong commitment to consider implementing recommendations the city felt would be the most feasible and beneficial to their residents."

IBM's consultants and technology specialists will help municipalities analyze and prioritize their needs, review strengths and weaknesses, and learn from the successful strategies used by other cities worldwide. After studying the role that intelligent technology might play in uniting and advancing different aspects of city life, IBM then outlines a range of concrete strategies designed to help make cities healthier, safer, smarter, more prosperous, and attractive to current and prospective residents and businesses.

Ottawa is the only other Canadian city to win a 2012 grant.

For more info on the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor

Joanne Fortin
IBM External Communications
1.514.964.8558 or 1.514.642.9820
1.514.238.2995 (cell)

Ari Fishkind
IBM Media Relations