Beijing, China and Armonk, NY, USA - 09 Dec 2015: IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) hasannounced that it will expand its Green Horizons initiative globally to enable city governments, utility companies and factories to better understand and improve their relationships with the environment and to help tackle pressing issues related to air pollution and climate change.
The announcement builds on a successful year-long collaboration with the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB), expanding to include over a dozen commercial deals and research engagements on four continents. IBM’s China Research lab is working with the Beijing EPB to provide one of the world’s most advanced air quality forecasting and decision support systems, able to generate high-resolution 1km-by-1km pollution forecasts 72 hours in advance and pollution trend predictions up to 10 days into the future. It models and predicts the effects of weather on the flow and dispersal of pollutants as well as the airborne chemical reactions between weather and pollutant particles. In the first three quarters of this year, the Beijing government was able to achieve a 20 percent reduction in ultra-fine Particulate Matter, bringing it closer to its goal of reducing PM 2.5 by 25 percent by 2017.
The new Green Horizons engagements apply IBM’s advanced machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to ingest and learn from vast amounts of Big Data, constantly self-configuring and improving in accuracy to create some of the world’s most accurate energy and environmental forecasting systems. They include:
- An agreement with the Delhi Dialogue Commission to understand the correlation between traffic patterns and air pollution in India’s capital and provide the government with ‘what if’ scenario modelling to support more informed decision-making for cleaner air.
- A pilot program with the City of Johannesburg and South Africa’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to model air pollution trends and quantify the effectiveness of the city’s intervention programs in support of Johannesburg’s air quality targets and long-term sustainable development.
- Additional clean air projects in China with the Environmental Protection Bureau in Baoding (one of China’s most polluted cities) to support the city’s environmental transformation; the city of Zhangjiakou (host to the 2022 Winter Olympics) to improve air quality for the outdoor sporting event; and Xinjiang Province in north-west China.
In addition, the program is delivering on its promise to help increase contributions of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources in to national grids. New customer engagements include:
- UK energy giant SSE is piloting IBM technology to help forecast power generation at its wind farms in Great Britain. The system is able to forecast energy for individual turbines and includes visualization tools to show expected performance several days ahead.
- In Japan, IBM is working with the Toyo Engineering Corporation and renewable energy company Setouchi Future Creations LLC on the Setouchi solar project – one of the largest in the country. IBM’s monitoring systems will help Setouchi manage and control energy from the plant's 890,000 solar panels.
- Through the United States Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, IBM is making renewable energy forecasting technology available to government agencies, utilities and grid operators across the United States to support supply and demand planning.
- IBM is working with China's largest wind power solution provider - Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd to use IoT, cloud computing, big data analytics and other advanced technologies to drive innovation and transform Goldwind's business and technological models. Also in China, Shenyang Keywind Renewable Company is using cognitive forecasting technologies to help integrate more energy into the grid.
- The Zhangbei Demonstration Project, managed by China’s State Grid Jibei Electricity Power Company, is tapping the power of Green Horizons renewable energy forecasting technology to integrate 10 percent more alternative energy into the national grid, enough to power more than 14,000 homes.
“Even as society is looking to address some of the biggest challenges of our generation -- environmental degradation and climate change -- two game-changing technologies have emerged that are completely transforming our understanding of the world in which we live,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director, IBM Research. “With Green Horizons, we are applying the most advanced cognitive computing and IoT technologies, combined with world-class analytics, to enable forward-looking government and business leaders in their efforts to make better decisions that can help safeguard the health of citizens today while helping to protect the long-term health of the planet.”
"Air pollution and climate change are global challenges that require stronger action by government and business," said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). "To get to a clean energy future, we need accurate data about emissions, air quality and power generation. Advanced technologies can provide crucial insights about our impacts on the environment -- today and in the future."
New Initiatives Build on Success of IBM Clean Air Partnership in Beijing
IBM’s Green Horizons initiative is based on innovations from the company’s Research Laboratory in Beijing, with contributions from leading environmental experts across IBM’s global network of research labs. To help address the issue of air pollution -- considered to be the greatest environmental threat to human health -- IBM has developed next-generation pollution forecasting and management systems which draw on vast amounts of Big Data from environmental monitoring stations, weather stations, traffic cameras as well as meteorological and environmental satellites. Cognitive technologies understand this data, and use it to tune a predictive model that shows where the pollution is coming from, where it will likely go, and what will be its potential effect, allowing more informed decisions about how to improve air quality. Machine learning technologies ensure that the system automatically adjusts the predictive models to different seasons and topographies.
“In the past two decades China has been at the center of global manufacturing and economic growth,” said Dr. Xiaowei Shen, Director, IBM Research - China. “However, this great progress has come at a cost and today the Chinese government has placed air pollution and climate change high on the national agenda. With Chinese investments into green innovation worth billions of dollars and with a new budding generation of environmental scientists coming to the fore, China is the natural starting point for IBM’s Green Horizons initiative which is now being exported to other parts of the world.”
To support China’s clean air action plan, IBM has entered a number of collaborations across the country. Building on their existing relationship, IBM and the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau are launching a new Joint Environmental Innovation Center that will provide decision support capabilities to the Beijing government. Using scenario modelling, the government will be able to optimize its emission reduction strategy and achieve a balance between clean air and continued economic growth. Measures include short term limitations on urban traffic and construction activity as well as long term improvements to industrial production and power generation - such as switching to cleaner energy sources and installing filtering systems. The Beijing EPB also uses a colored alert system to warn citizens when harmful levels of pollution are forecast for the coming days. Selective, temporary reductions in industrial activity are also considered for large scale events such as the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“Our environmental engineers are working on a daily basis to tackle Beijing’s complex and challenging pollution problem and protect the health of citizens,” said Dawei Zhang, Director of Beijing’s Environmental Monitoring Center, a department of the BEPB. “Through our collaboration with IBM Research – China, we are delivering on our environmental commitments with the help of some of the most advanced technologies available. Over the past year we made good progress and the joint innovation with IBM is one of the key driving forces behind it.”
Building on these results, IBM is also working in the Chinese city of Baoding with the local Environmental Protection Bureau and environmental service provider Encanwell to improve the air quality in one of China’s most polluted cities. Pollution source tracking analyzes current emissions and prevailing weather patterns to identify the likely origin of pollution - a powerful tool for environmental law enforcement at industrial parks, factories and power stations.
“Our aim is to reduce PM2.5 by 33 percent over the next two years - IBM’s pollution analytics and forecasting technologies will help us to achieve this,” said Jimin Zhao, Lead Researcher at Baoding City Environmental Protection Bureau. "Using Green Horizons to track the source of pollution, we can take rapid, targeted action to reduce emissions. For example, we can require that heavily polluting enterprises install filtering systems, use smokeless fuels or we can even consider closing or relocating factories and power plants in the long term.”
About IBM Research
Now in its 70th year, IBM Research continues to define the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 14 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame – the most of any company.
For more information on IBM Research, please visit: www.research.ibm.com
For Green Horizon photos, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/sets/72157644613083040
For Green Horizons B-roll, please visit: https://share.agencyroad.com/message/xuooqZcoZpNifmQJyf1hmP
For more info about the Green Horizons initiative and a film about the work in China, please visit: http://www.research.ibm.com/green-horizons/
For Green Horizons B-roll, please visit: http://ibm.newsmarket.com/Global/ibm/s/e865d5fa-67b8-4cd3-a991-469a2a4afd73
As part of the UAE Innovation week, IBM kicked off the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) in Dubai on November 26.
GCTC is a collaborative network of project teams, or “Action Clusters” working on groundbreaking Internet of Things (IoT) applications within the smart city/community environment. Entrepreneurs, students, professors, developers, Marketers and IT professionals, all gathered at this event with one purpose - innovating to solve city challenges.
During the event IBM team showcased simple ideas that matter for better quality of life and how IBM Bluemix enables ideas to come to live in hours and days - not months and years.
Two students captured the audience's attention showing how they taught themselves IBM Bluemix and created a 'smart fussball' through the use of IoT , Rasberry Pi and IBM Bluemix.
To learn more about Global City Challenges visit this page https://www.us-ignite.org/globalcityteams/ and get in touch if you are from the UAE and would like to participate in the challenge.
Just a few hours ago, the curtain fell down on the Emirates Airways (EK) Hackathon in San Francisco, from the 7-8 November. The Hackathon objectives were straight-forward, contestants were asked to develop ideas and applications to “Enable different personas to search for flights online or on mobile devices in new and creative ways.” Each team was asked to select a specific persona and re-invent current search options, according to their specific needs, using web and mobile API’s.
The Cloud Ecosystem Development teams in MEA and Silicon Valley partnered with Emirates Airways by providing Hackathon participants with the IBM Bluemix platform and Watson API enablement as well as advisory support, during the 24 hour-long hack. The team also provided prizes for the team with the best Bluemix application, which included a GoPro 4.
The Hackathon participants were armed with all the information about IBM Bluemix platform and Watson APIs before the hackathon actually started, but, being a team of excellence, the Cloud Ecosystem team from Silicon Valley still kicked off the Hackathon by holding an IBM Bluemix workshop, giving contestants a boost of information, enabling them to hit the ground running.
The Hackathon was a 24 hour activity, and the interest from applicants was monumental. More than 700 applicants entered the Hackathon, but EK decided to select only 300 participants, and disperse them into 42 teams.
14 of these teams (one third of all participants) selected to use the IBM Bluemix platform and include Watson API in their solution. This is an impressive 600% growth of IBM Bluemix use, compared to EK’s previous hackathon held in Dubai. This means that Bluemix awareness and adoption is most certainly growing, and more and more developers are realising the benefits of our platform. The EK and IBM teams are committed to continue with Hackathons, as this benefits EK by releasing innovative and competitive travel apps, and benefits IBM by creating awareness, and broadening the use of IBM Bluemix to promote and foster innovation.
Judges and other onlookers had the pleasure of witnessing some ingenious usage of IBM Bluemix and Watson APIs. At the end of the Hackathon, the decision was to award the overall winner prize to the team #pathfinder, who created an app to improve and reinvent the travel booking process.
The best IBM Bluemix application came from the team called #emiblue who used Watson personality insight and speech recognition to come up with innovative idea to improve traveler experience.
#emiblue: Bluemix Platform Winner
Overall the Hackathon was a resounding success from an IBM Cloud perspective, but our commitment to EK does not end here. We will continue our collaboration with them and expose more of our platform to them, with focused activities targeting their innovation agenda.
I would like to thank the Cloud Ecosystem Development team in Silicon Valley, Jean Carl Bisson, James Barry, Scott Tomlinson), the Cloud team in MEA (Mir Ali, Anthony Butler) and EK Client team (Mustafa Kilic, Mike Ghoraishi). I am sure there were other involved in this and I apologize if I left them out.
Call to Action:
Visit your closest CIO and explain to him/her what is that he/she can expect to achieve with such an event. A Hackathon will drive value within his/her business, but expectations will need to be set up! These goals will drive the overall theme and specific prompts that developers will use during the event to build their apps. For more information, contact Predrag Lucic and/or Anthony Butler.
Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks. IBM will provide services and runtimes into the ecosystem based on our extensive software portfolio.
In practical terms, this means that cloud applications built on Bluemix will:
- Reduce time for application/infrastructure provisioning
- Allow for flexible capacity
- Help to address any lack of internal tech resources
- Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- Accelerate exploration of new workloads – social, mobile, big data
For developers, this means a system that will significantly reduce the time needed to create the application, to provision it, allow for flexible capacity in terms of storage, but also bandwidth and processing power, and which will handle the back-end infrastructure needs without requiring the developer to spend valuable time doing so--in other words, allow developers to concentrate on doing what they do best--being creative and developing top quality applications.
Enabling the transition
Part of any open cloud environment deployment includes cloud workloads and capabilities that are available within the cloud. IBM has been working to enable key functionality in the cloud based on early customer engagements as well as input from developers.
Bluemix: Making a difference in the cloud
When IBM envisioned Bluemix, it envisioned a system which would answer the needs and challenges facing developers while at the same time empowering and enabling businesses to leverage their resources in the most efficient way possible. And we wanted to create a system that could do this in concrete ways.
For businesses, IBM created a system which allows line-of-business users to easily create applications without needing a high level of technical know-how, reduce the total cost of ownership by introducing cost savings inherent in the cloud, and enable businesses to rapidly adjust to their customer and client needs by leveraging the flexibility cloud applications provide--instant updates, new features deployed automatically (high responsiveness from the end-user's perspective).
By doing all of this, the goal is to provide a platform that allows everyone--the developers, the businesses, the end-users--to accelerate their exploration of cloud app capabilities, whether it be to solve social, mobile, or big data needs and challenges--or combinations of the three, to build the next generation of cloud applications and services.
Develop your applications now.
Register for your free 30 day trial now and click here: Bluemix
Modified on by MichaelMarinier
Each day, we strenghten our relationships with universities! In order to promote IBM Academic Cloud Program, we held IBM Academic Cloud Bootcamps in 3 major cities in Turkey. The event in Istanbul was held in September 29th, Izmir was held in October 6th and Ankara was held in October 8th, 2015, executed by Turkey Cloud Ecosystem Development Manager, Jale Akyel and delivered by Cloud Solutions Technical Consultant Burak Cakil. In these sessions, we provided information about IBM Bluemix, its broad services portfolio, and IBM Academic Cloud Program. After we enabled the academicians and students about our cloud platform and the program, we then discussed about the ways and possibilities that we can utilize the usage of cloud for academic purposes such as lectures and research projects.
The questions, feedback and suggestions from the academicians were very constructive and positive, and at the end of the sessions, we realized that they were eager to use the platform within the program in order to broaden their and the students' vision of cloud and innovation in application development methods. They were also incredibly impressed by the Internet Of Things and Watson capabilities. Most of them demanded additional, in-depth workshops in order to better understand the capabilities and possible usage scenarios of the platform.
The audience included more than 60 academicians and students from various universities including Bogazici University, Istanbul Technical University, Yıldız Technical University, Izmir University, Izmir University of Economics, Dokuz Eylul University, Ege University, Balikesir University, Hacettepe University, Middle East Technical University, Baskent University, Atilim University, TOBB University, Gazi University, Ankara University.
In each session, the agenda was as follows:
*Introduction to IBM Bluemix
*Bluemix Services Portfolio, Internet Of Things, Big Data, Mobile, Watson
*Demonstration of Sample Applications
*IBM Academic Cloud Program and academic cloud usage scenarios
*Q&A Session and discussions
On 5-6 November, JAVA developers from around the country will gather at the Clock Tower at V&A Waterfront to network and chat about Java at the J-SA inaugural Conference.
The J-SA Conference is one of many software conferences hosted around the country to train
and connect software developers to each other and open up new opportunities in the tech industry.
This latest event, which will run from 5 – 6 November 2015, will focus on JAVA, one of the most popular programming languages in the world, with close to 90% of Fortune 500
companies reported to be using it.
The event is being organised by Evenir Pty. Ltd, leaders in software conferencing, who aim to provide a space for new and experienced developers to connect and open up the tech
conversation in a country where coding is still an emerging profession and industry.
“There is a huge emphasis on training at our conferences, because the industry is still so fresh in South Africa”, says Theo Sauls, founder of Evenir. “Many developers are self-taught and could benefit from networking with more experienced developers. Our conferences provide a
space for this.”
The J-SA Conference is a mix of practical applications and informative talks by local and international experts in the field, with headline speakers such as Indran Naick, Chief
Technology Officer for IBM in the Middle East and Africa and Nitsan Wakart, a coder who has worked on army intelligence systems, dot.com start-ups, financial institutions and
innovative product development, taking the stage.
While Cape Town has recently been recognised as a growth hub for technology, there is still a long way to go. Sauls, however, says that it is imperative that the country start looking at IT, and more especially software development/ coding, as the job market of the future.
“Besides the fact that we have a serious IT skills shortage in South Africa, if you look at the Java Ecosystem, developed countries are looking abroad for developers to outsource work to.That work could be coming to South Africa.”
To help move this process forward, Evenir regularly donates a percentage of its’ tickers to students to attend the conference for free.
“It’s pointless getting all these experienced developers together if we are not developing our next wave of experienced developers,” says Sauls. “And thanks to sponsors such as Standard Bank, Amazon and IBM, we are able to donate 20% of the tickets to the J-SA Conference to students and invest in our country’s future.”
For more information about the J-SA Conference, contact Theo Sauls on 078 488 5095, email
Large enterprise product launches and announcements may occur on a reasonably regular basis, and in the current technology-indulged world that we live in, we may not review each development with the same awe as we would some 20+ years back, at the peak of the digital evolution in the information age. A recent launch, however, that IBM announced, in my personal opinion, is worth taking notice of.
This particular launch not only showcased IBM’s ability to continuously innovate and evolve, but also their unique intuition and agility when it comes to customer feedback and market insights.
IBM launched Bluemix, which is an open-standards, cloud platform for building, running, and managing applications. Bluemix is IBM’s answer to Platform as a Service (PaaS), and what makes it so unique is that with Bluemix, developers can focus on building excellent user experiences with flexible compute options, choice of DevOps tooling, and a powerful set of IBM and third-party APIs and services.
While the value of Bluemix is clear, many enterprises still face significant challenges around successful adoption of cloud and PaaS, especially enterprises with sensitive data and workloads that must remain on-premises in order to address key security and compliance requirements. For example in Middle East and Africa, there are strict data and personal information security laws that must be adhered too, especially in the financial and healthcare markets. If non-compliance was discovered, or even worse, an actual breach occurred, even the most successful companies would face tremendous implications and potential fines.
Fear of facing these issues, is amongst the top reasons why enterprises have been slow to adopt cloud, but this is where IBM has listened, interpreted and adapted, and came back with a solution to ensure the success of their clients. IBM’s solution to solve and adapt to the business needs has been Bluemix Local.
On the 1st October 2015, IBM announced the launch of Bluemix Local, rounding out the foundation of their approach to hybrid cloud. This new addition addresses the challenges companies are facing, regarding on-premises cloud, particularly when it comes to platforms. Bluemix Local is a cloud platform that allows enterprises to quickly build apps in a secure manner and deploy them across public, private and on-premises environments. Given the rapid pace of innovation and change in the industry, many enterprises want to ensure that entry points into cloud are coupled with clear paths to a more expansive cloud strategy – a strategy that will almost inevitably include a mixture of on and off-premises infrastructure and services, while still balancing costs, agility and quality of service.
These game-changing claims and commitments to success, made by IBM, are the reason that key influencers such as Fortune Magazine and Forrester Research have taken notice. Barb Darrow, from Fortune Magazine, skeptically ponders that, “Big Blue is making some big claims here. If this works as advertised and the price isn’t onerous, this could get traction.” She then moves on to a competitive comparison, and finishes with an acknowledgement of IBM’s credibility, “Still, the company has a tough row to hoe in the public cloud arena where Amazon, Microsoftt, and Google spend multiple billions a year in cloud infrastructure. That said, IBM can claim a cadre of big-name customers that might be more comfy moving their applications to an IBM-run service, a la Bluemix Local.”
John Rymer, from Forrester Research, also weighs in with his competitive comparison, stating that, “This will give PivotalCF a run for its money.” PivotalCF is a commercial version of Cloud Foundry supported by Pivotal, the spin-off of EMC and VMware.
I have no doubt that IBM will keep to their commitments, and continuously innovate to meet customer expectations.
Interested in IBM Bluemix? Watch more here:
Written and compiled by Samantha Smith
StrongLoop, an IBM Company, is one of the leaders of the Node.js community. They offer powerful API capabilities and Node.js DevOps tools, which means exciting things for Bluemix. For starting from scratch wanting to create a Node.js application with powerful API and CRUD capabilities, look to the LoopBack framework. For those with existing Node.js applications, look to using StrongLoop Arc’s management and DevOps tools to actively monitor your application.
IBM Bluemix is a Cloud Based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that can get you cloud ready easily and timeously. All you need to do is create an IBM Bluemix Account and enjoy a 30 day free trial.
Your comments or questions are always helpful.
StrongLoop Arc is a graphical UI for the StrongLoop platform that complements the StrongLoop slc command line tools. Arc includes tools for building, profiling, and monitoring Node.js apps.
To be able to access this service you will need to register for Bluemix here.
Your comments or questions are always helpful.
New capabilities from IBM (NYSE: IBM) for its cloud platform, Bluemix, make it faster and easier for developers to debug applications in a cloud environment using popular open source utilities like node-inspector and tty.js.
These types of open source utilities are widely used by developers on their local machines, but connecting a debugging tool or other utility in a cloud environment can be challenging and time-consuming. Based on a solution developed by IBM software engineers seeking to debug Node.js applications in Bluemix, this capability is now available to developers through the definition of a single Bluemix variable and a re-staging of the application. Developers can access a full description of this capability and how-to instructions in the Bluemix Developers Community blog.
This feature is part of App Management, a set of development and debugging utilities that can be enabled for Liberty and Node.js applications on Bluemix.
IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014, and has grown rapidly to become the largest public Cloud Foundry deployment in the world. The open-standards-based Bluemix catalog includes over 120 tools and services spanning categories of big data, mobile, Watson, analytics, integration, DevOps, security and Internet of Things. IBM Bluemix was recently shown to be the "developers’ choice" of PaaS and is growing 10-times faster than the overall PaaS market, according to research firm ESG.
Modified on by MichaelMarinier
IBM is introducing several new services on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform, designed to help developers create analytics-driven cloud applications.
The will make it easier for developers to create cloud applications for mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), supply chain analytics and intelligent infrastructure solutions. They will be added to over 100 services already available in the Bluemix catalog, which includes complementary analytics tools from IBM such as those found in the recently unveiled IoT Zone and Watson Zone.
Created on open technologies that allow developers to build, run and manage cloud applications and services with more flexibility, Bluemix enables developers to mix and match different services and tools that best fit their strategy. IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014; since then, it has become the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world.
IBM is adding more of its own technology into Bluemix, including:
- Bluemix API Management allows developers to rapidly create, deploy, and share large scale APIs and provides a simple and consumable way of controlling critical APIs not possible with simpler connector services.
- New mobile capabilities available on Bluemix for the IBM MobileFirst Platform, which provide the ability to develop location-based mobile apps that connect insights from digital engagement and physical presence.
Among the ecosystem and third-party services being announced today are:
- Public availability of the .NET Runtime (preview) in IBM Bluemix and open sourcing of .NET Buildpack that grants developers in any Cloud Foundry based environment the ability to leverage Microsoft's development capabilities, making it easier to integrate multiple cloud workloads.
- Namara.io platform by ThinkData Works aggregates and catalogues available open data into a single portal, providing businesses, developers, and citizens with API access to high value information.
- Cupenya Insights provides an analytics foundation that allows developers to connect and monitor business activities across several Bluemix applications, define key performance indicators and receive performance overview of the entire business process or supply chain.
- flowthings.io by Flow Corporation collects real-time data and provides complex event processing, and data delivery that makes it easier to integrate applications with almost any software or device in the Internet of Things space.
- Reappt from Push Technology delivers data at unmatched scale and speed over the Internet to give your apps a performance edge.
Underscoring developer choice and skill development of open source technologies as key tenets of cloud innovation, IBM is supporting the expansion of independent Cloud Foundry Dojo's by establishing the first IBM Cloud Foundry Dojo, located in Raleigh, NC. The IBM Cloud Foundry Dojo will be a physical place open to all developers where IBM will help accelerate skills on the Cloud Foundry Code base and mentor developers to dramatically increase the number of code committers to Cloud Foundry.
IBM already has 12 Dojo graduates on its team, and a dedicated team of 9 full time developers to work solely on Cloud Foundry as official committers from IBM on a number of key projects including Elastic Runtime, Diego, Services, BOSH, CLI and Eclipse Tools for Cloud Foundry.
IBM has long supported open source organization in addition to Cloud Foundry, recently unveiling IBM Containers, a Docker-based container service delivered on Bluemix that includes open Docker-native features and interfaces, including the new Docker orchestration services. The IBM Containers service will enable enterprises to launch Docker containers directly onto the IBM Cloud on bare metal servers from SoftLayer. With this technology, developers have an environment that is simpler to manage and offers increased utilization and performance in a more flexible execution model, expanding the types of applications that can be supported on the IBM Cloud.
IBM total cloud revenue—covering public, private and hybrid engagements—was $7.7 billion over the previous 12 months at the end of March 2015; it grew more than 60 percent in first quarter 2015. IBM’s cloud delivered as a service business, a subset of the total, includes PaaS.
IBM Media Relations
1 (212) 671-9616
Modified on by MichaelMarinier
As part of our Global Entrepreneur Programme, Cloud Ecosystem hosts SmartCamp events annually and offers startups the opportunity to get training from, network with, and pitch to top-tier mentors from local businesses, academia, entrepreneurs and VCs. This year, the MEA team hosted five events and the six winners now go into the selection process for Semi-Finals at LAUNCH Scale, an exclusive invite-only event in Silicon Valley in October.
SmartCamp Johannesburg was held on 17 September at the new IBM Client Centre at 90 Grayston Drive, Sandton. With 7 start-ups participating, it was especially exciting to have two female startups as part of the line up, with diversity being a major focus for IBM South Africa. Historically no female startups have participated in South Africa SmartCamp events.
The participants spent the day with 22 mentors from local businesses, academia, entrepreneurs and VCs and there were 5 judges to deliberate over the winning pitch. The event was opened by @SULEMAN, ZIAAD (Ziaad) and closing remarks with the announcement of the winner presented by @Ilse, Cilliers.
M4Jam: “Money 4 Jam” is a micro jobbing platform. They launched their solution as a platform as a service model taking the concept of “earn” to existing communities and enabling people to earn extra cash while going about their daily routine by using apps that they are already using most. They are exploring Watson Analytics for insights on the data they capture.
Congratulations to the team: @Sincadu, GS (Gcinumzi), @Naick, Indran, @Marinier Michael Marinier, @Kennedy, M (Michelle), @Basson, RF (Rene), @Rama, B (Bhavya)
The 2015 Global SmartCamps where hosted in collaboration with angel investor, and serial entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis and LAUNCH Media across the globe. If selected for Semi-Finals, these start-ups will attend LAUNCH Scale, an exclusive, invite-only event in Silicon Valley with the aim to make it to the finals to pitch live at LAUNCH Festival and win IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year and a slot in the LAUNCH incubator, with a $25k investment.
For more information about MEA Cloud Ecosystem and the programmes, please contact @Basson, RF (Rene). IBMers can engage with IBM MEA Cloud Ecosystem on social media @dvWorks_Africa. Tag your photos #IBMCloud. Or IBM SmartCamps and LAUNCH @IBMSmartCamp and @LAUNCH. Tag your photos #IBMSmartCampMEA.
One company set to benefit from the new IBM Innovation Space is Bitsoko - a digital currency start-up funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bitsoko which has been working out of the iHub for the past 6 months has used Bluemix to develop a mobile wallet application based on Blockchain technology.
“There is a real buzz in Kenya and across Africa right now in the entrepreneurial community as technology and increased access to global markets is propelling us into a new era of African innovation,” said Allan Juma, Bitsoko co-founder and Chief Developer. “As a Kenyan entrepreneur with global ambitions, being able to interact with a company like IBM and discuss ideas, extend our professional network and access cutting-edge technologies is a potentially game-changing opportunity.”
The IBM Innovation Space @ iHub, Nairobi will be open from August 2015 and follows in the footsteps of similar spaces in New York, Boston, Uberaba (Brazil), Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Bangalore, New Delhi and Singapore. Nairobi marks the first IBM Innovation Space in Africa with others to follow in the coming months in line with IBM’s investment into innovation ecosystems across the continent.
IBM has operated in Africa for almost 100 years. Today, its operations span 24 countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania. Nairobi is also home to IBM Research – Africa: IBM’s 12th global research lab and the first industrial research facility on the continent of Africa. With facilities in Kenya and South Africa, IBM Research – Africa is driving innovation by developing commercially-viable solutions to transform lives and spark new business opportunities in key areas such as water, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, energy, security and e-government.
For more information on iHub, visit: http://www.ihub.co.ke/
For more information on IBM, visit: http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
IBM Bluemix is essentially a Cloud Based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that can get you cloud ready easily and timeously. All you need to do is create an IBM Bluemix Account and enjoy a 30 day free trial. Use this time to determine if the service is a perfect fit for your needs.
Comments always welcome.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and NAIROBI, Kenya - 15 Jul 2015: RTI International - a leading nonprofit research institute - and IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Africa research lab have announced a partnership to deploy big data analytics and cognitive technologies to help transform development approaches in Africa and around the world. In one of the first projects, IBM and RTI are developing and testing intelligent systems to capture data about schools in Mombasa County, Kenya.
Through the partnership, RTI and IBM Research – Africa will explore ways of using advanced technologies to capture accurate data about challenges in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, water and education. Drawing on the power of big data analytics, researchers will provide insight to governments, aid agencies and other organizations who are looking to make more informed decisions about investment and development while having greater visibility of results.
“A dearth of data on Africa in the past has led to misunderstandings or misrepresentations of the continent's history, economic performance and potential. Over the past few decades, even simple facts have been misrepresented - the size of a country, its economic performance, the amount of poor people, the volume of exploitable resources,” said Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Vice President IBM Research – Africa. “The latest advances in mobile, big data and Internet of Things technologies have the potential to change that so that we have an accurate and dynamic understanding of Africa’s challenges, rising opportunities and incredible potential.”
The partnership comes as a rapid rise in mobile and Internet of Things technologies are producing unprecedented amounts of data. In developing countries, mobile phones, digital devices and low-cost sensors connected to improving cellular networks are reaching previously disconnected communities with the potential to produce new insight about how people live and the challenges they face.
“Rapid advancements in technology and open data initiatives mean more data is available now than ever before, offering significantly greater insights to improve lives through smarter development programs,” said Aaron Williams, executive vice president at RTI. “By combining our expertise in data science and development, RTI and IBM will apply the information newly at our fingertips to accelerate improvements in literacy, respond rapidly to the spread of infectious diseases, and discover and apply new innovations for improving the human condition in the developing world.”
Big Data for Education in Mombasa County
In one of the first joint projects, RTI and IBM are developing and testing intelligent systems for data capture and decision support to improve accountability and transparency in more than 100 schools in Mombasa County, Kenya. The project is designed to support the Kenyan Ministry of Education Science and Technology data collection initiative.
Teachers, head teachers, school principals and administrators will be equipped with tablet devices to capture data about students, classrooms, and school resources. IBM and RTI scientists will use big data analytics and cognitive technologies to analyze the data and provide indicators that establish school profiles and progress and provide actionable recommendations about the county’s education system at a granular level. The activity is part of the United States Agency for International Development’s Education Data for Decision Making (EdData II) project.
“In the past, head teachers, government officials and aid agencies across Sub-Saharan Africa have struggled to make informed decisions about how to invest in and improve education,” said Dr. Kommy Weldemariam, Research Scientist, IBM Research - Africa. “Often education data is incomplete, inaccurate and sometimes even deliberately misreported. Using analytics and cognitive technologies, we are creating a school census hub which will minimize the effort, expense and error in collecting valuable data about attendance, performance and resources at schools. It has the potential to completely change our understanding of the situation on the ground and what needs to be done to improve it and improve the outcomes for children.”
Achieving Sustainable Development Goals
Applying insights and actionable evidence from data will be key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ambitious universal targets that will be confirmed by a United Nations Summit in September 2015. They include ending poverty and hunger, ensuring healthy lives and ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education.
“By adding analytical value and insight to data production, curation and integration, RTI and IBM will help lay the paving stones for the ‘data revolution for development’ to lead the way in achieving the sustainable development goals,” said Dr. Luis Crouch, vice president and chief technical officer in RTI’s International Development Group, who has worked with various UN processes on the formation of these goals.
The sustainable development goals raise numerous global challenges for which innovative data science solutions, such as predictive analytics, sifting of massive amounts of evidence, and more agile use of citizen-sourced information and citizen feedback could help provide solutions. For instance, in the education sector, initiatives can provide insight on building early childhood development programs that predicate success in later education and life; design early grade reading and math programs using the best instructional approaches and curricula; and inform policymakers on policies needed to support sustainable improvements in education and the data systems needed to track progress in systemic reform. In the health sector, initiatives can help track the spread of infectious diseases faster and more efficiently; provide a better understanding of the underlying causes of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer; and improve the knowledge management, oversight and accountability needed to strengthen health systems.
RTI International, a leading nonprofit research institute with expertise ranging from laboratory sciences to international development, has more than 50 years of development experience worldwide. Specialties include global health, international education, governance and economic development. The Institute’s work on more than 70 current development projects is supported by regional offices in Kenya, Indonesia and El Salvador.
About IBM Research - Africa
IBM Research – Africa is IBM’s 12th global research lab and the first industrial research facility on the continent of Africa. With facilities in Kenya and South Africa, IBM Research – Africa is driving innovation and socio-economic development by developing commercially-viable solutions to transform lives and enable new business opportunities in key areas such as water, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, energy, security and e-government.
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Nairobi, Kenya - IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced in July an investment of $60 million over the next three years to develop the next generation of technical talent in Africa. As part of the initiative, IBM is expanding the Africa Technical Academy and the company’s Africa University Programme to over 20 African countries. IT professionals across the continent are set to benefit with advanced skills in analytics, cloud and big data technologies which are crucial to the next phase of Africa’s economic and social development.
In Kenya – home to IBM’s Africa Research lab and a state-of-the-art Innovation Center – IBM is partnering with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to deliver advanced hands-on certification courses to faculty and students of 50 Kenyan universities over KENET’s broadband network. The certification courses will develop and enhance job market readiness among university students by providing the technical expertise that both employers and entrepreneurs require in order to succeed in a fast paced growth market like Kenya.
“With a research laboratory, innovation centers, offices and other advanced facilities in more than 24 African countries, IBM has the highest concentration of technical talent on the African continent,” said Dr. Naguib Attia, IBM Chief Technology Officer & VP Technical Leadership MEA. “As the leader in science and technology in Africa, we see it as IBM’s responsibility to make a strategic investment in skills development helping to lay the foundations of the Africa of tomorrow.”
The courses are available at no cost and are facilitated by both IBM online trainers and certified faculty in the participating universities. KENET is the first sub-Saharan National Research and Education Network to enter into such an agreement with IBM that allows all connected member universities to benefit from the certification program.
“This IBM certification program will provide university graduates with critical entry-level job skills that are in high demand by employers in Kenya and Africa” said Prof Meoli Kashorda, Executive Director, Kenya Education Network. “Both the African universities and leading private sector companies that are investing on the continent stand to benefit from this program”, he added.
IBM Technical Academy runs in parallel with IBM Africa University Programme, in which 80 Universities across the continent currently participate to enhance their curriculum. These universities provide their final year students with the range of business analytics, cybersecurity, data management, cloud and mobile technology training via the technical role based model applied in the IBM Technical Academy.
Academic staff and students are supported by IBM’s team of experts, cloud-based resources and an IBM training and information portal. Course ware currently delivered in English is being expanded to French, and will later include other African languages.
“The early success of the programme is evident in the graduation numbers from the programme. When the training is offered in more than 80 Universities across Africa, we will be able to reach and offer certification to over one thousand faculty members and more than 35,000 students by 2017,” added IBM’s Dr. Attia
Advancing Technical Skills
Initiated in 2014, the IBM Africa Technical Academy has quickly evolved from delivering product education to a deep- tech skills development programme for technical professionals. Already rolled out 16 sessions in nine countries, the content is focused on technologies like business analytics, cyber security, data management, cloud and mobile technologies. IBM’s intensive training courses condense vast amounts of knowledge into a five-day, instructor-led courses, beginning with foundation training on terminology and technology, all the way through to tools and management in each field. The programme has already trained 1600 technical professionals so far, each in a specialist role with two primary technologies. Candidates use the training to enhance their existing technical knowledge or opt to complete an IBM Certification following the training.
To expand the impact of the programme, additional specialist roles will be added to the curriculum and the training opportunities will be stepped up to be offered quarterly, as well as extended to 12 countries by the end of 2015.
This first-of-a-kind programme takes a holistic approach, giving participants an understanding of how mobile touches on big data, social and other technologies. Participants gain a comprehensive view of the technology solutions rather than training on a single product. Business and governments have access to candidates with deeper technology skills adept at integrating old and new technologies as well as applying innovative technology solutions to real world and business problems.
The positive response to the programme from technical professional, business and academia, reflects the very real demand for technology skills of this nature. The initiative emphasizes the vital need for the urgent need to develop technology skills that align to the growing need of business and government that underpin the development of the African economy and the Africa IT workforce.
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IBM is pleased to announce the launch of our 2015 Global SmartCamps in collaboration with angel investor, and serial entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis (@jason) and LAUNCH Media in sixteen cities worldwide, and counting. We are especially excited to be hosting five of these exclusive events within our MEA region.
If you think your startup is changing the world, IBM SmartCamp and LAUNCH are here to give you the tools to make it happen. We’re helping startups build a smarter planet by providing access to ideas and advancements through education, mentorship, business services and industry access.
- Cairo – 2 September 2015
- Nairobi – 11 September 2015
- Casablanca – 16 September 2015
- Istanbul – 16 September 2015
- Johannesburg – 17 September 2015
This year’s programme offers startups the opportunity to get training from, network with, and pitch to top-tier mentors from local businesses, startups, and VCs. Winners will get the chance to be accepted into the LAUNCH Incubator with $25k investment from Jason Calacanis, and become IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year.
Wondering how it works? Here are the details:
Step 1: Application
Apply to a local IBM SmartCamp in a city near you.
Step 2: Compete in a Local IBM SmartCamp
Step 3: Semi-Finals: Attend LAUNCH Scale, an exclusive, invite-only event in Silicon Valley
Step 4: Finals: Pitch live at LAUNCH Festival to win IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year and a slot in the LAUNCH incubator, with a $25k investment
Want to take part in this once in a lifetime incubator experience? There are just a few quick rules to follow before applying:
- Your startup must have a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- The startup must be early-stage with less than $1 million USD in revenue and less than 5 years old
- Founders must be available to attend LAUNCH Scale (13–14 October 2015), LAUNCH Festival (2–4 March 2016), and LAUNCH Incubator (Spring 2016) in San Francisco, CA.
- Startups must pay their own airfare, lodging, and food for LAUNCH Scale, Festival, and Incubator
- Startups must be running on IBM Cloud or in the process of migrating by 14 October 2015. (Instructions will be provided)
The MEA Cloud Ecosystem Development team proudly brings IBM SmartCamps to MEA.
For more information on each of the events within our region, please contact @Basson, RF (Rene).
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Keep up with the story and follow us @IBMSmartCamp and @LAUNCH. Tag your photos #IBMSmartCamp.