Equipping students: Service science initiative

Service Science, Management and Engineering teaches skills for a smarter planet

In 2008, IBM signed agreements with the governments of Egypt, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam to incorporate Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME) education into their national curricula.

SSME is an academic discipline designed to teach students the combined business, social and technology skills needed to enter today’s workforce and be ready to contribute immediately to their countries’ economic and innovation agendas. For the past several years, IBM has been working with universities worldwide to develop and promote interest in SSME. As the world becomes more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent, it demands new problem solving and communication skills—and the ability to address complex systems and networks that can serve customers and communities more effectively.

SSME helps students better prepare for jobs in engineering, management, consulting, science, entrepreneurship, design, and high-skill knowledge work across industry segments, from healthcare to retail to sustainable municipal infrastructure systems.

What started with seven universities launching SSME programs has turned into a truly global initiative with 250 universities in 50 countries now offering SSME courses and/or degrees. In March 2009, representatives from many of these academic institutions met in Helsinki at a global Service Science Summit conference. SSME is also promoted by the IBM-led nonprofit Service Research and Innovation Institute (link resides outside of ibm.com).

Point of View

“Service science will completely change the way people think about economic activities and producing economic value. We need these changes because industrial logic has reached its limits when it comes to dealing with the current ecological and economic crises.”

Bernd Bienzeisler, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, Stuttgart, Germany

The Smarter Planet University Jam

On April 21-24, 2009, IBM hosted a first-ever University Jam on Smarter Planet. More than 150 IBMers and approximately 2,000 faculty, students, and administrators—from more than 200 universities and research centers worldwide—brainstormed ideas on how technology and business can build a smarter planet. The 72-hour online dialogue centered on five themes: Smart Cities, Smarter Healthcare, Smart Grid, Smart Water Management & Green Planet, and Smarter Planet Skills & Education.

IBM is conducting a post-Jam analysis to extract and evaluate the wealth of ideas that came out of the three-day session. IBM also recognized 20 students around the globe for their insightful and innovative contributions to the Jam and will present IBM Faculty Awards to two top faculty contributors to support further research collaborations on smarter planet topics.

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