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IBM To Invest $45 Million in Climate Adaptation-Focused Social Impact Program

IBM To Invest $45 Million in Climate Adaptation-Focused Social Impact Program

Tech giant IBM announced a new commitment to invest $45 million in its social impact program, the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, as part of a new initiative aimed at boosting city resiliency through technology-focused climate adaptation solutions.

Founded in 2022, IBM’s Sustainability Accelerator applies IBM technology and expertise to scale non-profit and government initiatives to develop solutions aimed at helping vulnerable populations address environmental challenges. To date, the program has supported 15 projects globally, across three cohorts focused on areas including sustainable agriculture, clean energy and water management.

For the upcoming cohort, IBM announced that it has issued a new request for proposals (RFP) for solutions to advance city resiliency, aligned with UN SDG 11, “Sustainable Cities and Communities.” According to IBM, the new RFP aims to support projects addressing issued facing cities in a period of rapidly growing urbanization, including environmental degradation and inadequate urban infrastructure, which can be exacerbated by climate change and extreme weather events.

Examples of project areas that would be targeted by the new RFP include AI foundation models and geospatial analytics, weather and climate forecasting to help predict impacts on natural and built infrastructure, and asset management for public services. The $45 million would be made by IBM over 5 years in cash and in-kind donations of technology and services. Applicant selection criteria will include the level of support to communities vulnerable to urban environmental threats, the feasibility and sustainability of proposed technology solutions for climate change mitigation, and transparency on measurement and reporting, among other considerations.

In addition to the new commitment and RFP, IBM announced the launch of a new strategic collaboration with global professional services firm EY for the Sustainability Accelerator program, with EY contributing to the resilient cities cohort, through support in the RFP selection process, organizational development coaching, and capacity-building workshops.

Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, said: “After three years working to improve lives and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, we’re proud to recognize the success of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator by strengthening both our impact and our investment in the program. We look forward to working with a new cohort of partners to transform the cities we live in, and to deploy solutions that harness the potential of artificial intelligence to build a more resilient future.”

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