Gaziantep becomes a "smart city"

01 May 2010

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With the work undertaken in one of the largest provinces of southeast Anatolia by local institutions and IBM Corporate Service Corps, Gaziantep will be transformed into a “smart city”.

New Horizons - During March 2010, eight IBM volunteers from US, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore with diverse expertise ranging from marketing, Information Technologies, IT architecture, project management and finance collaborated with Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep, Technopark, Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, Gaziantep University and Gaziantep Organized Industrial Zone.

For the third term of IBM CSC Programme, the global CSC team, divided in groups, worked to develop a strategic plan for the city’s Technopark to support the Gaziantep Smarter Industry Initiative, which was initiated by Gaziantep Chamber of Industry and aims at increasing the competitiveness of Gaziantep and the region. As part of IBM’s vision of a Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities, part of the team worked with the Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep to turn Gaziantep into a smart city by formulating methods to simplify the job of municipalities in operational activities and IT area. This team came up with strategic recommendations in the field of Smart City Solutions and IT strategy, and provided recommendations and roadmaps for IT Infrastructure along with common IT  services. Another part of the team developed a Tourism Sector Strategy for Gaziantep aiming to develop and promote Gaziantep’s tourism sector with an emphasis on congress tourism. In order to boost tourism IBMers recommended four complementary strategies for Gaziantep together with the related actions to activate these strategies in the field of marketing, offering development, infrastructure, human resources and establishment of a tourism platform. There is still yet to come... The project will continue in Gaziantep and another CSC team composed of 10 IBM experts will be in Turkey between 15 May – 13 June to undertake further work on the above topics and serve the province.

In addition to the above project outputs delivered to local beneficiaries, the CSC volunteers also delivered an interactive workshop titled “Pursuit of Excellence” to a group of young and women entrepreneurs of Gaziantep in order to support women & youth entrepreneurship in the city which is one of the key objectives of local project partners. Also an IT Strategy workshop was conducted by the CSC team, targeting all IT related staff of the Municipality.

Speaking about the Corporate Service Corps initiative, IBM Türk CEO Michel Charouk said: “IBM intends to serve for the society not only through innovations but also through corporate citizenship projects. As part of the programme which started in Mersin in 2009 and which will continue in Gaziantep, social and economic solutions will be sought for the cities of Turkey having a high development potential. We, as IBM Türk, believe that the activities in Gaziantep will provide a roadmap for the progress and development of the city. Turkey step of the program will proceed with Malatya in the second half of 2010.

“Private sector is able to offer significant opportunities for the development of societies thanks to manpower, knowledge, technology, products and services at its disposal said UNDP Private Sector Program Manager Hansın Doğan. Through the Corporate Service Corps program which we see as one of the best examples of this, IBM sends its selected experts from various countries and provides its most valuable assets, namely its human resources and knowledge, for the benefit of development to serve the progress of cities with a high potential of development. Following the first phase of the program implemented in Mersin in 2009,IBMers will work in Gaziantep and Malatya in 2010 and will bring innovative solutions to local challenges We are glad to cooperate with IBM, State Planning Organization, Digital Opportunity Trust and the Corporate Volunteer Association in this programme, which is a successful example of public sector - private sector civil society cooperation.”

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Vice-President Jane Jamieson said: “The CSC program in Gaziantep focuses on creative solutions that intersect technology, business and society and serves as an important model for corporate social responsibility in Turkey. Project assignments emphasize strong partnerships, innovative approaches to local economic development and cross-cultural awareness generated by the IBMers from six countries living and working side by side with the citizens of Gaziantep. As a global NGO Partner for the CSC program, DOT has worked with IBM to draw on the successes of the CSC program in Turkey and adapt these to other countries in which IBM is introducing the Corporate Service Corps. In Turkey, the CSC program is anchored by a vibrant public-private partnership among (DOT, UNDP Turkey, State Planning Organization, and the Turkish Private Sector Volunteers Association), who all work with IBM to implement the program and promote private sector participation in development efforts.”

Corporate Service Corps (CSC) is a global employee leadership initiative of IBM which began in Turkey in the summer of 2009. The programme in Turkey, was launched by IBM in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), State Planning Organization (DPT), Corporate Volunteer Association (OSGD) and Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT).

The CSC initiative gathers teams of IBM volunteer executives, drawn from different countries and business units and places them in priority emerging markets to tackle important social and economic issues in collaboration with NGOs, national and local partners around the world. In the scope of the CSC programme, IBM leaders are able to tap into their “global citizen” side having the opportunity to understand the social dynamics and business conduct of a foreign country. The programme in Mersin aimed to engage local partners, SMEs, and the youth to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of IBM leaders.