Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM to help Madrid reduce energy usage, become greener

Iain Morris
July 15, 2014
IT giant IBM has signed a $20 million contract with the Spanish city of Madrid to improve the management of public services like street maintenance, lighting and garbage and waste management.

Using a combination of M2M and big data technologies, the project is expected to have major environmental benefits for Madrid and should lead to a big reduction in energy consumption in the public sector.

IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) says it will use big data and analytics to transform Madrid’s “supplier management model”, allowing city authorities to manage and pay each service provider based on service levels.

The technology will take advantage of tracking systems that currently allow Madrid to monitor numerous assets, including some 1.7 million vehicles, more than 252,000 streetlights and even 287,000 trees that are cared for by the city.

Currently, Madrid produces some one million tons of household waste each year, with residents also using around 15 million cubic meters of water every year, and IBM evidently expects these figures to fall as a result of the smart city initiative.

“The City of Madrid is working with the belief that innovation makes the most sense when it enables better services and provides better quality of life for citizens,” said Ana Botella, the Mayor of Madrid.

Working with IBM, city authorities will be able to measure more than 300 key performance indicators during their 1,500 daily inspections, allowing them to accurately gauge the quality and efficiency of each supplier and its services.

A technology platform called Madrid iNTeligente (MiNT) will also be employed to improve quality of services, as well as communications with citizens, and coordinate resources.

MiNT will be capable of managing Madrid’s “inventory” of more than five million assets in total – ranging from park swings to traffic cameras – as well as the contracts of service providers, says IBM.

Thanks to MiNT, residents of Madrid will also be able to use mobile devices and social media tools to communicate with the city, receive instant feedback on services and track the progress or status of a particular event.

“This project will serve as an example for other European capital cities which will be able to follow Madrid’s model as the first European capital with comprehensive public services integration,” said Marta Martinez, general manager for IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel. “We are proud that the City of Madrid has relied on IBM for this innovative initiative.”
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