Cultivating students for the smarter planet movement

IBM's partnership with Columbia University echoes close to a dozen similar arrangements with high-profile schools around the world.

If you wanted to make sure that the business leaders of the future associated YOUR technology with energy efficiency or other corporate sustainability initiatives, where would you start? If you are IBM, you strike deals with some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The technology giant just signed what it is calling a joint initiative that will see its 40 IBM Innovation Centers, plus IBM Research, become practical, real-world resources for Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Specifically, students and faculty working with the Center for Technology, Innovation and Community Engagement will have no-charge access to resources including:

  • IBM on-premise or cloud-hosted software for data center management and environment information management
  • Technical support for "green technology" courses, specifically those in which best practices are being taught for deploying technology in smart buildings, smart grids and smart water systems
  • Collaboration resources, which are available through the IBM Innovation Centers, which are located in 30 countries around the world. (So, global perspective will be available in abundance.)

Apparently, IBM has similar deals in place with Fordham University, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, The Ohio State University, Marist College, Wake Forest, University of Ottawa, University of Philippines and University of Delhi.

So, over the next decade, as students with these schools start entering the workforce and make decisions about how to proceed projects in civic government, construction, transportation, where do you think they'll gravitate when it comes to hiring help? I'm betting you know the answer as well as I do.

Another smart move by IBM to associate itself with the smart cities and smart business movements.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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