U.S. tech companies have a long time history of locating software developer centers in Ireland, so it wasn't shocking for me to hear the IBM and Ireland's Industrial Development Agency (IDA) have gotten together to plan new Smart Cities Technology Center (Centre!) to be located in Dublin. The city itself will be a testbed for some of the projects.
Part of the motivation behind the new center is to create cross-disciplinary teams that will consider the smart cities problem from a holistic perspective. That is, they'll be developing technologies and solutions for water, energy and transportation TOGETHER rather than considering them as separate problems onto themselves. Based on today's exchange rate, the IDA expects to put about $89 million into the center over the next three years. It hopes to pull in participants from across the gamut of Irish society, including city authorities, universities, small and large businesses. IBM Research and its Software Development Lab in Ireland will also be involved.
Some of the overriding goals of the center are laid out in Ireland's Horizon 2020 document, which is essentially its vision for creating the Irish smart economy.