Smarter Planet (IBM 2008). Smarter Philippines (PH DOST 2013).

Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet is a corporate initiative of the information technology company IBM. The initiative seeks to highlight how forward-thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress.

Examples of smarter systems include smart grids, water management systems, solutions to traffic congestion problems, greener buildings, and many others. These systems have historically been difficult to manage because of their size and complexity. But with new ways of monitoring, connecting, and analyzing the systems, business, civic and nongovernmental leaders are developing new ways to manage these systems. IBM’s strategy is to provide or enable many of these technology and process management capabilities and, outside of the realm of technology, to advocate for policy decisions that, according to the views expressed by IBM’s management in interviews, speeches, op-ed articles and opinion advertising, and other public venues, could “make the planet smarter.”


In November 2008, IBM’s Chairman, CEO and President Sam Palmisano, during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, outlined a new agenda for building a “Smarter Planet”. The speech emphasized how the world’s systems and industries are becoming more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, and that leaders and citizens can take advantage of this state of affairs to improve these systems and industries.

In January 2010 Sam Palmisano gave a follow-up speech to the Chatham House called the “Decade of Smart”. He highlighted dozens of initiatives in which leaders created smarter systems to solve the planet’s most pressing problems. The speech aimed to inspire others to follow the leads of these innovators by helping to create a smarter planet.

On March 1, 2011, IBM announced the Smarter Computing framework to support Smarter Planet.

Advertising Campaign

IBM has created an advertising campaign to support its Smarter Planet agenda.

In 2008 and 2009, IBM ran a series of full-page advertisements in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Each of these “op-ads” featured an essay about a system or industry that IBM claims can be made “smarter” through the application of technology.

A display at Epcot’s Innoventions was installed, and opened on January 29, 2010. A video that plays on a 12 foot globe in the exhibit was created by Christian Matts and edited by Ben Suenaga. A game called “RUNTIME” has been installed since 2009, where you could record your own images in the park, and play the game online.

IBM, under its Smarter Planet advertising campaign is supporting TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks.

Smarter Cities

IBM has found that many of the challenges the planet faces are concentrated in cities. Cities struggle with traffic congestion, water management, communication technology, smart grids, healthcare solutions, and rail transportation, to name a few. For this reason, IBM has created its Smarter Cities portal, which tracks progress on these issues in several key cities around the world. One such city is Dubuque, Iowa.

Cities: Our journey to a smarter future

Premiering on April 15, 2010 at London’s British Film Institute in the UK, IBM launched a film series to tell the story of smarter cities. The series, Cities: Our journey to a smarter future, focuses on the different challenges currently facing cities, and include contributions from various constituents who together can bring about progress.

A smarter people

Philippine Daily Inquirer
8:31 pm | Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Talk about the best of both worlds. Filipinos are well-known for their adherence to old-world tradition and their capability to innovate for new-school thinking. Most timely and commendable then is the new government program, fittingly named “Smarter Philippines,” to push science and technology (S&T) for the population’s greatest benefit.

According to Science Secretary Mario Montejo, the program is the Department of Science and Technology’s “trademark for the next five years,” and is “anchored tightly on the DOST’s goal of using S&T to improve the quality and productivity of every Filipino’s life.” The program puts emphasis on locally developed, technology-oriented solutions to many longstanding problems.

On Wednesday, the DOST will formally launch Smarter Philippines in Davao City, highlighting some of its ongoing projects: Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and its major component, the Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation-Light Detection and Ranging (Dream-Lidar) flood forecasting system; the Integrated Government Philippine (iGovPhil) project, which is designed to connect all of the government’s systems; and the Smarter Farms and Smarter Healthcare projects. The others are the P350-million Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel) and the experimental Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) mass-transit project.

Particularly noteworthy is that the program covers such critical areas as healthcare, disaster mitigation and agriculture—only three aspects of Philippine reality that, in their current state, serve to pin the country in the dark age.

The most high-profile of the Smarter Philippines initiatives is Project Noah, which has had a meaningful impact on the lives of Filipinos. Project Noah seeks to provide the public the most accurate and up-to-date information on possible flooding using an interactive website and various components. Learning from the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” in 2009, the DOST developed and employed its new automated rainfall and flood predictions systems last year. Project Noah was able to predict floods in August, allowing the Marikina City government to evacuate its constituents. “As Marikina has shown, the concept works. Filipino technology works. We have proven it. We were effective in giving the advisory,” said Enrico Paringit, who heads Project Noah’s flood hazard mapping component. Through the Dream-Lidar system, the project’s staff members accurately predicted the Marikina River’s flooding; they put the system to work next on the Agno and Pampanga rivers.

Project Noah not only coordinates with local government units but also makes the information readily available on its website. Now, LGUs listen when Project Noah talks—a triumphant example of Filipino science smarts saving lives.

Another project worth keeping track of is the AGT train system set to be built in Bicutan, Taguig City. It is a P40-million joint venture between the DOST and the Taguig government and is expected to help meet the transportation needs of a continuously growing public on the move. The DOST has a prototype running on a 465-meter elevated track in the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines. The AGT prototype costs only a fifth of what it will cost to buy a foreign-made train, Montejo says. “Why is it cheaper? It’s like using generic against branded,” he says.

Smarter Philippines will also serve to display the innovation and brain power of Filipino scientists and experts, who have time and again held their own on the world stage. (Only last month, Filipino students won 11 silver medals at the 14th International Robot Olympiad in South Korea, just the most recent of many international honors S&T-minded Filipinos have received.)

This is just the beginning, promises Montejo. “We will brandish world-class products and processes that are conceptualized by local talents and experts and developed using local technologies.” Indeed, Smarter Philippines is a perfect opportunity to showcase Filipino ingenuity and how science and technology can positively impact the lives of others where and when it matters. It’s deserving of all support, both public and private.

‘Smarter Philippines’ Program Comes Up

By Emmanuel T. Acosta
February 23, 2013, 5:46pm

‘Smarter Philippines,’ with its six core areas of Smarter Government, Smarter Economy, Smarter Environment, Smarter Mobility, Smarter Living and Smarter People should address the nation’s pressing needs.

This new umbrella program maximizes the effect of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to improve the Filipinos’ quality of life and spur economic growth, declared Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

“We believe these intelligent ICT-enabled systems combined with scientific knowledge and local know-how will provide more solutions to our persistent problems and result in better lives for our people,” he stressed.

ICT can be embedded in many aspects of the Filipinos’ daily life to have a “significant transformational effect”, according to the DOST Chief. Now, “The emerging paradigm is changing from “information societies” to “smarter (networked) societies,” to Smarter Philippines.”

He cited the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, a key enabler in Smarter Environment which combines various technologies to develop environmental hazard models and weather monitoring systems to prepare for natural disasters.

ICT can also revolutionize the way government agencies function, interface with each other, and deliver services to the Filipino People, DOST- ICT Office Undersecretary Louis Casambre added.

On the other hand, the Smart Cities Program drives development in the countryside creating truly inclusive growth ensuring that no one is left behind.  To achieve this, “We are prioritizing development of tier two cities and the countryside, enhancing the capabilities of individuals, communities as well as SMEs,” maintained Director Alejandro Melchor III.

“We want to focus on the twin economic goals of sustained inclusive economic development and poverty alleviation, as these are what is expected most by the citizens.”

Smarter Philippines to integrate all govt ICT projects without spending a centavo

By: Robert JA Basilio Jr.,
February 22, 2013 5:06 PM

It’s all in the mindset.

And changing that doesn’t cost a centavo.

Just ask officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO).

On Wednesday, they flew to Davao City to launch Smarter Philippines, an initiative that intends to bring together all “smart” information and communications projects of the government.

Once up and running, Smarter Philippines will lead to synergies—shared services, for one—that will not only improve capacities to serve the public but bring down costs as well.

Smarter Philippines is “an invitation to utilize” all these technological enhancements and services “that have existed and are all available,” Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, ICTO executive director in a briefing during the launch. “We’re putting all these [projects] in one place and use it to become smarter. There’s a lot more value if we find connectiveness and apply leverage in these smarter technologies.”

“What we’re asking for is a change in [our] mindset,” Casambre added.

Meanwhile, integrating all these smart technologies—from flood forecasting to food processing, from traffic management apps to typhoon warning systems—as envisioned under Smarter Philippines costs nothing. That’s right, Smarter Philippines costs nothing.

No budget has been allotted to the initiative, Alejandro Melchor III, ICTO deputy executive director, admitted during the same briefing.

But that isn’t likely to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

After all, once these technologies are integrated, they are likely to help create “smarter” cities that will, in turn, make residents safer and more productive. With increased productivity and more income opportunities, poverty will be reduced and economic growth sustained.

And this is exactly what Melchor emphasized in his presentation during the Smarter Philippines launch.

“Building smarter cities are the engines of sustainable growth,” he said in his presentation delivered during the Smarter Philippines launch. “The best strategy for high, sustained growth is to develop smaller cities and their nearby rural communities.”

This also explains why Smarter Philippines was launched in Davao, the DOST said in an email message to

“The DOST wants to promote inclusive growth and starting with cities outside Metro Manila and the countryside, and what better place to start than Davao,” DOST’s email said.

In 2012, Davao was selected as the Philippines’ top Next Wave City. Next Wave Cities is a program of ICTO and the Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines aims to improve IT-BPO capabilities of cities outside Metro Manila and Cebu.

Davao is also the first Philippine city to establish its emergency response system through Davao Central 911, the email said.

“The system can be replicated in many cities in the Philippines enabling them to be Smarter Cities,” the email said.

Of course, that’s easier said than done.

Which is why Melchor said that ICT officials will sit down with all its partners—agencies from the United States and Europe and local government units—and adopt the best practices in the smarter cities framework.

“We will take into account all these factors and [check] where we can have programs that yield the fastest benefits,” Melchor said during the briefing. “Just give us the chance to figure things out.”

DOST launches Smarter Phl program in Davao City

By Joey Sem G. Dalumpines
Thursday 21st of February 2013

DAVAO CITY, Feb 21 (PIA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formally launched the Smarter Philippines program aimed at maximizing the use of information communication technology to spur inclusive growth and improve the quality of lives among Filipinos.

Speaking in the launching program at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said, in Davao Region, Smarter Philippines can be best understood by local residents to their access to information on climate change adaptation given the with topographical maps that state geo-hazards like floods and landslide. This can help local governments to plan ahead given a base line data on possible disaster scenario.

“Imagine how a local government acts given timely information on disaster scenarios like inundation flood maps which can be used for disaster mitigation in identifying flood and landslide prone areas and in responding more rapidly to victims through networking with city and regional hospitals in emergency situations,” he said.

Montejo said that Smarter Philippines is continually finding better ways of doing things for Filipinos.

He said at the DOST, Smarter Philippines comes up with new and better products and systems of improving the quality way of life.

Montejo said smart technologies can best help practically in all aspects in the Filipino way of life from agriculture, governance, economy, environment, human resourcs, and people.

Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre, executive director of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the DOST, underscored the use of the information highway in promoting the smarter Philippines mindset.

He reminded the people that although the internet is a powerful tool to bridge information, it is also a public domain and everything posted there can be seen by everyone.

Casambre said that even criminal elements use the internet.

He also observed that people with less information technology education even unwittingly place their post publicly and have no way of knowing how to hide private information.

“The internet is a public place that is why it is dangerous. Consciously knowing that it is a public place, you must protect yourself and let your government protect you,” he said.

Representatives of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, United Nations-Habitat Philippines, the European Union and the US government pledged support to the program. (JSGD-PIA11)



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