[cycloneslider id=”ugba-193i-midterm”]

Special thanks to our guest judges:

 Honorable Ambassador: Mr. Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, Robert Locke, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Tyco, PK Agarwal, Immediate past CTO of California & CEO of TiE Global, Munish Khetrapal, Managing Director, Solutions and Business Transformation, Cisco, Jim Spohrer, Director of IBM University Programs and Cognitive Institute, Param Singh, Chief Consultant to SF and LA on Smart Cities Initiatives, Amit Varma, VP of Corporate Strategy & New Business, HCL Technologies, Miguel A. Gamiño, City CIO of San Francisco & Executive Director, Department of Technology, Gunso Kim, CIO of Seoul Metropolitan Government & Secretary General of WeGO (82 Smart City initiatives), Greg Blackett, Product Strategy & Business Development, Tyco


When you think of a Smart City, you conjure images of a vast public sector efficiently catering to all the needs of its citizens- quite the task for one entity. During the midterm presentations, students of Professor Darwin’s Building Smart Cities course (UGBA 193i) posited a different approach to the expanse of Smart Cities: an ecosystem of Open Innovation between the public and private sectors. The diverse set of distinguished attendees who came to judge the presentations embodied such an approach.

Four teams of students examined different regions in India to see how Open Innovation can help transition them from developing cities to Smarter cities. After extensively researching their respective city’s current framework, the teams identified important issues and addressed them with innovative solutions.

Team Berkeley examined the city of Ajmer, proposing cloud-based wireless sensor networks to promote more prosperous crop yields, while simultaneously reducing costs. Team Oakland examined Ahmedabad’s current business model, looking to public-private partnerships to solve the city’s issues, such as a road-charging system to reduce traffic– an IBM model already working in Stockholm. Team San Francisco examined India’s GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), while also leveraging private companies’ technologies to address issues in security, safety, energy conservation, and design. Tyco’s emergency alert systems were highlighted to address the lack of fire protection in the city. Gunso Kim clarified as to where Open Innovation was leveraged. In response, the students want to make all the data available to citizens and city agencies for collaboration across departments. Team San Jose examined the city of Vizag –– a city that has experienced a 650% population growth in the last 10 years, and the city in which Professor Darwin grew up in. The students leveraged on technologies from Cisco, MIT, IBM- to name a few- to address issues in congestion, pollution, and safety.

The judges praised the extensive research and delivery of the student presentations. Jim Spohrer commended each group’s exploration of “smarter city opportunities, prioritizing opportunities, a framework for implementation based on available vendor offerings, and a balanced scorecard with business model/value propositions analysis, including open innovation opportunity exploration.” PK Agarwal was awed by the quality, depth, and professionalism in the team presentations. “It is a testament to (Professor Darwin) and the Haas School for developing the future leaders,” Agarwal said.

With the growing dialogue surrounding Smart Cities both in the United States and abroad, the teams stand at the forefront of development, with a clear approach in mind: the collaboration of public and private sectors through Open Innovation. The students will return on April 15th to deliver their final presentations for the course.

Congratulations, UGBA 193i students, on your midterm presentations!

By: Jon Caña