Yesterday IBM, which is trying to get more deeply involved in the high-tech management of commercial water systems, went shopping for Dutch research and commercial partners, offering a reported $10 million to codevelop technologies. On IBM’s shopping list: intelligent irrigation, peak water-demand management tools, and smart sensor networks that improve water quality. Ultimately, IBM hopes to forge what it calls a “collaborative information framework” for water management. IBM aired the offer at a meeting in Delft that was organized by the Netherlands Water Partnership.
More than half of the Netherlands lies below sea level, and the Dutch have an 800-year history of keeping the water back while also keeping the drinking water clean. “The interesting thing is that since Katrina, there have been a lot of exchanges of knowledge between U.S. and Dutch government organizations,” says Piet Dircke, director of water programs at Arcadis, an environmental-engineering firm based in Arnhem, Netherlands. “IBM [is] the first U.S. firm that seems to be interested in the Dutch technological capabilities from the commercial point of view.” Arcadis has a $150 million contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide engineering services for design and construction management for hurricane protection in New Orleans.
Hear more from IBM at EmTech 2014.