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IBM Rallies Developers to Help Build New Cloud Apps for First Responders

Date: 2015-11-18
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Partners with Vencore, U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and the Association of Public Safety Communications (APCO)


IBM is providing access to the IBM Cloud as part of the First Responder Application Challenge that runs through Dec.14. IBM and its partner Vencore, Inc., , in coordination with the U S Geospacial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and APCO, have teamed up to develop an application ecosystem that enables the development and delivery of predictive analytic and mobile applications that can significantly improve the operational capability of first responders, be built and delivered on the cloud, and apply data and innovation to solve real-world problems.

This challenge continues IBM’s focus on growing an ecosystem to drive further U.S. Federal and public sector cloud adoption. IBM also announced the addition of five new federal partners to focus on advancing hybrid cloud. IDC’s U.S. Government Private Cloud Infrastructure as a Service 2014 Vendor Assessment cited IBM Cloud as playing a “leading role for federal hybrid clouds,” and indicated that Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud Platform, coupled with the capability to “deliver innovation for new cloud workloads” is a “game changer” for the federal market. Bluemix, which will be used by challenge participants, is proving to drive innovation in government.

As part of a U.S. Federal Partner Acceleration Program, IBM has boosted the public sector ecosystem surrounding Bluemix. The team has hosted more than 70 events, including hackathons, challenges and workshops for the federal market and the federal system integrator community. With the growing entrepreneurial, developer and startup ecosystem supporting the federal government, academia and other business areas, the Washington Metropolitan area is ripe for this type of innovation.

“The best innovation takes place when you drive toward a common goal. And it’s no different in government, where an ecosystem of developers, academia, technologists and others come together to address challenges,” said Anne Altman, general manager of IBM U.S. Federal and Government Industries. “With Bluemix, we bring a cloud platform that can help all those involved in championing better solutions for our first responders through innovation to quickly build and implement new solutions.”

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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s First Responder Network Authority’s FirstNet vision for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) includes providing an ecosystem where innovative applications are available to first responders that help improve how they carry out their duties and ultimately save lives and property.

During the challenge, participants will work directly with vendors and universities to build software applications that use a variety of real-time remote sensing data, field data, GIS tools and other content to create mobile and web-based apps. Solutions will be created using an operational application ecosystem which will allow first responders and solution providers to work together in a virtual environment designed specifically for delivery of effective, tailored first responder applications.

To win the challenge, participants must build the best solution that addresses one or more of five unmet needs, e.g., Improving 9-1-1 services, Emergency Tracking, First Responder Assistant Apps, Easier Access to Information, Preparation and Fire Prevention, have a fully functioning app installed and running on Bluemix or IDEAS, and submit a written description of how the app functions. Details on the challenge, including criteria, rules, prizes and other information can be found here. Registration is open until Dec. 11.

For more information about IBM Cloud, visit:

- People, Places & Things/ (via IBM, 11/17/15)



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