IBM Launches $50 Million Smarter Cities Challenge

Could your city use an infusion of IBM talent and technology? The computing giant is offering its help with the Smarter Cities Challenge, a grant program that will dole out $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 cities around the world.

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LaHood Announces Equity Requirements for TIGER II

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced $600 million in grants for innovative transportation projects through the TIGER II program. Below is a statement by Transportation Equity Network (TEN) executive director Laura Barrett:

As communities across America move to implement the 70 major transportation projects being funded under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II program, there is one element of the grants that deserves special celebration. Thanks to the work of Ron Achelpohl and other community leaders from TEN member MORE2, all $600 million of the TIGER II grants include strong workforce equity requirements—provisions to ensure that the projects they finance will benefit low-income workers and other disadvantaged communities.

Achelpohl and other MORE2 members led the charge to ensure that all TIGER II grantees:

–       promote the creation of job opportunities and apprenticeships for low-income workers;

–       maximize opportunities for small businesses, including those owned by veterans;

–       work with community-based organizations to connect low income or unemployed workers with economic opportunities; and

–       adhere to our nation’s civil rights and equal opportunity laws to ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, and national origin, benefit from TIGER II funding.

The Transportation Equity Network applauds the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to include these requirements. The TIGER II grants show the way forward for federal transportation funding by rewarding transportation projects that focus on innovation, sustainability, and job production at a time when our communities need them most. The strong equity requirements that TEN helped win are another crucial element that all future transportation funding must include.

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2011 University of Michigan Poverty Research Grants Program

The National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy seeks proposals from University of Michigan faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students that will broaden our understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty.  The NPC anticipates funding up to four proposals, ranging from $500 to $10,000 per award.  The funding period for these awards will be January 1, 2011 – August 31, 2011.  Applicants will be notified by December 3, 2010.

Terms of Funding

These small grants may be used to fund reasonable research expenses including graduate student employment, the purchase of data and research supplies, respondent payments, and research-related travel.  Funding for this competition is provided by the Rackham Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.

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Sustainable Vision Grants

NCIIA funds the early development of breakthrough technologies created and commercialized for the benefit of people living in poverty in the US and abroad. Sustainable Vision grants support the creation of sustainable and scalable businesses (non-profit or for-profit) developed by university innovators and their partners as an outcome of curricular & extra-curricular educational programs that engage students in experiential learning.

Sustainable Vision has both a domestic and global focus. To date, 41 grants have been made to innovate, commercialize, and distribute technologies in the US and 30 countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Sustainable Vision supports technology innovations that address basic human needs such as affordable energy, clean water, health and medical devices, agriculture, IT and other income generating tools. Grantees have access to funding and rigorous venture development support, including workshops, mentoring and a network of advisors, entrepreneurs, faculty and students.

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FY 2011 CMV-OST Grant Synopsis

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program provides financial assistance to States, local government, Federally Recognized Native American Tribal Governments, accredited post-secondary educational institutions (public or private) such as colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, associations, truck driver training schools, and other section 501(c)(3), non-profit organizations to train current and future commercial motor vehicle drivers in the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Improving the safety of the Nation’s transportation system is a top priority of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. To meet this priority, FMCSA established a goal of reducing the rate of large truck- and bus-related fatalities to no more than 0.16 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 2011 from a baseline rate of 0.184 per 100 million VMT in 2005. Recent figures show that: 1. In 2008, the rate of large truck- and bus-related fatalities dropped to 0.152 per 100 million VMT. 2. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that the truck-involved fatality rate on the Nation’s roadways declined 12 percent in 2008 compared to 2007. The number of truck-related crash fatalities dropped from 4,822 in 2007 to 4,229 in 2008. These figures demonstrate solid progress in reducing the large truck and bus fatality rates; however, we must continue to focus on innovative CMV safety strategies if we are to maintain these impressive results. Investing grant monies in appropriate CMV safety programs increases the likelihood that safety defects, driver deficiencies, and unsafe motor carrier practices are detected and corrected before they become contributing factors to crashes. The CMV-OST grant program was established by Section 4134 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:A Legacy for Users (Pub. L. 109-59, August 10, 2005) as a program to provide Federal financial assistance on a discretionary basis to entities and organizations that train current and future operators of a CMV(as defined in 49 U.S.C. 31301) in the safe operations of such vehicles. The CMV-OST grant program has two specific goals:1. Expand the number of Commercial Drivers License holders possessing enhanced operator safety training in order to reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving commercial motor vehicles; and 2. Assist economically distressed regions of the U.S. by providing workforce training opportunities for qualified individuals to become commercial motor vehicle operators.