Corporate Relations News

Mass., Boston, BU & IBM Partner to Build a ‘Smarter Planet’

Event Focuses on Cross-Sector Collaborations to Pilot New Solutions to Urban Challenges

IBM announced multiple Smarter Planet projects with the City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Boston University, aimed at exploring new solutions to long-standing urban challenges.

These ambitious projects—discussed at an event hosted by the partners, titled “Smarter Cities: A Roadmap for the Future”—focus on using new technology to increase energy efficiency, enhance coordination of major events, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the maintenance of the streetscape. The partners plan to collaborate on the implementation and evaluation of this work.

Read more at IBM.

MBA Case Competition Featured in Fortune

Student work analyzed, celebrated

Senior editor of Fortune, Ryan Bradley, sat in on a recent case competition held by Boston University School of Management, which hosted teams of MBA students from around the world. The teams pitched ideas for a company that they believed would revolutionize health care—and earn them $22,500, plus the support of the event’s two hosts, Merck and Microsoft, to launch their startup.

“Interested in seeing what bright MBAs-to-be were dreaming up as viable business solutions to different health care crises,” Bradley attended the competition, ultimately finding a theme within it: gamifying the system.

Bradley notes that the judges were not impressed by the gamification. However, a clear winner finally emerged, touted by the Fortune editor as “startlingly different” and a “tangible solution to a real problem.”

Read more at the School of Management and CNN.

EPIC Opens

New Facility to Equip Students with Expertise

With the flip of a rather large switch, the Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC)—a 15,000-square-foot, $9 million facility that will enable students to develop the knowledge and skills needed in tomorrow’s manufacturing enterprises—opened with a ceremony, reception and guided tours on January 23.

The event drew a packed audience consisting of Boston University leaders; ENG alumni, faculty and students; state and local government officials; and corporate partners, including representatives from principal industry sponsors GE Aviation, Procter & Gamble, PTC and Schlumberger. Many of them gathered around and pulled a large purpose-built switch which turned on many of the machines in the center and activated their start-up lights and sounds.

Read more on the College of Engineering site.

Gift by Paul Maritz launches Institute Cloud Computing Initiative

Paul-MaritzA $300,000 gift by Paul Maritz, Chief Executive Officer of Pivotal (an EMC-backed startup), is providing the critical resources needed to launch BU’s Cloud Computing Initiative (CCI), which is incubated at the Hariri Institute for Computing, and which is spearheaded by CS Research Professor and Institute Fellow, Orran Krieger.

Recently named as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Technology, Paul Maritz formed Pivotal in 2013.  At its core, Pivotal builds big data infrastructures, which are able to handle next-generation workloads, and which can be adopted broadly through development and use of application-friendly platforms. Before being tapped by EMC Corporation to lead Pivotal, Maritz served as Chief Strategist of EMC, and as CEO of VMware Inc., where he remains a member of its board of directors. During his tenure at VMware, Maritz led the transformation of the company from a technology leader in virtualization to a category leader in cloud computing.

Read more on the Rafik B. Hariri Institute site.

MBA Team Wins Procter & Gamble Sustainability Challenge

Will present ideas to P&G Gillette’s top managers

By Gilberto Millares (IMBA’13), reprinted from the BU MBA Student Life blog.

Some of Procter & Gamble’s sustainability goals for the future include completely eliminating the waste they currently generate, using only renewable energy in all their facilities, and having environmentally-friendly products and packages. As you might guess, such endeavors present an extremely difficult challenge for a global company, so they are constantly looking for ways to make marginal or disruptive changes in their operations that allow them to be closer to achieving these goals. One of the ways they’re doing this is by sponsoring the P&G Gillette Sustainability Challenge, which brings together multidisciplinary teams from different Boston University schools and colleges and challenges them to come up with ideas that might be applied in P&G operations.

On April 12, eight teams consisting of undergraduate and graduate students from programs including engineering, public policy, biomedical engineering, and management had the opportunity to showcase their findings to a group of managers from P&G Gillette, Veolia, and NSTAR. We presented different ideas that would allow P&G to increase their renewable energy consumption at the South Boston Gillette site by making a business case for each proposed project.

While the format differed a bit from the standard case competition, the results were just as meaningful. Rather than diving into the project for 48 hours, we were given two weeks to find different approaches to help them achieve their goals. And even though it might sound like more than sufficient lead time, we had to fit several seminars into our busy schedules to learn about energy projects throughout the country and the world, research technologies that are being implemented in the industry, and find ways to link business and engineering aspects for each submitted idea—no easy task!

Finally, after all the teams had presented their ideas, we had a small reception as the judges made the final decision. First place was awarded to a team consisting of MBA and IMBA students (pictured above), as well as LEAP, mechanical engineering, and public policy students, who will now have the opportunity to present their pitch to a group of Gillette’s top managers. However, I think the most rewarding aspect of the competition was working with a truly diverse group of people that mimics the diversity and complexities of the business world.

Pictured: The winning team of MBA and IMBA students with the panel of judges from P&G Gillette, Veolia, and NSTAR. Group photo courtesy of the BU MBA Student Life blog.

New Balance Field Comes to BU

A $3 million gift helps to bring men’s lax to campus

In the first steps of a development that will bring field hockey back to campus and add a men’s varsity lacrosse team, the University broke ground last May for New Balance Field, an 111,000-square-foot project on Babcock Street that will effectively double BU’s field capacity.

Currently, three varsity teams and nearly 200 intramural teams vie for space on Nickerson Field. The new field, which will open in fall 2013, was made possible by a $3 million gift from athletic shoe manufacturer New Balance. The total cost of the field and a parking area is estimated at $24 million.

Read more at Bostonia.

Santander and BU Team Up

Gift to fund SPH scholarships, Spanish theater

Teaching local high schoolers the beauties of Spanish-language theater and scholarships for graduate students going abroad: these will be the major benefits of a gift to BU from Sovereign Bank and Santander Universities, the education arm of Sovereign’s parent company.

Half of the gift will pay for the scholarships, offered through the School of Public Health’s international health department, and half to the high school initiative the Hispanic Voices Program. Both will be financed for three years.

The scholarships will be awarded to as many as 10 low-to-moderate-income students; up to 10 students from Latin American countries; and up to 25 students participating in BU’s Kenya field practice program, which sends participants to Kenya for five weeks of data collecting, analysis, and presentation on the health and sanitation problems of the Maasai people.

Read more at BU Today