SINGAPORE, Nov 12, 2013 — CITYNET (The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements), and Microsoft CityNext today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both parties collaborate to help cities across Asia tackle many of their biggest challenges such as; urban migration and decreased budgetary resources. As a result, CITYNET members will benefit from Microsoft CityNext’s approach to innovation empowering government, businesses and citizens to shape the future of their city.
Microsoft will provide tools and training resources to build the capabilities of CITYNET members in cybersecurity, disaster management and recovery. Microsoft will also help CITYNET members leverage the power of cloud-based computing technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, provide a comprehensive needs assessment and support members by providing guidance to develop innovative solutions that support a people-centric approach to engage citizens and enable sustainable cycles of innovation, opportunity and progress for cities.
“Microsoft is unique in its ability to enable CITYNET’s people-first approach, and we look forward to moving forward. It offers a broad portfolio of consumer to business devices and services, vast network of global partners, or history of successful education and social programs,” said Mary Jane Ortega, Secretary General of CITYNET.
Founded in 1987, CITYNET is an international organisation with more than 100 members in more than 20 countries, most of which are cities and local governments in Asia Pacific. The organisation connects local governments, civil society and the private sector to exchange knowledge and best practices aimed at building people-centred, sustainable and resilient cities across the region.
“With 100,000 people migrating to cities in Asia each day, the pressure is mounting as city administrators look to Microsoft to provide better, more cost-effective infrastructure and services,” said Stefan Sjöström, Vice President of Asia Public Sector at Microsoft. “Through this partnership with CITYNET, we hope to engage with mayors on how to do new with less by transforming operations and infrastructure, engaging citizens and businesses, as well as accelerating innovation and opportunity.”
Around the world, cities are transforming through Microsoft CityNext and one example in Asia Pacific is in New Zealand, where Auckland Transport built solutions based on Microsoft’s data center, desktop and cloud-based software. These solutions are empowering citizens with a wealth of new transportation services – such as filling bus cards online and reporting potholes from a smartphone, as well as empowering employees to work more productively. Through Microsoft CityNext, Auckland Transport has been able to boost efficiency, increase the use of public transportation and ultimately made Auckland a better place to live.
“Governments and city administrators in Asia are recognising that technology, partnerships and knowledge-sharing are key in building an innovative city model that works for today and sustains tomorrow. However, working with cities should go beyond building technology solutions, as the private sector must also help in fostering innovation which builds a vibrant economy and helps cities raise their competitiveness,” said Ortega.
Microsoft and partners offer a variety of skills-based programs that educate students and teachers, foster business development, and empower citizens to join a competitive workforce. “CityNext goes beyond building technology capacity to supporting human capacity. Programs such as Partners in Learning has benefitted more than 40 million students and 2 million teachers throughout Asia Pacific, while BizSpark has helped nurture than 7,000 startups and entrepreneurs in the region with resources and support,” said Sjöström.
More information about CityNext is available at https://news.microsoft.com/apac/presskits/citynext-asia-pacific-news-room/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
For over 20 years, CITYNET (The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements) has committed itself to helping local governments improve the sustainability of human settlements. Starting with 26 members in 1987, CITYNET has grown to become an international organisation of more than 100 members in more than 20 countries, most of which are cities and local governments in the Asia-Pacific region. CITYNET relocated from Yokohama, Japan to Seoul, South Korea in early 2013. For more information, please visit www.citynet-ap.org or email [email protected].