At the Applied Solutions workshop this weekend, I had the opportunity to briefly interview Dr. Peter Williams, CTO of IBM's Big Green Innovations division. Dr. Williams is responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of new IBM products designed specifically to address global-scale environmental issues — like traffic congestion, inefficiencies in water management and the energy grid — issues that require a new level of computing and information technology in order to be properly understood and managed.

Here he lays out the five main focus areas of the Big Green division:

  1. Energy efficiency & carbon reduction: Helping industry reduce energy losses in the manufacturing process.
  2. Aternative energy includes two areas, smart grid systems an leveraging IBM's semiconductor know-how to improve the material components of solar cells.
  3. Intelligent transportation: Traffic pricing scheme and grid flow analysis.
  4. Computation modeling for researchers focusing on climate patterns, pandemics, agricultural supply chains.
  5. Water management at three scales:  The natural scale (engineering entire watersheds), the utility scale (managing quality, discharge, energy use), and the enterprise scale, working with companies to better manage their water resources.
Peter Williams on IBM's 'Big Green Innovations' portfolio
CTO of Big Green Innovations, a unit of IBM's Smarter Planet Initiative, lays out 5 key project areas.