(TNS) -- The city of Memphis and the University of Memphis have teamed up to participate in the new MetroLab Network, which brings universities and cities together to find technology-savvy solutions to problems like blight.

The network, which was announced Monday at the White House Smart Cities Forum and is part of President Barack Obama’s Smart Cities initiative, will let cities and universities pool their knowledge and data.

In a statement, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said one of the partnership’s projects would be to “predict when and what properties are slipping into blighted conditions so that we can be proactive in stopping or slowing down that slide.”

In addition to Memphis, 20 municipalities and 25 universities have joined the network, which is funded by a $1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

©2015 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.