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Mayor Bloomberg Launches NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center 2011.01.22

New York, NY, USA - January 20, 2011 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, an initiative to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies in New York City.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, an initiative to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies in New York City.
Photo: Office of the Mayor

New York, NY, USA - January 20, 2011

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, an initiative to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies in New York City.

It will connect academic institutions conducting underlying research, companies creating the associated products, and building owners who will use those technologies.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center.
Photo: Office of the Mayor
Through the Center – a partnership of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and the City University of New York (CUNY) – green building technology companies that need real-world test sites will be joined with building owners looking to benefit from the latest developments and willing to provide a test environment.

The Center will also maintain a database of current green building technology needs and research, and it will host a series of community building forums.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center.
Photo: Office of the Mayor
The Mayor was joined at the announcement, which took place at Columbia University’s new Northwest Corner interdisciplinary research building, by:

New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky,

Columbia University Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin,

NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin,

CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small,

IBM Senior Researcher Dr. Jane Snowdon and

Trinity Real Estate President Jason Pizer.

“We will never meet the ambitious carbon reduction goals in PlaNYC unless we reduce the emissions from New York’s one million existing buildings,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“By bringing together New York City’s business innovators, academics and building owners, the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center will capitalize on some of our City’s greatest strengths, creating jobs and helping realize our vision of a greener, greater New York.”

The NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center will promote the development of New York City’s green building technology in three ways.

First, it will provide companies with opportunities in buildings to test their innovations in operational buildings, which will help them improve their products as well as collect data on their performance, both keys to marketing their products.
In exchange, participating building owners would be eligible to employ the technologies at discounted rates.

Second, it will develop an information and data clearinghouse to track building technology costs, benefits, and lessons learned from deployments underway throughout the City.

Third, it will host stakeholder discussions with private sector and academic institutions on green building entrepreneurship, financing and City-specific challenges.

Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science through its Center for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement will manage and operate the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation
will provide $250,000 to help establish it, and Columbia, NYU-Poly and CUNY will provide upwards of $500,000 worth of resources, including staff to develop the program, build the database and conduct corporate outreach.

The Center will develop a sponsorship and membership structure whereby technology companies and building owners can join at various levels ranging from $1,000 a year to $50,000 a year.

A variety of potential members, including building owners, technology companies, and other stakeholders such as utilities, financial institutions, contractors, design firms, and nonprofit organizations, have already expressed an interest in joining.

The Center will seek additional sponsors to support the expansion of its activities.

New York City.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“The NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center is the latest example of our strategy to work together with the academic world and the private sector to promote innovation and spur job creation,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel.
“The new Center will leverage New York City’s unique physical attributes, help advance our environmental objectives and support a local industry with high-growth potential.”

Sunset Park Vision Plan in New York City.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to building the green economy while simultaneously ensuring the sustainability of our City,” said NYCEDC President Pinsky.
“Through its collection of crucial performance data and its support for cutting-edge research in the City's labs, the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center will help ensure that New York moves to the forefront in the field of clean building technology in the years to come.”

Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan in New York City.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“New York City’s building and energy codes, enacted by the City Council as the Greater, Greener Buildings plan in 2009, will require more energy efficiency and save money for property owners, but public policy needs to work hand-in-hand with private initiative if we’re all going to achieve the maximum benefits,” said David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability.
“Today’s partnership of city government, academic research institutions, and private industry will provide more ways to fulfill the environmental and economic possibilities of a greater, greener New York.”

Aerial View of Willets Point with Convention Center to the North.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“By facilitating fresh ideas and producing real-world results, the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center will help more property owners and builders recognize the advantages of installing new green technologies,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri.
“This exciting collaboration among academic, industry and government experts will certainly encourage more green building and help improve the quality of life for New Yorkers throughout the City.”

New Stapleton Waterfront: Aerial View of Esplanade.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“Mayor Bloomberg has made New York’s environmental sustainability a priority for ensuring a vibrant economy, public health and quality of life in the decades to come. His administration has recognized that our universities generate the scientific knowledge and technological innovation central to maintaining both our urban environment and our economic dynamism,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger.
“With Columbia’s deep history of pioneering research in engineering and applied science, we are proud to join with the City and our academic partners in hosting this public-private collaboration that will lead to new sustainable solutions and new entrepreneurial opportunities in New York.”

Hunter's Point South: Aerial View of HPS from East River.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“Polytechnic Institute of New York University is proud to bring to the NYC UTIC partnership our innovative scholarship in engineering smart cities,” said Jerry M. Hultin, President of NYU-Poly.
“New York City, with its intellectual and financial might, is the ideal laboratory to advance technology that will improve the quality of life for urban dwellers, who now comprise more than half the world’s population.”

Fordham Plaza. Aerial looking toward North.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
“CUNY is delighted to be a partner in the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center – a wonderful example of a collaborative project between city government, academic institutions and the business community,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.
“With the goal of accelerating the deployment of sustainable technologies to our city’s buildings, NYC UTIC will have a significant impact on our local economy. We are pleased to join with our academic partners, Columbia University, and NYU-Poly, and thank Distinguished Professor Robert (Buz) Paaswell and Michael Bobker, Director of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems’ Building Performance Lab, for leading the CUNY arm of this collaboration.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Dr. Katharine Frase, Vice President, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business at IBM Research.
Photo: Office of the Mayor
“IBM plans to collaborate with the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center to apply advanced computing technology – such as cloud computing, real-time analytics, and supercomputing, for example – to help make New York City a global leader in deploying smart-building technologies,” said Dr. Katherine Frase, Vice President, IBM Research.
“This approach will help building owners in the city increase the attractiveness, efficiency and sustainability of their real estate through significant improvements in how they use energy, water and other resources.”

Elevators: The Time Cost. This chart compares the total amount of time - measured in years - that office workers in 16 U.S. cities spent either waiting for an elevator or stuck in one during the past twelve months.
Source: The IBM Smarter Buildings Survey, April 2010.
The NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center
builds on the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to strengthen the City’s economy and support and attract green businesses in the City.

The initiatives are a culmination of more than two years of analysis and hundreds of interviews with experts from across the industry to determine the scope of the City’s green sector.

In the effort to double the number of green jobs in the City, the initiatives focus on four target areas that will account for 70 percent of green sector jobs in the City over the next decade: green buildings, onsite renewable energy, environmental finance, and greener neighborhoods.

BQE Enhancement Project. Canopy View Union Street Bridge.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
The new Center
is the latest initiative in the City’s efforts to facilitate interactions between academics undertaking research on new technologies and private sector businesses looking to help bring R&D out of the lab and into the economy.

These include the NYC Media Lab launched in 2010 with Columbia University and NYU-Poly; JumpStart, a partnership with SUNY’s Levin Institute to help laid-off financial service professionals transfer their skills to work with City startups; and the Varick Street Incubator with NYU-Poly, where tenants have raised more than $20 million in funding.

Willets Point Long View of 126th Street and Citi Field.
Courtesy of NYCEDC
In December 2010, the City issued a Request for Expressions of Interest from the academic world for a partnership to create a-state-of-the-art applied sciences campus, seen as a major opportunity to strengthen New York City’s position as a global innovation leader.

Contacts information

Michael Corrado
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4635

Kathleen Hamilton
NYU Polytechnic Institute
(718) 260-3792

Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent
(212) 788-2958

Michael Arena
(212) 794-5685

Julie Wood / Vivian Liao
Economic Development Corp
(212) 312-3523



NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center

A partnership between New York City and local universities will connect building owners and technology companies to drive clean technology innovation and commercialization.

To promote economic growth in New York City's clean technology and real estate sectors, the City will partner with Columbia University, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and City University of New York to create the New York City Urban Technology Innovation Center (NYC UTIC).

has three main objectives:

• Increase the level of clean technology innovation in New York City

• Promote best-practices sharing among building management stakeholders

• Attract clean technology entrepreneurs to New York City and support those already here


Among the expected members of NYC UTIC, the three main groups are building owners, technology companies and other related industry stakeholders, such as utilities, financial institutions, contractors, design firms, and non-profits.

Although actual engagement will vary based on an organization's membership level, participation is expected to include the following:

Building Owners

• Gain access to building technology information and data for use in decision-making on technologies that can be deployed to reduce energy costs and address building management challenges

• Participate in knowledge sharing events on topics including financing and addressing city-specific building challenges with technology and service solutions

• Participate in pilot technology deployments

Technology Companies

• Conduct technology deployments in New York City buildings

• Present cutting-edge research and recent project successes to NYC UTIC membership

• Participate in knowledge sharing events on topics such as entrepreneurship and addressing city-specific building challenges


• Participate in knowledge-sharing activities

• Participate in technology deployments


Harry Charalambides
Senior Project Manager, Clean Technology and Energy
Center for Economic Transformation



Seth W. Pinsky

President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)

Seth W. Pinsky, President of the NYCEDC
Seth W. Pinsky was appointed President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in February 2008, seven months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in one of the most significant economic downturns in generations.

Seth has worked to meet the challenge presented by the crisis by re-evaluating the agency’s strategy for expanding the City’s economy and redoubling existing efforts to position the City as the international center for innovation in the 21st century.

NYCEDC’s agenda includes an aggressive slate of programs aimed at diversifying the City’s economy, helping legacy industries transition to 21st Century business models, and expanding entrepreneurship to ensure that the City is well-represented in the fields of tomorrow.

The more than 60 programs launched during Seth’s tenure focus on industries such as the arts, bioscience, fashion, finance, green services, manufacturing, media, and technology and include: incubator spaces providing hundreds of low-cost work stations and business development services to startup companies; the first City-sponsored investment fund outside the Silicon Valley; and international competitions aimed at spurring the creation of new business plans and smart-phone applications using long-neglected government data.

Beyond working to overhaul the City’s economy, Seth’s efforts have also included modernizing NYCEDC’s property management portfolio; overseeing $2.5 billion in capital investments ranging from basic infrastructure improvements to new parks and streetscapes across the City; and helping to negotiate and structure the City’s involvement in some of the most complex development projects in recent years, including the World Trade Center, Yankee Stadium, and Citifield.

Under Seth, NYCEDC has further continued its efforts to implement several of the Administration’s most ambitious area-wide redevelopment projects, bringing new housing, infrastructure, and job opportunities to underserved neighborhoods throughout the Five Boroughs.
Examples of these projects include: creation of the City’s first LEED-certified neighborhood in Willets Point, Queens; upgrades to the South Bronx Greenway to improve air quality and recreational opportunities in some of the City’s poorest neighborhoods; revitalization of the 27-acre amusement district and surrounding community in Coney Island, Brooklyn; and projects at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and New York Container Terminal in Staten Island to help revive the City’s working waterfront.

Additionally, under Seth’s leadership, the City became the first municipality in the nation to develop a selection process and make allocations under a federal stimulus program designed to spur employment and encourage development during the recent downturn.

An attorney by training, prior to joining NYCEDC, Seth was an associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in the Real Estate practice and a financial analyst at the Mergers & Acquisitions boutique, James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated.

Seth is a graduate of Columbia College, where he majored in Ancient History, and Harvard Law School.



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