NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center Launches
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center (UTIC) January 20, to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies, in partnership with Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
The center will join green-building technology companies that need real-world test sites, building owners and cutting-edge researchers including those from the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate with expertise in financial instruments that address the difficulties posed by the high initial cost of some green technologies. Among the city’s goals are fostering clean-technology jobs and changes in its built environment that will meet its ambitious carbon reduction goals.
The announcement took place at Columbia University’s new Northwest Corner interdisciplinary science research building. Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will manage and operate the UTIC. Mayor Bloomberg cited the Varick Street Incubator as a prime example of a partnership between academia (NYU-Poly), the city (NYCEDC) and business (Trinity Real Estate) that has increased jobs and brought investment to a new sector of entrepreneurs. The incubator will help launch successful ventures based on urban technology innovation.
NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin spoke of New York City’s urban technology leadership potential in a world whose urban population is exploding. “This is not just a global bonanza, I will call it an urbanza,” he said, citing anticipated global urban infrastructure growth in the next two decades. “And that is good for New York City. We have in New York City an advantage…and that is our diversity and our innovation…Here at NYU-Poly, we have students from 40 countries; in New York, the mayor often notes 140 languages are spoken in our schools. Diversity has a big impact on innovation, which is a key to leading the economy. And innovation…is what universities like NYU and Columbia and CUNY have been building in New York City with the Mayor and the NYCEDC.”
Video of the press conference can be watched here. President Hultin’s speech begins at 9:15.
Other speakers included NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky, Columbia University Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small, Trinity Real Estate President Jason Pizer and IBM Senior Manager-Smarter Building Research Dr. Jane L. Snowdon. IBM will collaborate with UTIC to apply advanced computing technology such as cloud computing, real-time analytics and supercomputing to increase the attractiveness, efficiency and sustainability of real estate and improve resource use, she said.