- The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Brooklyn, NY-based New Lab announced the launch of this year's Circular City program, a place for startups to pilot their products in real urban environments in the city. This year's edition focuses on finding solutions to help with energy efficiency and the city's transition to a circular economy.
- As well as its efforts around using technology to transition to a circular economy, participants will also help develop an urban data collaborative to help the public and private exchange of data for the public good. That initiative builds work that began in the first edition of the program in 2018.
- Successful applicants will be able to deploy their pilots from April to August ahead of a public showcase in September. The program offers help from New Lab's staff, partners and events, with grant funding available to support a pilot’s implementation.
New York continues to stake its claim as a leading city for technology and startups, having been identified last year by the Global Startup Ecosystem Report as one of the world's two best regions for startups, alongside Silicon Valley. There are plenty of potential sites for these pilot programs to be tested too. New Lab said its partner organizations based in Brooklyn and Governors Island could serve as locations for deployments.
These efforts from NYCEDC and New Lab also build on similar collaborative work underway between the public and private sectors as well as academia. A new technology initiative called The Grid, a collaboration between NYCEDC and urban innovation nonprofit CIV:LAB launched last year to encourage cross-sector collaboration, while a testbed in West Harlem is looking to be at the heart of research on wireless and smart city technology.
Meanwhile, startup accelerator URBAN-X continues its work with cohorts of startups, providing them with 20 weeks of development, help with networking and guidance on raising capital.
New York City’s issues with its waste have been well-documented, so the partners on the Circular City are hopeful technology can help improve matters, in addition to helping it hit its ambitious climate goals outlined in its Green New Deal and Climate Mobilization Act. Supporters are hopeful this can have a big impact.
"Increasing cooperation between the tech sector and government is critical to ensuring that technology continues to impact the day-to-day life of city residents," City Councilmember Robert Holden, chair of the New York City Council's Committee on Technology, said in a statement.