Green building technology companies looking for real-world test sites now have help. They will be able to easily find New York City building owners willing to provide test environments with the launch of the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center. The Center, announced by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on January 20, is a collaboration between the New York City Economic Development Corp., Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), and the City University of New York (CUNY).

The Center will be managed and operated through Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement. It will maintain a database of current green-building-technology needs and research, and will also host a series of community building forums.

The Center will promote development of New York–based green building technology in three ways. First, it will provide technology manufacturers with testing opportunities in operational buildings and, in return, building owners will receive discounted rates to employ the technologies. Second, it will develop an information and data clearinghouse to track building-technology costs, benefits, and lessons learned. Third, it will host stakeholder discussions with private sector and academic institutions on green-building entrepreneurship, financing, and city-specific challenges.
The New York City Economic Development Corp. is providing $250,000 to establish the Center, while Columbia, NYU-Poly, and CUNY will provide more than $500,000 worth of resources. The Center will also develop a sponsorship and membership structure for technology companies and building owners.

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