Smart Cities
March 18, 2020

ESD Announces Call for Applications for Smart Cities Partnership with Israel Innovation Authority

ESD Announces Call for Applications for Smart Cities Partnership with Israel Innovation Authority
Announced on 2019 Trade Mission, Program to Select up to Five Smart City Testbeds with Funding Support of up to $2 Million; New York Municipalities to Partner with Technology Companies to Improve Public Service Delivery and Quality-of-Life; Israel Innovation Authority to Provide $1 Million to Support Israeli Companies in New York State


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Empire State Development today announced the launch of the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership program in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority. The program, first announced during the Governor's July 2019 solidarity and trade mission to Israel, will designate up to five Smart Cities to connect with technology companies and academic experts throughout the state, using emerging technologies to improve government services and resident quality of life. The program will officially launch this month with educational outreach and formal solicitations of interest from New York localities. Once cities are selected, interested companies will be able to submit technological concepts and solutions to help them tackle their specific challenges, with a strong focus on startups in New York State and Israel. This partnership furthers the Governor's commitment to helping the state's cities and towns leverage technology for the public good and drive mutually beneficial trade partnerships between the New York and Israeli technology industries. 

Deputy Secretary for Technology & Innovation Jeremy M. Goldberg said, "Under [former] Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has made tremendous investments to grow its technology industry and innovation economy. The concept of a smarter city is about using technology to better deliver on government's responsibility to residents: health, safety, and opportunity. We're excited about the innovative ideas that will come to life through this partnership between cities, community members, and technologists."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Smart Cities provide the opportunity to help municipalities deliver better programs and services to residents while expanding innovative industries that use technology for social impact. I look forward to selecting New York's Smart Cities and helping them solve their pressing local challenges while creating investment and jobs in the New York economy."

Israel Innovation Authority CEO Aharon Aharon said, "The Israel Innovation Authority is honored to support the Israeli companies that will play an important role in improving government services and quality of life for New York residents. We appreciate the Governor's commitment to Israel and look forward to strengthening our technological ties with New York."

Empire State Development (ESD) will provide up to $1 million in funding and the Israel Innovation Authority, which fosters the nation's industrial research and development, will contribute up to $1 million in additional funding for Israeli companies delivering projects in New York. The application period for municipalities will open the week of March 16th, and ESD will conduct webinars to answer questions about the partnership and build awareness. Chosen municipalities will designate physical or virtual sites to pilot new technologies aimed at improving public services. Beginning in the summer, companies will be able to submit proposals that solve the locally-identified problems and opportunities within each chosen city, with IIA driving interest and submissions from industry-leading Israeli companies. By the end of 2020, projects will be chosen for funding and will be implemented in the municipalities in 2021. To stay up to date on program information sessions, announcements, and key dates, interested New York municipalities, technology companies, and others can learn more here.

Three main parties will benefit from this pilot program:

  • NY Municipalities. Under this pilot, local governments may apply to be a designated testbed site for the program and develop smart cities project lists to be funded through the program.
  • Technology Companies. Under this pilot, companies developing smart cities solutions are invited to submit a proposal that resolves a project offered by testbed sites.
  • Innovation assets. Under this pilot, different innovation programs across the state will be selected to fund and assist accepted project proposals.

Through this Partnership, New York and Israeli companies will be supported in testing, piloting, and scaling qualified technologies in New York, with facilitated access to top technology incubators, accelerators, and industry leaders operating in New York's diverse regions.

A smart city is any incorporated municipality that leverages technological solutions to promote public health, safety, and welfare, and improves quality-of-life for the residents of the municipality, especially traditionally underserved and under resourced populations and communities. For example, cities that incorporate mobile applications to make public transportation more accessible for residents are leveraging smart cities technology.



Adam Kilduff | [email protected] | (212)803-3744

Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 292-5107

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313


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