New York Smart Cities Innovation Partnership

Drone hovering in the air

The Governor’s Office Technology & Innovation Portfolio and Empire State Development (ESD), in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), are launching the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership – a pilot program to facilitate the development and integration of emerging technologies into public services. Under this program, ESD and IIA will provide funding to support local projects that improve government services and resident quality of life by using smart cities technologies. ESD funding (up to $1M) will be available for projects led by New York companies and IIA funding ($1M+) will be available for projects led by Israeli companies.

View the Winning Cities and Projects

Tech Company Application Deadline Closed

Check back soon for results.
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Under the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership, “Smart Cities” are defined as any local government that leverages technology 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 communities. Some examples of Smart Cities technologies include: smart sensors streamlining traffic flow to reduce vehicle idling and emissions, clean water leakage detection systems to preserve clean drinking water, LED indoor farming lights, and advanced air quality monitoring systems. A project is effectively “SMART” if it incorporates the following elements:

  • Sustainable: Considers environmental impacts and furthers New York’s green goals
  • Modern: Incorporates best-in-class technological solutions and approaches, making life easier, simpler, more convenient, and more affordable for residents
  • Accountable: Leverages direct input from residents and communities throughout design and implementation, and abides by clear privacy and security standards
  • Reliable: Delivers services predictably, meeting residents’ most basic and reasonable expectations
  • Thriving: Contributes to local economic growth wherever it is deployed

Smart Cities Innovation Partnership technology priorities include:

Cybersecurity Supply Chain Solutions Real-Time Utility Monitoring
Water Purification & Containment Removal Smart Mobility & Traffic Flow Systems Unmanned Aerial Systems & Drones
Smart Agriculture & Clean Food Solutions Clean Energy & Environmental Solutions Health Technology

Other related emerging technologies will also be considered for the program.

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Process & Timeline

The Smart Cities Innovation Partnership encourages collaboration between Municipal Testbeds, Anchor Institutions and Technology Companies to develop projects to resolve local government operations or quality of life challenges. This program takes place in three phases:

  • Phase I. ESD will solicit Anchor Institutions to participate as project managers and technical experts for Smart Cities Innovation Partnership projects.
  • Phase II. Local governments can apply to become a designated Municipal Testbed. Designated Municipal Testbeds in collaboration with Anchor Institutions will submit up to three smart cities projects to be funded under the program.
  • ​Phase III. Technology Companies can apply to implement their smart cities solutions to Municipal Testbed smart cities projects.

At the end of this competitive process, selected Technology Companies will be matched with Municipal Testbeds to implement their smart cities solutions.


March 18, 2020

  • Anchor Institutions survey OPENS
  • Municipal Testbed application OPENS (due June 8, 2020 at 5 PM ET)
  • Interest Forms OPEN for Technology Company

March 30, 2020

  • Anchor Institution Survey CLOSES

Early April 2020

  • Cities Can Review Anchor Institution partner list HERE​
  • Municipal Testbed applicants should begin collaborating with Anchor Institutions

June 8, 2020

  • Municipal Testbed application CLOSES

June 2020

  • Selected Municipal Testbed applicants will be invited to present application to review board

Early July 2020

  • Municipal Testbed sites ANNOUNCED
  • Testbed project opportunities PUBLISHED

Mid-July 2020

  • Technology Company application OPENS (due September 1, 2020 at 5 PM ET)

September 1, 2020

  • Technology Company application CLOSES

September - November 2020

  • Technology Company proposals chosen for piloting at Municipal Testbeds

December 2020

  • Companies and Municipal Testbeds formalize project timelines
  • Smart Cities Innovation Partnership projects ANNOUNCED


  • Smart Cities Innovation Partnership PROJECTS COMMENCE


  • Smart Cities Innovation Partnership FINAL REPORT DUE
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Project funding will adhere to a general funding formula that shares funding responsibilities across ESD, IIA, local municipalities, and companies:

  • Up to 25%-50% covered by ESD (applies only to NYS companies)
  • Up to 25%-50% covered by IIA (applies only to Israeli companies)
  • Up to 50% - 75% covered by participating Technology Companies and Municipal Testbeds

Sample Project A: Real-Time Rideshare AIrport Traffic Management System in City A (with NYS Company)​

  • Total Cost: $60K
    • ESD Grant: $30K
    • IIA Grant: $0K
    • Participants: $30K (in-kind support)
      • City A: $15K
      • Company A: $15K​

Sample Project B: Smart Community Participatory Zoning & Budgeting Platform in City B (with Israeli Company)​

  • Total Cost: $100K
    • ESD Grant: $0K
    • IIA Grant (to Israeli Company): up to $40K
    • Participants: up to $60K (in-kind support)
      • City B: up to $20K
      • Company B: up to $40K
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Apply Here

There are three parties who can participate in the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership:

Under this program, local governments (cities, towns, counties) may apply to become a designated Municipal Testbed site and identify smart cities project opportunities that could benefit their community.
Click here to learn more

Technology Companies
Under this pilot, Technology Companies developing smart cities solutions are invited to submit a proposal that resolves a project opportunity offered by Municipal Testbeds. All Technology Companies interested in applying to a Smart Cities Innovation Partnership project should apply through the ESD website. 
Click here to learn more

Innovation Assets or Programs
Innovation programs will be selected as Anchor Institutions to fund and assist accepted project proposals. Anchor Institution include labs and research institutions, incubators, and ESD-supported innovation assets. Anchor Institutions will participate as a partner in this program, including by engaging and supporting a Municipal Testbed applicant develop a proposal, disbursing grant funds, serving as technical experts and implementing projects.
Click here to learn more

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Frequently Asked Questions

Webinars | View Schedule

Webinars geared toward Anchor Institutions, Municipal Testbed applicants and Technology Companies will be held from March 2020 through July 2020 to go over the application process and answer applicant questions. Please submit an application, survey or indication of interest or refer to website for updated webinar schedule and links to recorded content.

Click HERE for the recording of the Tech Company Smart Cities Innovation Partnership webinar.
Click HERE for the recording of the general information Smart Cities Innovation Partnership webinar.

Click here for FAQs

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  • General inquiries for NY Anchor Institutions, Municipal Testbeds and NY Technology Companies: [email protected].