/ Awards / New York City’s Water Network Seeks Next-Generation Tech to Catalyze its Sustainable Future

New York City’s Water Network Seeks Next-Generation Tech to Catalyze its Sustainable Future

Parul Dubey on June 4, 2024 - in Awards, Wastewater, Water

Partnership Fund for NYC and DEP Open Applications for the Environmental Tech Lab 2024 Challenges

 

June 3, 2024 – The Environmental Tech Lab (ETL)—a public-private initiative of the Partnership Fund for New York City and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)—today launched the second year of the Environmental Tech Lab’s annual competition, calling for tech-driven approaches to support DEP’s objectives in resilience and data management & governance.

Applications for the Resilience Challenge and Data Management & Governance Challenge are due August 1, 2024. Visit the Environmental Tech Lab website for more information about the Challenges and applications.

The ETL identifies innovative technology solutions from the global tech sector to address the challenges of managing and maintaining the city’s water and wastewater network. The ETL’s goal is to establish a streamlined process to identify, evaluate, and test technologies developed by early- and growth-stage companies.

The ETL is the latest collaboration in the Partnership Fund’s effort to catalyze the application of new technologies to serve the public interest. Each year, the ETL seeks new technological solutions to address one or more thematic focus areas, called challenges. This year’s challenges were developed following in-depth discussions with the Deputy Commissioners and employees from 12 of the agency’s Bureaus and Offices.

The ETL 2024 Challenges are:

Resilience: How can DEP enhance climate resiliency goals including carbon reduction actions, noise/air/water compliance initiatives, flooding mitigations, and water conservation strategies?

Data Management & Governance: How can DEP integrate and analyze disparate data sets to drive business strategies, deliver capital construction projects, optimize critical data models, and better protect people and infrastructure?

Rohit T. Aggarwala, DEP Commissioner and New York City Chief Climate Officer, said, “Accelerating our use of new technology is critical to making New York City more resilient in the face of extreme weather caused by climate change. Our collaboration with the Partnership Fund for New York City allows us to attract and acquire innovative, new technology and implement it at scale with benefits for all of New York City for years to come.” 

Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City, said, “Innovative technologies hold immense potential to enhance government service delivery and address civic challenges. Through the Partnership Fund’s innovation labs, we can facilitate the integration of cutting-edge technologies into complex public systems while helping to secure a sustainable future for New York City, including its water and wastewater systems.”

Stacey Matlen, Senior Vice President of Innovation at the Partnership for New York City, said, “Building on the momentum of our inaugural ETL class, we are eager to collaborate with a new cohort of innovators, providing them with an expedited path to partnering with the largest municipal water and wastewater network in the country.”

Last year’s program received nearly 100 applications from over twenty countries. A team of thirty-eight DEP decision makers and five private sector evaluators reviewed online applications and selected twenty companies to pitch their solutions in NYC to further evaluate each company’s potential impact, product, team, and overall value proposition. Through this rigorous review process, eight companies were selected to deploy technologies over an eight-week proof of concept.

See results from the 2023 proof of concepts and feedback from participating companies: https://envirotechlab.nyc/proof-of-concept-results.

The ETL is part of the Partnership Fund for New York City’s “Tech in the Public Interest” strategy, which aims to invest in companies and programs that advance the application of new technologies to address urban challenges, including helping government agencies deliver services more effectively. The ETL was modeled after the successful Transit Tech Lab (TTL)—a collaboration between the Partnership Fund for New York City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)—which enables regional transportation agencies to test new technologies that modernize public transit and improve the customer experience. Winners from the Transit Tech Lab program have helped the regional transportation network improve subway signaling, curb management, and transit accessibility, and enhance operational efficiencies.  Since 2018, the TTL has attracted over 900 applicants, tested 70 technologies, and facilitated eleven commercial engagements.

To learn more about the ETL, please visit https://envirotechlab.nyc/.

About the NYC Department of Environmental Protection

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $29 billion in investments over the next 10 years. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About the Partnership Fund for New York City

The Partnership Fund for New York City is the $130 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, dedicated to mobilizing private sector resources and expertise to advance New York City’s standing as a global center of economic opportunity, upward mobility, and innovation. The Fund invests in entrepreneurs and innovators in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors who contribute to building a more vibrant and inclusive New York City economy. As an “evergreen” fund, realized gains are continuously reinvested. A key focus of the Fund is the application of new technology that serves the public interest. 

The Partnership Fund Board is led by co-chairs Tarek Sherif and Neil Blumenthal. Maria Gotsch is the Fund’s President and CEO. More information about the Fund can be found at partnershipfundnyc.org.

 

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