The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state's science and technology university to challenges identified by industry partners, has joined MetroLab Network, a network of 35 city-university partnerships focused on bringing data, analytics and innovation to local government. Members of the network research, develop, and deploy technologies and policy approaches to address challenges facing the nation's urban areas. MetroLab Network was launched by 21 founding city-university pairings in September 2015 at the White House as part of the Obama Administration's Smart Cities Initiative.
MetroLab Network's city-university partnerships are relationships in which the university serves as a research and development arm, and the city serves as a test-bed for technologies and policies. Faculty members and students gain access to real-world laboratories to develop and test tools and programs that utilize information technology, data analytics, sensing and more. Cities benefit from their technical expertise, leading to solutions that reduce the cost of infrastructure and services, make cities more sustainable and resilient, and improve citizens' quality of life.
MetroLab Network members are working on more than 100 "research, development and deployment" projects with broad impact on areas such as improving transportation and water systems, reducing the energy footprint in cities, advancing health and public safety goals, and many more.
MetroLab Network connects these city-university partnerships via a national, collaborative platform that will facilitate the sharing of information and the scaling of technology and solutions across the country.
"We're excited about joining MetroLab because we've been seeking partners in our efforts to have Newark become one of the most technologically sophisticated cities in America," said Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT. "NJII, our faculty and our students are ready to launch these pilot projects that will improve lives and help others see Newark as the great urban center that we experience daily. In so doing, our students will have even more venues for innovation and entrepreneurship."
By becoming members of MetroLab Network, the City of Newark, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and its corporation, NJII, have signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to work together on research and development projects that will yield meaningful innovation resulting in an improved city. The projects involve elements of Newark's infrastructure such as; transportation, utilities and public safety.
"We are delighted to have been picked for the White House's MetroLab program with our partner, NJIT. We are working closely with NJIT to make Newark a leader in 21st century smart technology. Together we are creating Newark 3.0, a city where tech companies will want to test and deploy their new ideas, locate their offices, and participate in the economic and technological renaissance of our communities," said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.
From May 9-11, representatives from Newark and NJII will be participating in MetroLab Network's Spring Summit, hosted by the City of San Diego and the University of California, San Diego with support from Clean Tech San Diego.
"We are thrilled to welcome Newark and NJII to our network," said Ben Levine, Interim Director of MetroLab Network. "Their participation will help drive progress in the cities and regions that are addressing similar issues across the country. Furthermore, their collaboration with our extensive national network of cities and universities will accelerate progress in Newark on many of its priorities."
MetroLab Network is supported by a $1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a research enterprise that uses data and information technologies to better understand how cities work and to improve the urban condition. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the fiduciary of MetroLab Network during its incubation period.
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state's science and technology university to challenges identified by industry partners. Through its Innovation Labs (iLabs), NJII brings NJIT expertise to key economic sectors, including healthcare delivery systems, bio-pharmaceutical production, civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security, and financial services.