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Building A More Resilient NYC


east river esplanade

As a coastal city, New York City is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Our RISE : NYC competition sought solutions to protect our coastline from the dangers of extreme weather. 

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we learned that New York City had to be more environmentally and economically resilient.

These elements came together seamlessly at the awards ceremony for RISE : NYC. Resiliency Innovations for a Stronger Economy (RISE) is a NYCEDC competition that was launched in early 2014 to seek out the world's most promising resiliency technologies.

Selected from more than 200 applications, the 11 winning teams stand out for their cutting-edge technologies. Together, they will share $30 million to implement their technologies at Sandy-impacted small businesses across the city.

From storm surge barriers to wireless networks to batteries charged by solar and wind, these technologies are as diverse as they are innovative.

The winners are broken into three technology categories; each represents a major challenge for small businesses in the face of potential storms. These 11 technologies will help our city’s small businesses become more resilient to the impacts of future storms, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change:

rise awards

And the winners are...

Energy Technologies

Technologies in this category help small businesses keep the lights on and open for business, even when the power grid is down

  • Bright Power - Resilient Power Hub: A building-scale power plant that integrates a micro-combined heat and power system with solar photovoltaics and energy storage to provide a continuous source of power.
  • Go Electric – Energy Resiliency System: Advanced, uninterruptable power solution that immediately senses a utility outage and increases output from generators, renewables, and batteries to support critical loads.
  • CALM Energy – The Energy Watchdog: Provides building monitoring and control through a web browser to automatically increase energy efficiency, improve safety, and reduce costs.
  • Home Free – Safe Space Solution: Combines alternative energy technologies to create individual small business and community resilience areas across New York City.
  • UGE – Smart Microgrid Power Solution: Integrates solar photovoltaics, vertical axis wind turbines, energy storage, to decrease small business operating expenses and enable continued operations.

Telecom Networks

Technologies in this category help small businesses stay connected and operating, even when traditional communication networks are down

  • goTenna – goTenna: Miniaturized, high-power radio frequency transceiver that enables small businesses to stay in touch, even without a cell or data connection.
  • New America’s Open Technology Institute – Resilient Mesh Wireless Technology: Turns routers and other wireless devices into decentralized WiFi networks, allowing communities to continue to communicate even if a storm severs Internet connectivity.
  • Red Hook Initiative – Red Hook WiFi: Wireless mesh network built for the community by the community, expanding WiFi coverage to small businesses in the Red Hook neighborhood impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Building Systems

Technologies in this category help improve the resiliency of critical building components before, during, and after a storm

  • Geosyntec Consultants – Active Floodproofing: Uses floodproofing measures such as inflatable flood guards, valves, and shields to protect small businesses against flooding.
  • F. William Brown and Flood Panel – Sandwich Plate System Flood Panels: A floodproofing solution providing small businesses with a layer of protection to keep floodwaters out of buildings. 
  • NYC Daylighting – Solatube Daylighting System: A capture-transfer-delivery process to deliver natural light to dark interior building spaces. 

RISE Award Winners

David Gilford, VP of NYCEDC's Sustainability and Urban Innovation Initiatives, announces the winners of RISE : NYC at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 29. The event took place at the NYC office of global engineering firm Arup in Lower Manhattan.

In the coming months, each of the 11 winning companies will implement their projects at thousands of small businesses and communities to help them better prepare for and bounce back from future storms. The small businesses that will receive these technologies will be announced in the coming months.

Over the next few weeks, we will share the stories of each of these innovative resiliency technologies through a new profile series on our blog called Rising to the Challenge. Stay tuned for our first profile next week. You can also visit the RISE : NYC website for more information on each of the finalists.

We look forward to working with the winning RISE : NYC teams to implement their creative and cutting-edge solutions to help NYC small businesses prepare for climate change.

Congratulations to all the participants of RISE : NYC for helping to build a stronger, more resilient New York.



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