Building Brooklyn as NYC's Technology Hub

Wednesday, December 21, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron joined Brooklyn elected officials and community and business leaders to rally in support of the New York University and Polytechnic Institute proposal for an applied sciences campus at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Creating a hub for science and technology that connects the budding tech community in Dumbo and the surrounding neighborhoods with NYU-Poly’s proposed Center for Urban Science and Progress, as well as City Tech and Poly’s existing campuses would be a major step for Brooklyn and Dumbo’s NY Digital District and Digital Dumbo.

NYC is aiming to build a world class applied sciences and engineering campus, called Applied Sciences NYC at Roosevelt Island to be competitive with other tech centers such as Silicon Valley. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cornell University, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology announced an historic partnership to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. (also on NYTimes).

In addition to the Applied Sciences NYC, building on Dumbo’s tech community will attract and retain the creative entrepreneurs that will drive innovation for NYC. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said in a statement, “With today’s announcement behind us, let’s now look ahead to the new year and make the case that New York deserves more than one first-rate applied sciences school and that serious consideration be given to New York University’s partnership with Polytech proposed for 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn—home to more college students than Cambridge, Massachusetts—as well as Carnegie Mellon’s plans for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which along with DUMBO, is part of our borough’s emerging new Silicon Valley. Both locations offer a unique opportunity to create a job-creating epicenter of learning, research and innovation. I normally don’t celebrate Brooklyn being a runner-up in anything, but considering the importance of this center to the future of Brooklyn and New York City, in this case I would happily make an exception.”

Dumbo Improvement District Executive Director Alexandria Sica added, “DUMBO is home to more than one hundred technology firms, digital and creative start-ups that are growing—some at a faster pace than there is talent available. NYU-Poly’s proposal for 370 Jay Street would provide these companies with a highly skilled workforce in their backyard. Furthermore, having an applied sciences school at 370 Jay Street will help DUMBO and the greater Downtown Brooklyn area to continue to grow as a location for tech-based companies that choose to be here around like-minded companies and innovators.”

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Dumbo’s tech yesterday. The article mentions “Tech startups and digital advertising companies have flocked to Dumbo throughout the past decade, drawn to the neighborhood’s industrial lofts that eschew Midtown’s buttoned-down culture. Now Dumbo’s tech scene is about to get bigger.” Polytechnic Institute of New York University will open a new incubator in Dumbo that could house as many as 20 small companies at 20 Jay Street. With innovation fueld by the intersection of creativity, media, and technology in Brooklyn, the community should be looking forward to more private and public partnerships.

(Photo by Kathryn Kirk)