Joining The Grid to support Smart City development in New York City
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Joining The Grid to support Smart City development in New York City

Today the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and CIV:LAB launched The Grid, a new network of more than 70 startups, universities, government agencies, and other stakeholders who plan to share technology that can be used to improve the quality of life in New York City.

Samsung NEXT is joining the program as one of its charter members and will be a part of The Grid’s Steering Committee. To share more about our participation, we reached out to NYC resident and smart city expert Deborah Conway.

Q: Hey Deb, how goes? Before we talk about The Grid, can you tell us a little bit more about your personal interest in Smart Cities and why Samsung NEXT believes there’s a huge opportunity in this market?

Absolutely! I think it is important to focus on technology that has a direct correlation to our quality of life — technology for people’s sake. I think that is what we, a massive consumer electronics brand, ought to focus on. By using technology, how can we improve people’s lives?

Samsung NEXT has a huge opportunity to represent Samsung in smart city initiatives. Being the body that focuses on new business opportunities in software and services, NEXT is able to take advantage of Samsung’s incredible IoT footprint and 5G plans, and can creatively pursue smart city software and service opportunities. Samsung and NEXT are well positioned to responsibly pursue this initiative.

Q: Before this program, what has Samsung NEXT done to promote Smart City technology in New York or elsewhere?

Over the past couple of years, Samsung NEXT has actively invested in the smart cities space. Some of our most relevant investments are Stae, a company that gives “open access to the world’s civic data in one place, in real-time, and with a uniform API,” and Swiftly, a company that “unlocks service improvements by streamlining and organizing your real-time transit data.”

Although The Grid’s primary scope is New York, we at NEXT are looking to support smart city initiatives all around the globe.

Q: What was the big idea behind The Grid, and how do you foresee these different stakeholders working together to find solutions for cities like New York?

The idea behind The Grid is to bring together all the relevant bodies that can affect, and be affected by, new urban technologies. Smart city goals are challenging to accomplish because they require consensus in an environment of different stakeholders.
The Grid is an ambitious project that is looking to unite these stakeholders, build consensus, and create action, which is a – vs. traditional reactive relationships.

Q: Why do you think New York City is uniquely positioned to lead the way here, and what does the city hope to get out of this public-private partnership?

New York City is uniquely positioned to lead the way here because it has a severe collision of issues it must address, and a strong tech base that it can test solutions atop of. Further, New York City is one of the most densely diverse places in the world. It has the widest variety of people and bodies affected by initiatives that the City introduces. I believe that New York City hopes to better understand the needs of the people, and to work with privates to figure out ways to implement solutions that address these needs.

Q: As part of this initiative, what are you personally hoping to get out of partnering with The Grid?

I’m most looking forward to connecting and working with people on tech solutions that aren’t typically in tech conversations. This is not development. This is city development!

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