Making Newark the Next Big Tech Hub
Steve Adubato talks with Joel Bloom, President of NJIT, and Jorge Santos, VP, Economic Development Policy & Strategic Planning, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, about the Smart Cities Initiative and the plan to make Newark the next big city for tech.
"Hi, this is Steve Adubato. This is a program about innovation technology and everything in between that you don't want to miss. Let me introduce, once again, Dr. Joel Bloom. Been with us many times. You learn something new every time. He's the president of NJIT. That's New Jersey Institute of Technology. And his colleague, Jorge Santos, is vice president of Economic Development Policy and Strategic Planning at Newark Eco... excuse me, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. You actually have that on a business card? Yeah yeah. I'd like to see. That's a big card. [laughter] It's a big job. Joel, set this up for us. You've been our partner on the higher ed, and for a while, talking about innovation technology. It's one thing to talk about this Metro Lab National Summit that's happening in Newark, but it's another thing to talk about Newark being a quote/unquote "smart city". So the Smart City concept goes back at least a half a dozen years ago. Well, we say, "How do you improve the quality of people's lives in an urban setting using technology?" Smart City. We didn't invent the term, it's being done globally actually. And what are you doing by creating a smart city? You're giving the citizens, as well as the companies, the industries in your city, access to more technology. How do you do it? Multiple ways. Of course, we know about the miles and miles of dark fiber in the street, within the City of Newark, and the power that gives you immediately. How do you get the power out from underneath the street? In some ways, and to create a smart city, you use kiosks. Kiosks? Kiosks. How so? So if you go to a neighboring other great city, New York City, you will see these nine-foot tall slender metallic looking thin kiosks... they're informational kiosks. It's called Link NYC. The city, with the EDC, and NJIT... Economic Development Corporation? Economic Development Corporation. We're creating a link Newark. So we can have something comparable? It'll be... Even though New York had it first, we can have it better? Well actually, I think London had it first, then New York and Newark. So London... Not bad. Yeah, it's great. And describe the role your team has on this. So, Newark CEDC... we have an MOU with the city to help operate... Memoran... look at the jargon. Memorandum of Understanding. Memorandum of Understanding. Go ahead. So, with the city's Economic Development Corporation, we do a lot for the city, including helping to run the city's Newark Fiber program. A lot of the tech initiatives, in conjunction with the city's Office of Information Technology..."