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Press Release

NYCEDC Advances “New” New York Initiative to Support and Accelerate the Equitable Growth of Future-Focused Sectors

Dec 05 2023
People on a promenade with solar panels and buildings in background. View of Manhattan is against sky.

The Greenlight Innovation Fund will Provide $50M in City Capital for Development of Facilities that Support Innovation Industries

The City will Make Multiple Awards of At Least $3 Million Per Project

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the launch of The Greenlight Innovation Fund which will provide $50 million in City capital for new spaces that drive commercial innovation in future-focused sectors including the life sciences, green economy, offshore wind, and advanced technology, among others. The new initiative, follows through on a commitment of the “New” New York Panel Making New York Work for Everyone Action Plan, to support and accelerate the equitable growth of future-focused sectors. These innovation industries contribute to New York’s continued economic growth and recovery and address our society’s greatest challenges in sustainability and healthcare.

“As we made clear in our ‘New’ New York action plan, we must continue to invest in forward-focused sectors to shape a more equitable economic future in New York City,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “NYCEDC’s Greenlight Innovation Fund will set the foundation for a new chapter of innovation in our city, helping nonprofits build spaces that will fuel homegrown commercialization and local job creation. With a focus on sectors such as life sciences and the green economy, this new fund will build on investments we’ve already made in forward-looking areas of our economy to create new pipelines and opportunities for New Yorkers.”

“The Greenlight Innovation Fund is one more way that the Adams Administration is making transformative capital accessible to entrepreneurs in New York City and supporting the growth of innovation sectors like Life Sciences, Tech, and the Green Economy. I am very excited by the release of today's RFP and look forward to the projects these funds help to ignite and the jobs and economic impact that will benefit New Yorkers as a result,” said Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer.

“The Greenlight Innovation Fund responds to the Mayor and Governor’s “New” New York plan recommendation to expand our investments in future-focused sectors that are poised to power the City’s current and future economy,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “This new fund will identify and support capital funding projects that supercharge the life sciences, green economy, and technology sectors, while building a more vibrant and inclusive economy for all New Yorkers.” 

“In the vibrant tapestry of New York City's economic landscape, The Greenlight Innovation Fund stands as a beacon of progress,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, Resiliency & Waterfronts. “With a visionary commitment to fostering innovation in future-focused sectors, this $50 million initiative by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) not only propels the city into a new era of economic vitality, but also addresses the pressing challenges of our time." 

The Greenlight Innovation Fund provides City capital funding for projects led by nonprofits that create new spaces for innovation to thrive. The City and NYCEDC will make multiple awards of at least $3 million per project for the acquisition of space, construction or renovation of facilities, or purchase of equipment. These catalytic programs will be home to the individuals, companies, and products that will continue to power New York City’s economy and address society’s greatest challenges, from climate solutions to artificial intelligence and advanced cancer therapies.

The innovation industries of the life sciences, green economy, and tech have experienced tremendous growth over the past decade and are expected to grow faster than New York City’s overall economy in the coming years. While New York City’s gross city product (GCP) has grown at an impressive 61 percent since 2012, the tech sector has grown by 176 percent life sciences by 87 percent and the nascent Green Economy is expected to grow 144 percent by 2030. These future-focused industries also represent a growing share of venture capital funding in New York City, increasing from 16 percent of total funding in 2015 to nearly 40 percent in 2022. 

“This is a smart investment in the city's economic future, one that builds on New York's competitive advantages and sets the city up to continue to lead in the industries that will be producing the most well-paying jobs in the decade ahead. It should not only help seed future job growth, but also help New York's economy become even more diverse and resilient,” said Center for an Urban Future Executive Director Jonathan Bowles.

“The Greenlight Innovation Fund is an exciting commitment to the future of New York City. By investing in future-focused sectors, including life sciences, the City is leading the way to new jobs, increased knowledge, and a stronger economy. This program promises to galvanize the assets of our people, businesses, and universities, all with the goal of advancing the well-being of those who live and work in our City. The NYC LifeSci Advisory Council looks forward to working with the Economic Development Corporation and City leadership to make this initiative a success,” said Lasker Foundation President and Co-chair NYC LifeSci Advisory Council Claire Pomeroy MD. 

“The Greenlight Innovation Fund demonstrates NYCEDC's belief in the power of innovation to propel the city forward in new and exciting ways, including continued fostering of groundbreaking industries like offshore wind. We are excited to see how the Fund can provide a pivotal role in supporting equitable growth in innovation industries, and look forward to new opportunities to build partnerships with NYCEDC in offshore wind and the broader green economy,” said National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium Executive Director Lyndie Hice-Dunton, Ph.D. 

The launch of The Greenlight Innovation Fund, with $50 million in City capital, marks a significant step towards fostering innovation in key sectors such as life sciences, the green economy, offshore wind, and advanced technology,” said “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones. “This program underscores the Adams Administration's commitment to equitable growth and the advancement of industries that drive economic prosperity while addressing critical sustainability and healthcare challenges."

“We are excited for New Yorkers to benefit from the impact of the Greenlight Innovation Fund, which will put in place core infrastructure that will help attract and support entrepreneurs building companies in key tech growth sectors, including advanced manufacturing, climate and life sciences,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “In order for New York to remain a hub of innovation and economic opportunity, it is imperative that we invest in sectors that will lead our economy for decades to come.” 

“As our city continues to respond to a number of urgent challenges, from climate change to improving public health infrastructure, the Greenlight Innovation Fund will help tap our own dynamic tech sector to meet these issues head on,” said Julie Samuels, President & Executive Director of Tech:NYC. “The fund’s innovative and streamlined model will encourage much-needed collaboration across sectors and bring our response to these challenges to a new level. We’re excited to see our city’s leaders investing in the life sciences, green economy and advanced tech sectors to move us toward a better, safer, and more sustainable future.”

This Request for Proposals is competitive and will evaluate a project’s feasibility and impact on the equitable growth of innovation industries. The Greenlight Innovation Fund will prioritize programs that do one or more of the following:

  • Support the development of catalytic new spaces and programming that support the innovation industries 
  • Create new companies and well-paying jobs for New Yorkers in the innovation industries
  • Strengthen and diversify industry workforce and entrepreneurs

The “Making New York Work For Everyone” action plan was launched in May 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to examine the future of New York City and the region’s economy. The panel created a set of 40 proposals intended to make New York City the best place to work and serve as a roadmap for the city’s future.

Respondents to this Request for Proposals may submit Program proposals in three rounds, having submission deadlines of April 12, 2024, October 2, 2024, and April 4, 2025. For more information on requirements and how to apply, click here.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.