The New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Creates Ecosystem for Sustainable Product Development

Not an Incidental Incubator Anymore.

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

This week TNW and Business Insider ran a story about the best Tech hang outs in New York City. While the Business Insider list focused on the schmoozing in restaurants and bars, TNW included a number of popular co-working spaces, such as WeWork Soho and General Assembly. Collaborative work spaces and incubators have sprouted up across the city and become the breeding ground for a new generation of tech companies.  

Construction site for the New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Construction site for the New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

ClimateWeek NYC brought me to the The Brooklyn Navy Yard this week. 3DP Media has organized a panel on the new industrial revolution, led by innovations such as 3D-printing. It was a perfect location to discuss sustainable product development and green manufacturing.

Situated on the Brooklyn side of the East River, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a giant industrial park that currently houses more than 330 companies. Its 4 million square feet site is home to the greatest concentration of manufacturing and green businesses in New York City. With its commitment to sustainable development, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has become the poster child for the comeback of (green) manufacturing.  

With a mix of creative and manufacturing the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been incidental incubator in the past. Now that role could be more formalized. In March 2013 the Brooklyn Navy Yard entered the beta phase for a new experiment: The New Lab, a work space that houses a mix of creative, engineering and product development companies that collaborate to create more sustainable products and a more sustainable living environment. While the concept is being tested with a small group of companies, the Yard is developing a 100,000 square feet complex that will become home to the New Lab in 2015.


Solar Lights: A Business Idea Born on the Beach

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Summer just started and July Fourth is around the corner. We are ready to hit the beach to spend some time in the sun with friends and family over the holidays.

While for most people the beach is a venue to relax and leave the wheeling and dealing of the office behind, for others it’s a cradle of creation. Lounging in the sun can spark great business ideas.

One example is Voltaic Systems. The New York-based company offers solar systems that can power all electronic devices with the power of the sun. At a recent Green Breakfast Club event in New York, Shayne McQuade, the founder and CEO of Voltaic Systems, talked about how he got the idea of creating a backpack that charges mobile devices  using solar energy while vacationing at the coast of Spain.  The idea led to the creation of Voltaic Systems. He started the company with one product, a backpack equipped with solar panels to charge mobile devices on the go. Today Voltaic Systems has a broad portfolio of chargers, adapters and batteries and lighting systems that can power all types of phones, cameras, tablets, laptops and lights.

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IEA World Energy Outlook: Carbon Dioxide Emission Have to Go Down

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

This Monday the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its annual World Energy Outlook report. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons worldwide.

The report puts the spotlight back on climate change. Governments around the world need to work together to bring emissions down. Some countries and regions have made progress. U.S. emissions dropped 200 million tons and Europe’s emissions declined by 50 million tons. However, China’s emissions grew by 300 million tons compared to 2011, despite the country’s investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. According to the IEA report, developing countries now account for 60 percent of global emissions from energy, up from 45 percent in 2000.

Source: IEA

Source: IEA

In past climate talks, industrialized countries and emerging economies had points of views about their historical and current responsibilities for cutting carbon emissions.

But there is hope.

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Cleantech Open Northeast Arrives in New York City

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Cleantech Open Northeast has arrived in New York City with an ambitious plan.

Together with its partner NYC ACRE, New York City’s accelerator for clean technology and renewable energy companies, the Northeast team wants to challenge their counterparts in Silicon Valley. California currently holds the position as the largest clean tech hub.

New York has a vibrant clean tech community

New York has a vibrant clean tech community

The first annual US Metro Clean Tech Index  by research and consulting firm Clean Energy revealed that the country’s top five metro regions for clean tech are all on the West coast, three of them are in California: San Jose (1st place), San Francisco (2nd place), and Sacramento (4th place).  Washington, DC, (8th place) and Boston (9th place) represented the East coast in the top ten last year. New York City was on 13th place.

The Clean Energy study was conducted in 2012 and ranked the country’s 50 largest metropolitan regions based on nearly two dozen ‘clean tech’ metrics such as hybrid electric vehicles, certified green buildings, clean-tech venture capital investments, innovation and workforce.

Cleantech runs the world’s largest clean tech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund, and foster the big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges.

While the clean tech community had to fend off harsh criticism and the word ‘clean tech’ turned into a ‘dirty word’ for some, Arrun Kapoor of SJF Ventures  stayed optimistic. He pointed out that the Cleantech community always had its eyes set on a common goal – to solve energy issues. And that’s for the better good.

The not-for-profit organization has worked with more than 700 companies in the United States. Accelerator program participants get training, mentoring, infrastructure, relationships and funding opportunities that help them become world-class clean tech companies. To date, nearly half of these companies have raised over $800 million in external capital.

While New York City was not in the top ten last year, the goal of challenging Silicon Valley is not out of sight. The Northeast region is home to an amazing set of clean tech companies. Some of them presented their innovations during the New York event with a 1-minute pitch. Continue reading


Products and Prototypes: Exciting Innovations from the “Technology You Can Touch” Event at NYU

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

We are always looking for examples of technologies that will change life as we know it, in a good and sustainable way. Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting NYU for a demo session called “Technology you can Touch”. Seeing startups boasting products that didn’t require a computer, smartphone, or even an internet connection to take advantage of was a nice change of pace from the many new web based startups we tend to see today. Here are a few of the innovative new products that are working to make an impact on people’s lives.

Jibon Health booth at "Technology You Can Touch"

Jibon Health booth at “Technology You Can Touch”

1. Jibon Health Technologies. Working to fight maternal mortality from Postpartum Hemorrhaging (PPH), Jibon has come out with a product called Tampostat. A Tampostat works by placing pressure on the womb that slows potential excessive bleeding during childbirth and allows for time to make it to a hospital for proper care. It costs less than $10 to make and requires minimal training to use. By making a product that is low-cost and easy to use, Jibon hopes to put a dent in the roughly 150,000 women from developing nations who die every year because they are unable to make it to a hospital in time.

2. Entrupy. Last week hedge fund owner Steven A. Cohen bought a Picasso for $155 million, making it one of the most expensive private art sales transacted. With huge sums of money being tossed around for art, one might think they should try their hand at making their own “Picasso”…well think again. After a few years in the making, Ashlesh, a PhD. candidate at Courant at NYU and his team, have created a device that is built to “fingerprint” works of art. This device is able to map out the texture speckles of a painting in order to create a record that is unique to that specific painting. Once the record is created, not even the most skilled forgery will go unnoticed by this machine.

3. AdhereTech. If you’re someone who has trouble taking their medication in a timely matter, AdhereTech’s smart pill bottles might be your solution. These smart pill bottles are able to hold liquid or solid medications. Once medication is stored in them, the smart pill bottle will automatically keep a real time count of how much medication is left. After programming the bottle, users will be able to receive phone calls or text to remind them to take their medicine on days they might be behind. In trial cases, these reminders have been able to increase adherence by 60% to 90%.

Overall the event featured ten startups with new and tangible products. For a complete list and brief description of the products featured, please visit nyctechconnect.com.


The New World 2050: How Today’s Global PR Pros Can Help Solve Tomorrow’s Problems

This article was originally published by The Blue Book, Newsletter of the Center of Global Public Relations, UNC Charlotte

By Katja Schroeder

Three years ago, the United Nations revealed that the world’s population will increase to 9 billion by 2050. When the UN revealed this staggering number, governments, think tanks, NGOs and corporations started addressing the challenges related to managing a rapidly growing population. We have about 38 years to prepare for the societal, environmental and economic transformation brought to us by a world of 9 billion people.

Or, not quite that long, as for some global issues solutions need to be found rather sooner than later.
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What does it take for NYC’s biotech sector to sizzle?

By Rhea Galsim

New York’s vibrant neighborhood Tribeca is home to one of the city’s most dynamic incubators, NYU-Polytech Varick. Last week NYU-Polytech Varick hosted a Meetup event on New York’s biotech sector. A panel of speakers including Dr. Liam Ratcliffe of New Leaf Ventures, Michael Lamprecht of Cellanyx Diagnostics, Andrew Koopman of NYU’s New Venture Development Investment, and Alex Fair, the founder of Faircaremd.com and MedStartr, shared their take on what the opportunities and challenges for New York’s biotech sector are.
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