Civil Infrastructure - Smart Cities

The Challenge

Many of America’s cities have grown old and outdated with underlying infrastructures in desperate need of repair or renovation. Transportation, energy, and water systems were built decades ago and were designed for a much different urban environment. Over the last decade we have seen our cities’ population grow to the point where just over one out of every two humans on the earth resides in a city. This dramatic population shift is expected to continue with over 65 percent of the population living in cities by 2030.

What We Do

Today, solutions to address the smart city challenge are being developed by entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. But how can they take their ideas from the drawing board to a real world urban environment to demonstrate product performance or attract investment? In response, NJII has launched the Smart City Test Bed. It provides access to a city and its infrastructure where companies and inventors can deploy and evaluate the viability of their solutions. Based on an open, standards-based platform, the NJII Smart City Test Bed offers a ‘plug and play’ environment and an opportunity for collaboration among a community of innovators to achieve a true system-level solution.
America’s cities are confronted with large scale congestion, inefficiencies and waste. With cities accounting for 75 percent of our economic output, it is vital that long-term, viable solutions are found to these pressing infrastructure problems.
Thomas Motyka

The Impact

Transforming America’s cities into “Smart Cities” that incorporate innovative technologies into their infrastructure won’t be achieved if left to a single resource. Instead, it requires cooperation among federal, state and local government, business leaders, private investment and the citizenry to secure funding and drive the changes necessary to return our cities to their role as engines for economic growth while at the same time delivering the amenities associated with today’s urban lifestyle. Updating infrastructure elements of a city can have an immediate and positive impact on its marketability, property values, safety and services and support its ability to attract and retain urban dwellers and visitors.


By putting the Internet of Things to work, innovators can find ways to aggregate a variety of sensor-derived, wireless and data or cloud-based communication information into a more cohesive and robust suite of smart services that add to quality of life while reducing the overall cost of services to municipal governments. In turn, this creates the opportunity to draw more businesses and residents to urban centers, create more jobs and attract new investment opportunities. Successful Smart City Test Bed projects will provide businesses with validation of their product plans and a valuable smart city marketing reference that brings a first-mover advantage for potential future sales in urban centers across the country.

How May We Help You?

NJII’s program is designed to catalyze innovation to improve our cities here and now and create resilient environments where innovation, collaboration and an engaged citizenry thrive. With disruptive technologies come many questions and new opportunities. NJII will find answers by bringing together leaders from business, government and our leading universities. Together, we can shape the technologies and systems that define the Smart Cities of the future as centers of economic opportunity and prosperity. Put our Smart City Test Bed to work.

About Brand Newark

Led by the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the City of Newark, with generous support from the Newark Downtown District (NDD), Brand Newark is a unique, open platform for innovation.

Part of the MetroLab program, innovators from all over can submit ideas and solutions that add functionality to BrandNewark for testing and evaluation. We will improve the quality of life in the city, together. The program will work with the City to deliver important information in the moment and it will help local businesses and institutions to tell their story.

To learn more click below.

Meet Our Partners


“Have a Smart City idea or product? Call me and let’s explore!”

Thomas Motyka
Senior Executive Director
Smart Cities Innovation
(973) 596-5826