Navy Yard

Center for hardware-centric technology opens at Brooklyn Navy Yard

June 30, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Left to right: Steve Levin, Howard Zemsky, Diana Reyna, Alicia Glenn, David Belt, Scott Cohen, David Ehrenberg, Hank Gutman, Roy Hastick, Adam Friedman and Richard Russo. Photo courtesy of Nadine Johnson & Associates
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Furthering innovation and entrepreneurship at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New Lab, a first-of-its-kind center for advanced, hardware-centric technology, opened today. David Belt and Scott Cohen, the founders of New Lab, were joined by Brooklyn Navy Yard President & CEO David Ehrenberg and leaders from the city and state government, as well as civic stakeholders and entrepreneurs, to mark the opening.

New Lab anchors the Navy Yard’s 250,000 square foot Green Manufacturing Center. Encompassing 84,000 square feet, It is a breakthrough ecosystem of shared resources where entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, and academics—in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and connected devices—can take their ideas from concept to prototype to production all under one roof.

The idea for New Lab came in response to a lack of central resources for people building advanced hardware products and companies in New York City. New Lab’s unparalleled interdisciplinary space will serve as the professional base for 350 innovative people, representing up to 50 independent companies. Inaugural New Lab member companies include Honeybee Robotics, which develops advanced robotic systems for challenging environments in space, on Earth, and inside the human body; StrongArm Technologies, which creates products that improve the safety and performance for active workers; and Nanotronics Imaging, which makes the invisible visible at an atomic level through nano-microscopes.

The opening of New Lab restores landmark Building 128—the former epicenter of America’s shipbuilding industry, first built in 1902—to its original purpose as a hub of state-of-the-art manufacturing. New Lab cofounder David Belt’s development company, Macro Sea, oversaw and executed the design vision for the space in-house. Working alongside its sister management company, DBI, with Marvel Architects as the architect of record, Macro Sea—led by Belt, Design Director Nicko Elliott, and their small team—fostered the project from the idea’s inception down to prototyping and building custom furniture for the space.

“The opening of New Lab is the culmination of a group effort that began five years ago,” New Lab cofounder David Belt said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented people in the public and private sectors to support this important community of people building new technologies, and to help grow jobs and companies in this historic space.”

“Our vision is that New Lab will be a supportive and collaborative working environment for designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs—people trying to accomplish really hard things—not in Silicon Valley or at MIT but right here in Brooklyn,” New Lab cofounder Scott Cohen said. “Our hope is that New Lab will be a place where companies can engage in, and help define, the future of technology, hardware, and manufacturing.”

New Lab is made possible with significant support spanning the public and private sectors. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Empire State Development, New York City Regional Economic Development Council, City of New York, New York City Council, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn Borough President, New York City Regional Center, and technology firms have committed to making New Lab a platform for growing innovative companies in New York City. The Urban Tech Hub at New Lab, a resident program for companies developing technological solutions to critical urban challenges, is made possible through a partnership with New York City’s Economic Development Corporation.

“New Lab’s expansion to the Green Manufacturing Center will play an important role in attracting the next generation of innovation-driven manufacturing entrepreneurs to the Yard,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “The completion of the Green Manufacturing Center marks the first step of the Yard’s largest expansion since WWII. New Lab’s facility will make the Yard one of the most desirable destinations for hardware-centric technology in New York, and will serve as a support system for growing companies—any one of which could become New York’s next great industrial employer. We look forward to continuing to work with New Lab and their tenants as this incredible vision takes shape.”

“We are literally doubling down on well-paying jobs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. More than 15,000 New Yorkers will be working here by 2020. Companies like New Lab are critical to that mission by helping innovators design, prototype and manufacture their products all in the same complex,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We are thrilled to officially welcome New Lab to its new home in the Navy Yard, and secure career-track jobs in advanced manufacturing for our people.”

“New Lab’s collaborative model will change the way high-tech products are developed and spur job growth in manufacturing and design,” said Empire State Development (ESD) President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has created an environment where innovative business leaders want to launch new companies and concepts.”

“The New York City Council has been a long-time supporter in helping provide our city’s innovators the opportunity to develop their craft in the technology field,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We’re proud to have funded $6.5 million for New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard which already houses some of the City’s most cutting edge companies. I would like to thank my colleagues Council Member Stephen Levin, Council Member Brad Lander, and Council Member Laurie Cumbo along with our partners in the public and private sectors for continuing to expand job opportunities in the tech industry.”

“Brooklyn has a rich history of creativity and manufacturing, and New Lab is part of the next chapter in continuing that tradition,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “This design, with so many different teams and individuals under one roof, recognizes that innovation and collaboration often go hand in hand. I look forward to New Lab being a leader in the advancement of technology and design.”

“What’s old is new again, as New Lab is harnessing the historic industrial spirit that has long inhabited the Brooklyn Navy Yard to build an exciting future of cutting-edge innovation and boundless economic opportunity. It is exciting to see our borough evolve into the launching pad for developments in artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, robotics, and more hardware-centric technological advancements, and I am committed to doing all I can to further fuel our growth potential,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“In fostering companies in urban technology and other emerging fields, New Lab will serve as a microcosm of New York—where innovators come together to create a smarter, more sustainable and equitable world around them,” said Maria Torres-Springer, President of the Economic Development Corporation.

Private support for New Lab has been provided by the New York City Regional Center, the Fund for the City of New York, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

“The New York City Regional Center is proud to assist with the financing of this new high-tech manufacturing facility. This project is one of six renovation and new construction initiatives we have funded at the Brooklyn Navy Yard over the past seven years,” said Managing Principal Paul Levinsohn.  “The New York City Regional Center has secured over $280 million of capital to help fund the  redevelopment of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and further its mission to spur economic development and create new jobs. We look forward to continuing to provide critical capital to fuel the exciting  transformation at New York City’s largest industrial park,” added Managing Principal George Olsen.

“Digital manufacturing in New York City has the potential for major growth, and New Lab is exactly the catalyst we need to accelerate the industry,” said Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “New Lab will help create 21st century manufacturing jobs and be an important anchor for the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Partnership Fund is proud to have played a role in getting this project off the ground, and we look forward to seeing New Lab become the focal point of New York City’s emerging digital manufacturing industry.”

New Lab will open its doors to the larger New York City community this fall, when it launches monthly public programming in its 5,000 square foot event space. The programming will serve as an amplifier for the innovations unfolding within the community, and an access point for the broader public to experience it.

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