The Smart City Testbed Program will advance New York City as a hub of innovation by inviting new and innovative technologies to be rapidly piloted in New York City’s public environments and address challenges affecting residents and City government. The selected solutions will be supported by OTI and will have the opportunity collaborate with City agencies and third-party partner organizations.  

Is your emerging technology solution ready for New York City?

Goal: Create a streamlined path to pilot the most promising and scalable innovative technologies with stakeholder City agencies. 

Benefits: Selected organizations will receive the following benefits: 

  • Guidance from OTI’s Smart Cities team through the procurement, legal, cloud/cyber review, and/or other regulatory processes  
  • Piloting an emerging technology solution in real-world conditions using NYC’s natural and built public environment   
  • Partnering with a City agency to address a real-life challenge   
  • Access to public and private sector assets   

What to Know Before Applying

Partners: The Testbed Program will leverage its existing relationships with incubators, accelerators, universities, and City agencies to gain access to a variety of assets and support for the deployment of innovative technologies. Select partners will also be part of the development and evaluation phase of the Testbed program.

OTI’s Cloud and Cyber Review teams require that all emerging technology solutions go through a review of hardware and software components. Below are a few notable items that all applicants should review prior to applying to the Testbed program:

  • Data collected must be hosted in the U.S.A. 
  • Security certifications will be required depending on your type of emerging technology solution
  • Be able to detail security procedures, and how to handle security breaches or incidents 
  • The City of New York prefers a single sign-on utilizing a two-step program such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If data collected is classified as “sensitive” or “restricted”, then a MFA is required
  • Be able to provide details about where your team is located. Preferably in the U.S.A. or be registered as a U.S.A. company 
  • All vendors must comply with Citywide Policies
  • The City should have right to audit these programs at any time
  • They City reserves the right to ownership of all data collected during a pilot (i.e. the City should have the right to destroy data when needed)

Please review Cloud/Cyber Policies and our Information Privacy Policy.

Public Engagement

Testbed pilots located within the public realm will include a public engagement component. Testbed pilots may also be located in private locations and may also entail a public engagement component. 

The goal of incorporating public engagement from a diverse set of public stakeholders into the Testbed program is to better understand the potential impacts of a technology and how possible future deployments can better meet the needs of New Yorkers. Engagement can come in several forms including roundtable discussions, workshops, and surveys. 

Upon completion of the pilot, OTI and the partnering City agency will assess the ability of the technology to positively impact New Yorkers and enhance outcomes for government operations and service delivery. 

This public engagement process does not include any press materials, releases, or branding components. The process is focused entirely on how to inform, engage, and gather feedback from residents or visitors who interact with the piloted technology. 


Testbed pilots will be evaluated by OTI and/or a City agency according to a set of standards particular to each type of technology. All evaluations will maintain core rubric such as:  

  • Accuracy/validation of data/service 
  • Compliance and regulatory usage for City agencies 
  • Operating environment and installation 
  • Industrial design and fitness to be deployed in the streetscape   
  • Software architecture and data processing   
  • Public reception of the product   
  • Durability   
  • Maintenance/serviceability 

Data from the Testbed pilots can be made available on Open Data NYC, as deemed fit, to be accessible to the public.   

How The Testbed Program Works

1. Organizations working on urban technology should apply to the Testbed Program by detailing evidence of their product or service’s ability to address a City agency challenge and/or goal. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
2.The Smart Cities team will review the applications once a month and share potential matches with City Agency partners once a quarter. Applications are viable for one year before requiring a resubmission. 
3.Viable companies will be selected for accelerated proof-of-concept Testbed pilots. Collaborating partners will include OTI, a City agency, and emerging technology organizations. All Testbed pilots will last six to nine months. 
4. A review of the emerging technology will be conducted by the Smart Cities and City agency teams. 

For more information, email [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

Who funds the Testbed Pilots?

Organizations should be prepared to self-fund their Testbed pilots.

Can an organization re-apply to the Testbed program if it is not selected the first time?

All Testbed applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis, including applications submitted in previous quarters. After one year from the original submission date, an emerging technology organization can re-apply. 

If an organization is selected for a Testbed pilot and the results are not adequate for the City to scale, can the organization re-apply at a later time when updates have been made?

Yes, the emerging technology organization can re-apply after one year. 

Can I apply to the Smart City Testbed if I have an application pending for another City agency’s piloting program?

No, the Smart City Program will not accept applications that conflict with other RFI, RFP, and/or RFEIs from another City agency’s piloting program. 

What happens when the Testbed Pilot ends?

At the end of a pilot, an evaluation will be conducted and a report created to highlight the deployment process and the efficacy of the solution. The evaluation will be shared with other relevant City agencies.