The “Syracuse Surge” a new innovation initiative spearheaded by Mayor Ben Walsh, is starting to pay off. Microsoft has announced that it will be creating its third smart cities hub in Syracuse after the first of the year.
Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh outlined a strategy designed to create a technology corridor along the south end of downtown. The Syracuse Surge will help the city modernize its economy by bringing in technology companies like Microsoft and also working within the local university system to entice would-be startups to stay in the area. The city will be using some of its Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding to support the Surge.
As part of that effort, Microsoft will be partnering with city officials, Onondaga County, and Syracuse University’s iSchool on the hub. Microsoft also will work with additional partners across the region to deliver a broad curriculum of technology and digital literacy programs to local non-profits, community centers, educational institutions, employment and workforce development organizations, and businesses.
The hub will be located in Syracuse University’s Southside Campus and will focus on helping individuals start companies and grow early-stage startups. Microsoft will also be an anchor supporter for an innovation summit that will bring together local and national stakeholders to create a vision for Syracuse that will help the city move into the future from a technology perspective.
The city said Microsoft will also help draft a digital ethics policy and artificial intelligence strategy for Syracuse. The policy will help city officials deploy new technologies and use them to improve service delivery.
Syracuse will be the third smart cities hub in the US for Microsoft. Louisville and Houston have the other two.