FAQ

General

How does RISE : NYC differ from other Superstorm Sandy recovery programs, competitions and resiliency initiatives by the City?

While there are many post-Sandy business recovery opportunities, RISE : NYC focuses on identifying and deploying new and innovative measures to make New York City small businesses more resilient to the impact of future storms. More information on Sandy Recovery programs offered by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) can be found here.

How does this competition define “resiliency”? Against what impacts should the technologies and solutions make buildings and infrastructure networks more resilient?

For the purposes of this competition, resiliency is defined as the ability to minimize potential damage before an event or, if damage does occur, recover and return to operation quickly. This competition particularly aims to address the impacts associated with the impact of weather events, such as storm surges, flooding, utility service disruptions, and high wind conditions.

Is this competition related to New York State recovery programs like NY Rising, NY Prize, and/or NYSERDA’s Advanced Buildings Program?

RISE : NYC is just one of a suite of programs funded through the City’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDGB-DR) allocation to support small businesses and commercial corridors. Other programs, such as Business PReP, anticipate using CDBG-DR funds to provide technical assistance to small businesses to support the installation of tried-and-tested solutions, among other goals.

Eligible Projects

What types of technologies or solutions is RISE : NYC hoping to identify through this competition?

NYCEDC and the City of New York hope to receive applications covering a broad range of resiliency measures aimed at making building systems as well as energy and telecommunications infrastructure networks more resilient. Applications should include solutions that are not widely used or adopted in New York City.

What is the definition of a “new” technology or solution? Can I apply for funding for research and development of my new product?

For the purposes of RISE : NYC, a “new” technology or solution is one that is not widely deployed in New York City for a variety of reasons, such as high up-front costs, limited knowledge of the solution, limited availability of the product, or other reasons. “New” can also include existing and known technologies combined or used in new or innovative ways to enhance the resiliency of buildings and infrastructure networks. All proposed measures must be beyond both the research and development (R&D) and prototype phases. All applications should be able to demonstrate successful prior implementation of the technology or solution, or, at minimum, similar applications. R&D is not eligible for funding under this competition.

Are technologies related to other types of infrastructure networks eligible (storm or potable water, food distribution, etc.)?

No. RISE : NYC specifically focuses on energy and telecommunications infrastructure, including power, natural gas, steam, liquid fuels, and wired and wireless telecommunications networks.

Is software an eligible technology?

Yes.

Is there a minimum number of installations required for a project to be considered eligible?

No. Applicants should propose an appropriate and sufficient number of project installations that best demonstrate the technology or solution. Also, any technology product, service, or program resulting from this competition must be provided at no cost to a sufficient number of Superstorm Sandy-impacted small businesses to demonstrate an equivalent value to the CDBG-DR funding awarded.

What are the geographic boundaries for the competition? Can installation sites include those in areas not impacted by Superstorm Sandy?

RISE : NYC aims to fund projects in Target Areas impacted by Sandy (see Target Areas definition and map).

Can my project include installation on a publicly-owned building?

No.

Eligible Applicants

What size companies are allowed to apply?

There is no limit to company size; in fact, companies of all sizes are encouraged to apply. However, all projects must benefit small businesses in Target Areas by making a small business more resilient via the installation of a technology or solution at no cost.

Are non-profit organizations eligible applicants?

Yes. Non-profits are eligible applicants if they have developed a resiliency technology or solution or are seeking to carry out or administer the deployment of a technology or solution on a small business(es) in a Target Area.

What is the definition of a small business?

Eligible small business beneficiaries will be defined using the Small Business Size Standards identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA guidelines define the maximum size of a business, in terms of average annual receipts and number of employees, in order to qualify as a “small business” under Federal guidelines. While these vary from industry to industry, the majority are capped at 500-1,000 employees or average annual receipts totaling $7-33 million. See SBA Small Business Size Standards table for more information.

Can I apply as an individual or a student team?

All applicants must either be incorporated as a business entity (e.g. a sole proprietor, LLC) or as a non-profit organization. Applicants will have to prove their ability to meet CDBG-DR requirements, enter into a grant agreement, and implement the proposed project.

How can I get involved if I am not a technology provider, manufacturer, or installer? Can I offer my building/business as a location for a technology to be installed? Can I apply to adopt multiple technologies?

Building owners and small businesses can participate in a variety of ways. You can reach out to technology/solution providers directly to join or spearhead a team, or you can sign up here as an interested technology adopter. Multiple technologies can be adopted at a single installation location.

Can a team comprised of more than one company or organization be an applicant?

Yes, consortia are eligible; however a lead organization must be identified in the application.

Can I submit multiple applications for different technologies? Can I join multiple teams?

Yes to both.

Are we still eligible if we are receiving other federal disaster assistance?

Yes, you are still eligible if you have received other Sandy-related federal disaster assistance. However, all applicants will be required to report all financial assistance offered, received, rejected, or yet to be received on or after October 27, 2012, including from insurance, private grant-making institutions, and any local, state, or federal government entity (such as FEMA or SBA), as well as what the assistance was used for. Sources must be reported even if the assistance was declined or has not yet been accepted. CDBG-DR rules require that a Duplication of Benefits check be completed for each small business assisted with a technology or solution implementation.

Eligible Deployment Sites

Should proposed installations target certain neighborhoods?

Yes. RISE : NYC focuses on Target Areas directly or indirectly impacted by Sandy (see definition and map).

Can I apply if I don’t yet have a specific site to install my technology/solution?

Yes. However, later stages of the competition will require a site to be specified.

Funding and Awards

How will winners be selected?

The competition will include multiple stages of submissions and evaluations. Awards will be provided to those applicants whose applications show the most promise to meet competition objectives and comply with relevant local and federal rules, including CDBG-DR requirements.

How many winners were selected in the competition?

Through the competition evaluation process, 11 winning projects were selected.

How large will the awards be? Is there a maximum (minimum) award size?

Awards for all selected finalists in the RISE : NYC competition may total up to $30 million in funding, with individual projects anticipated to receive between $500,000 and $10 million each. NYCEDC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to make fewer, additional, or no awards and/or to make awards of different amounts than those noted above.

Am I allowed to match or leverage other funds outside this competition for the implementation of the project?

Yes. In fact, the leveraging of other funding is encouraged; however, all applicants must disclose all other sources of funding and how that funding will be used.