Microsoft to open ‘smart cities’ hub in Syracuse, one of three in nation



Software giant Microsoft plans to open a “Smart Cities Technology” hub in Syracuse. The hub will develop uses for new technology, aid tech start-ups and train future workforces.

This is Microsoft’s first such hub in the Northeast and third in the nation. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced other hubs in Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas.

The hub is part of Mayor Ben Walsh’s Syracuse Surge plan to boost the area economy with high-tech jobs.

“It’s significant for us,” said Walsh. “It’s third-party validation not only of the Surge and the strategy, but the partnership and leadership we have in the community.”

For Syracuse, this is the second big announcement from a global company. It follows JP Morgan Chase’s commitment of  $3 million toward workforce training and economic growth in disenfranchised areas.

Walsh said the software company is planning a location on the south side of downtown Syracuse.

Next, the Common Council needs to approve an agreement between the city, Onondaga County, Syracuse University’s iSchool and Microsoft. That approval solidifies a three-year partnership and details what Microsoft will bring to Syracuse.

As a resource for entrepreneurs and start-up companies, the hub will also provide consulting services, education and training on growing technology like 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

Additionally, Microsoft agreed to sponsor public events here, including an “innovation summit” for local and national tech experts.