Cuomo’s Israel roundtable to focus on trains and drones


Cuomo’s Israel roundtable to focus on trains and drones

The Governor heads to Israel today to show solidarity.
June 26, 2019

Gov. Andrew Cuomo heads to Israel today to show solidarity during a nationwide “rash of anti-Semitism,” according to his office. While there, the governor isn’t passing up an opportunity to partner with Israeli businesses: He will host an economic development roundtable that will focus on drone technology, train navigation software, and health care. 

The roundtable, which will include Israeli companies like Civdrone and Axilion Smart Mobility, is an attempt to strengthen New York’s trade partnership with Israel, while also targeting some specific economic goals. Drone innovation has found a home in Syracuse – which is attempting something of a technological renaissance – while the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has long been seeking solutions to improve subway, bus, and train service. 

“It’s a good idea for the MTA to start to woo new bidders who might not think of bidding on MTA projects, as we need a bigger and more creative bidding pool. Israel seems like a good place to start, but I wouldn’t confine it to Israel,” Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and transit expert, wrote in an email. “Also, the new debarment rule may push contractors not to take risks in an untested area,” she added, referencing the debarment process that would ban contractors that fail to complete projects within a certain timeframe and budget from doing business with the MTA for five years.

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Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.