The Institute will partner with FDNY to apply Artificial Intelligence to emergency response.

Two NYC Firefighters Hosing Down Smoky Fire
The Institute will partner with FDNY to apply Artificial Intelligence to emergency response.

New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management is one of 20 organizations that will share $25 million in grants from, credit and consulting from Google Cloud, and collaboration with Google’s AI experts as a grantee of the Google AI Impact Challenge. The Impact Challenge was an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions from around the world to submit their ideas to use Artificial Intelligence to help address societal challenges. Over 2,600 organizations applied. The grantees were announced by Google today (May 7).

Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta, associate professor and director of civic analytics at the NYU Marron Institute and head of the Urban Intelligence Lab, will receive a $500,000 grant to partner with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) analytics team to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning models to understand and improve emergency response times for the 1.5 million emergencies FDNY answers each year, accounting for factors such as weather, traffic, location, type of emergency, and more. The research team will also explore new ways to understand population dynamics for emergency management and planning. If they are successful in New York City, the team plans to test and scale their models to other cities around the world.

Next week, Professor Kontokosta, members of his team, and FDNY analytics experts will travel to San Francisco to dive into execution. For five days, all 20 organizations will join Google AI experts, Project Managers and the startup specialists from Google’s Launchpad Accelerator for a program that will last six months, from May to November 2019. Through the Launchpad program, each of the 20 grantees will develop their own OKRs—Objectives and Key Results—and will have access to other Google resources and expert mentorship.

“Using artificial intelligence for positive social impact is the foundation for our research,” said Professor Constantine Kontokosta, the grant’s Principal Investigator. “Our partnership with FDNY’s analytics team creates a unique opportunity to bring together our expertise in AI with the deep knowledge of FDNY to address the critical challenge of getting emergency responders to the right place at the right time.”

“We at FDNY are excited and grateful for this unique opportunity to partner with several of the best and brightest minds from Google and NYU,” said Kat Thomson, the New York City Fire Department’s assistant commissioner of management analysis and planning. “We are always seeking methods to improve our response to the more than 1.5 million medical emergencies the men and women of the FDNY bravely operate at each year.”

Jacquelline Fuller, president of, said, “At Google, we have seen how AI can help us accomplish daily tasks and travels, and we believe in its potential to help address some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges. We are excited to support NYU Marron Institute’s work with FDNY to use AI to achieve even greater social impact.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please call the NYU press officer listed with this release at 212.998.2337 or email robert.polner(at)


About the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management: The Marron Institute conducts innovative applied research, working with cities to take on the critical challenges of urban living and to improve the delivery of public goods and services.

About, Google's philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues worldwide and apply radical, data-driven innovation to solving the world's biggest challenges.

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