C2SMART hosted “Research and Practice: Implementing a Flood Sensor Network for a Resilient NYC,” with a panel that included NYU Tandon School of Engineering researchers Andrea Silverman and Elizabeth Hénaff. Their influential project, FloodSense, was born from Flood Microbiome, an earlier project with NYU Marron seed funding. On how we can produce more projects with similar impact to FloodSense, Silverman and Hénaff noted:
Hénaff: The seed money that we got from the Marron [Institute] really allowed us to kick off this project, and it was a modest amount of money, but I think having small pots of money available within institutions with really low barriers to entry is really helpful to be able to kick off a prototype for a project and get a few students involved. [A] low-risk, potentially low-reward model for funders is really helpful for research teams, because it is a huge amount of labor to put together really comprehensive research proposals. And that can maybe be a reason why ideas that are just starting off don’t get acted on.
Silverman: And that funding also was really flexible. We appreciate that. [It] was flexible in time, and there was an interesting tangent to go on, which was this, and they allowed us to go on this tangent and were really hands off and said, “We are really psyched with what you are doing, so keep at it.”