Fernando Fischmann

A New Wave Of Innovation Hubs Sweeping The World

13 April, 2018 / Articles

Industry City was an industrial complex built in 1906 on the Brooklyn, New York waterfront. Occupancy declined as manufacturing moved from the area. In 2013, the property was acquired by a private group, currently in the process of investing in a stunning renovation that’s turning the multi-building site into a modern manufacturing, tech, design, media, culture, and gourmet food and beverage hub. The mix of cutting edge, tenants across sectors is exceptional. Here are a few:


  • Aerobo, a drone company that shoots augmented reality video for films (Stephen Spielberg’s The Post) and TV commercials.
  • Time Inc’s, The Foundry native advertising agency that works with agencies, brands, and their 50 online and offline publications
  • The Extraction Lab, designer of magnificent, unique process coffee makers for restaurants and cafes. Its showroom is the stunning café.
  • Li-Lac Chocolate’s factory: one of New York’s oldest, most iconic, high-end chocolate brands
  • West Elm’s Maker Studio, a modern-day laboratory for design where they’re developing their hotel concept
  • The Brooklyn Nets Basketball Association Team’s practice area
  • Curated, small, up and coming restaurants like Avocaderia, given $400,000 in February from the TV show Shark Tank’s investors
  • Trend-setting design stores and home décor design startups
  • Serious Eats
  • Epicurious, the quintessential food and online magazine’s content studio
  • ClassPass who will be live streaming classes from fitness classes in their new studio at Industry City


The Brooklyn Navy Yard


For more than 150 years, The Brooklyn Navy Yard built and launched America’s most famous warships. During WWII there were 70,000 workers there. In 1966 the US Federal Government decommissioned the shipyard and expected a major auto manufacturer would take its place. None did and for decades the property was underutilized. In 2003 Steiner Studios, the largest movie and TV production studio in the Northeastern U.S., began development. Little by little, a mix of hard goods manufacturing, craft studios, food production, start-up incubators, a brewery, a whisky distillery, and rooftop agriculture have been moving in, adding back thousands of jobs and a highly creative vibe. The interesting mix of businesses includes:


  • New Lab, a home for advanced technology, growth-stage startups in robotics, artificial intelligence, connected devices, nanotechnology, med tech, and indoor agriculture.
  • Metal fabrication firm Situ Studio, started by grads from Cooper Union, part craft-making shop, part art studio
  • Brooklyn Brewery, whose beer exported globally
  • Mast Brother’s Chocolate artesanal confections
  • Russ and Daughters, the oldest smoked fish purveyor in the United States, for the first time branching out from its roots on Manhattan’s Lower East Side
  • CUNY’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, considered by some to be second only to USC’s film school in Los Angeles
  • Rooftop Reds (the first rooftop vineyard)
  • Brooklyn Grange, the largest urban rooftop farm in the world
  • King’s County, award-winning whiskey distillery


Greenpoint & Williamsburg, Brooklyn


A 10-block radius including Greenpoint, Brooklyn, known for decades as Little Poland, and Williamsburg, have transformed into an innovation neighborhood, in contrast to other planned, contained hubs. Over a short time span, a mix of global brand innovation studios have opened there, to be near the creative sensibility and energy of nearby Williamsburg.


  • Adidas located one of its 3 global innovation studios there. Known as Brooklyn Creative Farm, its MakerLab has been called a “Disneyland for Designers”. Talent from all over the world come there to create.
  • BMW launched an accelerator for urban living ideas with a creative workspace for residents called A/D/O. The environment is light and airy and the café is run by Claus Meyer, former partner in NOMA of Copenhagen, ranked #1 Restaurant in the World by San Pelegrino several times in the past decade. Events that celebrate different types of creativity are open to the public. The goal is to support an exchange of ideas across fields.
  • The Richemont Group (Cartier & Van Cleef & Arpels) has a small creative studio, tucked away in a newly renovated office building.
  • Wylie Dufresne, considered the molecular gastronomy king of New York, opened an inventive donut shop
  • 4 very trendy hotels have opened, including the Hoxton from Shoreditch, London, and the William Vale, with exquisite views of the East River and New York
  • Colossal Media, that has revolutionized outdoor advertising by bringing back magnificent, hand-painted branded art and turning the installations into viral events
  • Vice media, whose headquarters is in Williamsburg’s former Domino Sugar plant


The science man and innovator, Fernando Fischmann, founder of Crystal Lagoons, recommends this article.





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