Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday announced that Cornell University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology have the city's competition to build a new science and engineering campus in the city. Courtney Gross filed the following report.
By 2043, Roosevelt Island may have a sprawling campus for a new applied science and engineering school – thanks to a partnership between Cornell University and the Technion Institute in Israel.
It's the product of a yearlong competition by the Bloomberg administration, an effort to make New York City the latest technology hub and bring it into direct competition with other tech meccas like Boston or Silicon Valley.
"It promises to create a beehive of innovation and discovery, attracting the kind of technical talent that will spawn new companies and new jobs, and propel our city's economy to new frontiers," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an Upper East Side press conference announcing the venture.
Cornell and Technion will get city land and $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements
"This is not the moment for a touchdown dance for Cornell or for Technion," said David Skorton of Cornell University. "This is a time for a touchdown dance for New York City."
In return, the project promises to bring thousands of construction jobs, billions of dollars worth of economic activity, and about 600 spin-off companies.
The competition drew interest from around the world. Up until last week, both Stanford University and Cornell were considered front runners – but Stanford surprisingly withdrew its application.
Meanwhile Cornell announced a $350 million anonymous gift, potentially sealing the deal for the Ithaca-based Ivy League university.
The first phase of the project should be complete by 2017. The final campus will host 2,500 students and 280 faculty members.
The community is welcoming it.
"We welcome Cornell University and the Technion's new world-class applied science and engineering campus as our neighbor," said Leslie Torres of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. "And we look forward to working with them closely."
Bloomberg said the competition wasn't over yet. The city is still working with three other universities, including Carnegie Mellon, Columbia University and New York University on similar projects.