Israel’s Technion and Cornell to Build NYC Tech Campus


bloomberg1Cornell University and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology yesterday announced that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg selected Cornell University to build his vision for a cutting-edge┬áNYC Tech Campus that will serve as a global magnet for tech talent and entrepreneurship.

The campus will have two million square-feet of applied science and engineering buildings on Roosevelt Island in the East River. The Tech Campus is a milestone in New York City’s Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York’s capacity for applied sciences and dramatically transform its economy. New York City will provide $100 million for the site’s site infrastructure, construction, and related costs. Construction of the first phase of campus is scheduled to begin in 2015.

The campus will be organized around three interdisciplinary hubs: Connective Media, Healthier Life, and the Built Environment. Cornell will immediately offer Master and Doctoral degrees in areas such as Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Information Science and Engineering. In addition, after receiving the required accreditation, the campus will also offer innovative Technion-Cornell dual Master of Applied Sciences degrees.

The NYCTech Campus will host entrepreneurs-in-residence, organize business competitions, provide legal support for startups, reach out to existing companies to form research partnerships and sponsor research, and establish a pre-seed financing program to support promising research. In addition, the campus will structure its tech transfer office, which will be on-site, to facilitate startup formation and technology licensing. The NYCTech Campus will also establish a $150 million revolving financing fund that will be solely devoted to start-up businesses in new York City.

New York City is also in talks with other the participants in the tender – Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University and a New York University – for possibly adding science and engineering partnerships.

Cornell and the Technion were selected due to the large scale and vision of their proposal, the long and impressive track-record of both institutions in generating applied science breakthroughs and spinning out new businesses, the financing capacity of the consortium, the focus of the consortium on the collaboration between academia and the private sector, and the overall capacity of the partnership to execute the project.

According to a new analysis by New York City Economic Development Corporation, the NYCTech Campus will generate an even greater economic impact than was initially projected when the City published the request for proposals earlier this year. It projects that the new campus will generate more than $7.5 billion net present value and over $23 billion nominal in overall economic activity over the next 30 years, as well as $1.4 billion in nominal tax revenues. The campus alone will help create up to 20,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. More importantly, the campus is expected to generate nearly 600 spin-off companies over the projection period, which are projected to create up 30,000 additional permanent jobs.

The NYCTech Campus will combine cutting-edge technologies to create one of the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient campuses in the world. The proposed phase one academic building, if completed today, would be the largest net-zero energy building in eastern US; it will harvest as much energy from solar power and geothermal wells as it consumes on an annual basis. The campus will include a solar array that will generate 1.8 megawatts at daily peak and a 400 well geothermal field, which uses the constant temperature of the earth to cool buildings in the summer and heat them in the winter. The well field and solar array would each be largest in New York City. The campus’s Built Environment hub will also help develop the environmental technologies that it will use.

Plans for community involvement in New York City include the creation of education enhancement programs that will impact a minimum of 10,000 New York City students and 200 New York City teachers per year, including working with the local schools on Roosevelt Island. The campus will also help preserve the historic murals at Goldwater Hospital on the island when the hospital is moved to Manhattan.

Technion President Lavie said, “Our pride and our hopes for the future are shared by the whole Technion community of students, faculty, friends and supporters, including the very successful American Technion Society. Together, we have the means, ingenuity and willpower to make our world a better place by joining with Cornell University and the great people of New York City for this innovative new center of learning and enterprise.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “Thanks to this outstanding partnership and groundbreaking proposal from Cornell and the Technion, New York City’s goal of becoming the global leader in technological innovation is now within sight. By adding a new state-of-the-art institution to our landscape, we will educate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and create the jobs of the future. This partnership has so much promise because we share the same goal: to make New York City home to the world’s most talented workforce.”

“Cornell University and our extraordinary partner, The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, are deeply gratified to have the opportunity to realize Mayor Bloomberg’s vision for New York City: to prepare tomorrow’s expanding talent pool of tech leaders and entrepreneurs to work with the city’s key industries in growing tomorrow’s innovation ecosystem,” said Cornell President Skorton. “Starting today, we are going to put our plan to work, tapping into our extensive connections throughout the city and build a truly 21st Century campus to fuel the creation of new businesses and new industries throughout the city for decades to come.

{Globes/ Newscenter}