NEW YORK—Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won the Applied Sciences NYC campus call for proposals, announced Mayor Bloomberg on Monday.
“Today will be remembered as a defining moment,” said Bloomberg at a press conference. “History will write that this was a game-changing time in New York City.”
Applied Sciences NYC is the city’s initiative to stimulate economic growth, maintain global competitiveness, and meet the local demand for top scientists and engineers. Last year it challenged top institutions around the world to submit proposals for a new or expanded applied sciences and engineering campus in New York City.
The partnership between Cornell and the Technion bested six other qualifying responses from 17 world-class institutions, including a solo entry from Columbia University and a global six-university partnership headed by New York University.
The 20-million-square-foot, 11-acre Roosevelt Island campus will incorporate green landscaping—rain gardens, green roofs, and reforestation—both solar and thermal power provided from a four-acre geothermal well field, and will be open no later than 2017. By 2018 it aims to serve 300 students and 70 faculty. When fully operational, the school will have 2,000 students and 300 faculty members.
Classes at an off-site location will begin in early 2012.
A new applied sciences degree and a dual degree from both universities will be offered along with more traditional science, math, and technology degrees.
The city will put $100 million toward the campus construction. It will create nearly 20,000 temporary construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. The new school will spawn more than $23 billion in economic activity over the next three decades, with $1.4 billion in total tax revenue, and spin out around 600 new companies.
“It will transform Roosevelt Island,” said Bloomberg, along with Western Queens, Long Island City, the Upper East Side, and New York’s economy in general.
We’re going to try to make this a destination for the community.
--David Skorton, Cornell University president
Staff from the New York City Economic Development Council and the office of Deputy Mayor for Economic Development pored over almost 10,000 pages from all of the proposals combined before making a decision. Stanford’s withdrawal made the path clearer.
Cornell and the Technion’s proposal stood out as “far and away the boldest and most ambitious,” said Bloomberg, having the most students, most faculty, most aggressive timeline, and most experience.
Cornell was founded in 1865 and is a well-known Ivy League school. The 2011 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” listed their College of Engineering number 10. They already have two medical graduate schools in NYC and satellite campuses in four of the five boroughs.
Around 50,000 Cornell graduates live in New York City, according to Bloomberg, and they called on Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel in support of the proposal, even sending him a three-inch-thick book with 21,000 signatures.
“Late night reading,” joked Steel.
Graduates of the Technion head about half of Israeli companies on the NASDAQ and employ four-fifths of Israel’s technical workforce. Four Technion professors have received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, including one in 2011.
“We’re going to try to make this a destination for the community,” said David Skorton, president of Cornell University. The campus will be inclusive, not exclusive, said Skorton, with 500,000 square feet of public space, and partnerships with city universities and public schools.
Overall, the capital development will cost an estimated $1.5 billion. “It’s going to be, more or less, a pay as you go operation,” said Skorton. A $350-million donation, other philanthropy, tuition, connections with businesses, and corporate contracts will contribute financially. Professors and students will also apply for grants.