Wed, Dec 21, 2011 - Page 10 News List

New York island to host new Cornell science campus

AFP, NEW YORK

A New York City island will host a high-tech science college run by Cornell University, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Monday after choosing the winning bid.

The science and research facility to be built on little-used property on Roosevelt Island is hoped to become a leading incubator for high-tech research and innovation.

Bloomberg said the winning bid by Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology “marks a major milestone in the city’s Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York’s capacity for applied sciences and dramatically transform the city’s economy.”

The consortium beat bids by Stanford University, Columbia University and New York University.

Plans are for classes to start next year, although the campus, boasting advanced environmentally friendly designs, will take years to be completed.

New York City is contributing US$100 million for construction costs and the site itself, sitting at one end of the long, narrow island in the East River, a short distance across the water from the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Cornell/Technion’s plan is for 186,000m2 in housing for 2,500 students and 280 faculty members by 2043. Initially, classes will be held at a temporary location, with the first phase of the Roosevelt Island campus opening by 2017.

The campus is designed to imitate the success that Stanford and MIT have had with prestigious and highly lucrative science facilities.

Cornell University president David Skorton said he wanted 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.”

“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,” he said in a statement.

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