CornellNYC Tech Unveiled to Weill Cornell Community
From the sliver of land that separates Manhattan and Queens in the middle of the East River is a clear view of Weill Cornell Medical College. It's a vista students and faculty at the new CornellNYC Tech campus will gaze upon from their quarters on Roosevelt Island.
|An architectural rendering of the new CornellNYC Tech campus.|
That vista was one of the principal reasons why Cornell University chose Roosevelt Island as the site for its new graduate school in applied sciences, its leaders said. In just a matter of years, the campus' buildings will rise and complement Weill Cornell's silhouette.
It was thus befitting that university officials unveiled CornellNYC Tech, home of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, at Weill Cornell Feb. 16. They shared with the Medical College community the plans for the campus — which promise to forge a new paradigm of collaboration between academia and industry that will help fashion New York into the high-tech capital of the world.
"The main focus of this campus is that it's first and foremost about matching academia and economic growth," said Daniel Huttenlocher, Cornell's dean of computing and information sciences who was appointed vice provost of Cornell University and founding dean of the tech campus the same day as the open house.
"How do you simultaneously have first-rate academics and a first-rate education program and make a difference in terms of job growth and job creation?" Dean Huttenlocher said. "We need this campus to function as a magnet for the tech community broadly, and to help the culture of the tech community in New York City."
Cornell and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology — considered the driving force behind Israel's emergence as one of the world's technology centers — won the bid to build the campus through the Applied Sciences NYC Initiative, the city's unprecedented competition to entice world-class institutions to set up shop here and serve as magnets for talent, innovation and growth in entrepreneurship and engineering. The city is providing 11 acres of land on Roosevelt Island and up to $100 million in infrastructure improvements to construct the campus. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the Cornell-Technion award Dec. 19 at Weill Cornell.
The graduate school will open its doors this fall in a temporary, off-site location in the city. Groundbreaking on-site is scheduled for 2015 and on-campus operations on Roosevelt Island are slated to begin in 2017. The project will culminate in more than 2 million square feet of space, featuring eco-friendly buildings with public open spaces.
The new campus is expected to bring in 2,500 students in master's and doctoral programs, eventually offer a joint Technion-Cornell degree from the campus's Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute and include 280 faculty members by 2043.
|An architectural rendering of the new CornellNYC Tech campus illustrating the interior of one of the buildings that will be constructed.|
The campus will be organized in overlapping and flexible hubs focused around themes: "healthier life," concentrating on health care, insurance and medical information systems; "connective media," with direction in everything from finance to media; and "built environment," with its purview including architecture and planning.
Cornell is currently identifying possible students and faculty to enroll in the graduate school this fall, while a committee establishes the curriculum. Campus leaders expect collaboration between CornellNYC Tech and Weill Cornell, possibly through curriculum or research, though the extent of which would be determined as the campus develops, Dean Huttenlocher said.
Campus leaders envision a ring of entrepreneurial enterprises around the school that will interact with students. The plans include business incubators and the establishment of a $150 million venture capital fund for start-up companies.
In all, leaders estimate the campus will produce nearly 600 spin-off companies over the next generation, creating upward of 30,000 additional permanent jobs, while generating more than $23 billion in overall economic activity during the next 30 years and $1.4 billion in total tax revenue.
"The city recognized there is a burgeoning tech center in New York that's very different from other tech centers in the country and the world," said Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at Cornell and co-chair of the executive committee for academic programs in NYC, who was among the presenters during the open house.
In New York, technology is directed more at particular users and industry than the mass market, Dean Collins said. That, in turn, has made the partnership between tech and industry more robust.
"We think this actually is a national trend, and that makes it more important in some sense," he said. "New York is well positioned with its large economy to become the dominant tech center of the world."
Hours after the open house at Weill Cornell, Mayor Bloomberg announced during a press conference Dean Huttenlocher's appointment, and named Cathy Dove, currently associate dean in Cornell's College of Engineering, the vice president of the campus. The mayor also announced that Craig Gotsman, a professor at Technion, will serve as the founding director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute.
"With this fantastic leadership in place, the tech campus will help us attract and develop more talent to energize our growing tech sector," Mayor Bloomberg said.