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Cornell, Technion Win Contest to Build NYC Campus

Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa win a contest to build an engineering campus in NYC.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/20/2011, 7:33 AM

Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have won a New York City contest to build an engineering campus with a grant of land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million for infrastructure improvements, Bloomberg reported.

The NYCTech Campus is intended to bolster job creation in the city and may generate 600 spinoff companies and $23 billion in economic activity over the next three decades, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Cornell and the Technion beat out six competing bids, including one from Stanford University, the report said.

“Of all the applications we received, Cornell and Technion’s was the boldest and most ambitious,” mayor Bloomberg was quoted as having said in a news conference on Monday. “In a word, this project will be transformative.”

He said the city is continuing negotiations with Columbia University, New York University and Carnegie Mellon University about supporting an additional engineering project in the city. The Cornell-Technion proposal offered the most students, most faculty, biggest facility and most aggressive time frame, the mayor said.

Technion President Peretz Lavie was quoted as having said the new facility will not be “an extension of the Technion or Cornell. We are going to have something new.”

The two schools partnered in October to join the contest. The Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island will combine both institutions’ academic strengths as well as Cornell’s entrepreneurial experience and connections with the city’s emerging tech sector. Technion boats its global leadership in commercialization and technologytransfer.

The universities are counting on the new campus to help will transform New York City into a world hub of innovation and technology commercialization.

Winning the contest marks the Technion’s second major achievement this month. On December 10, the institute’s Professor Dan Schechtman won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Schechtman was honored for his discovery of quasicrystals -- a pattern in the atom that was previously thought to be impossible.