Technion and Cornell University open joint campus in NY

Speaking at the 2012 convocation ceremony at Cornell University’s Ithaca campus, then New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg called upon graduates to take part in what he referred to as “one of the most exciting projects ever to take shape in New York City’s history”: a new, 12-acre graduate level tech campus and entrepreneurial hub on Roosevelt Island, the mostly underdeveloped strip of land on the East River, between mid-Manhattan and Queens’ Long Island City neighborhood.

Billed as the first campus designed for the digital age, the school features three new high-tech buildings, including the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center, a four-story, 160,000 square foot academic center that generates all of its power on campus.

Just five months prior, Cornell, along with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was selected by the Bloomberg Administration to partner with the city for the development of the state-of-the-art campus. In the coming years, Cornell Tech plans to enroll 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday’s official opening of the school called Cornell Tech shows NY “will be forever the global center of technology and innovation”.

It’s expected to eventually grow to 2,000 students.

The school is called Cornell Tech and is the product of a competition independent former Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in 2011.

“Cornell Tech presented an opportunity that is nearly unheard of today, to build a new type of academic program and a new type of campus from scratch”, Martha Pollack, the computer scientist who was named the 14th president of Cornell University this year, said in a speech to a business group. Professors and researchers type away at laptops in the open-plan office.

There are no book-lined faculty offices, nor, it appeared during a recent visit, any books at all. “Cornell Tech is both completely transformative and completely consistent with Cornell’s mission and values, going all the way back to the university’s founding in 1865”.

The third Cornell Tech building, called the Bridge, is owned by developer Forest City Ratner and will be shared by the school and commercial tenants including, so far, Citigroup and Italian chocolate maker Ferrero, the maker of Nutella.

The school said the program has already has created 30 new startup companies.

“Cornell Tech is the result of collaboration between the public and private sectors, between universities and businesses, between artists and architects, and so many others”, said Bloomberg.

“It’s a match made in heaven for many reasons”, he said in a telephone interview.

“This school is an investment in the future of New York City and that future belongs to generations to come and the students who will help build it”, Bloomberg said. “The opening of Cornell Tech is an extraordinary, extraordinary singular achievement”.

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