Cornell to answer NYC's call for world-class applied science campus plan

NEW YORK -- Building on its world-class technology programs, its deep connections to New York's growing tech sector and its broad network of successful alumni entrepreneurs, Cornell has announced that it will answer the call issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to create a world-class applied science and engineering campus in the city.

Bloomberg released his formal request for proposals (RFP) July 19.

Cornell reiterated, as it has since the mayor first outlined his vision for a new campus to fuel New York's 21st-century economic vitality, that it plans to develop a proposal that places this city at the center of the high-tech universe.

The proposal will draw on Cornell's strong research pedigree and its deep roots in New York to marry the city's global leadership in media, finance, medicine, design and other information-intensive industries to a broad array of world-leading scientific and engineering innovations and dramatically expand the unique tech ecosystem in New York City.

"Mayor Bloomberg has laid out an inspired vision for a world-class applied science campus that will make New York City a hub of tech-sector business and innovation," said Cornell President David Skorton. "Cornell is ready to meet his call. By bringing together Cornell's expertise in applied sciences and leadership in technology transfer and commercialization, with our long history of graduating successful entrepreneurs, we are poised to build a true 21st century campus that will train tomorrow's tech leaders and drive New York City's emerging tech economy."

Known worldwide for its top programs in engineering, computer science, and interdisciplinary and applied research, Cornell's portfolio in New York City includes the world-class Weill Cornell Medical College -- where Cornell recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art, billion-dollar medical research complex -- as well as Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City, Cornell's ILR School in Midtown, Cornell Financial Engineering Manhattan off Wall Street, Cornell-sponsored Food and Finance High School on the West Side and various programs in disciplines ranging from architecture to human ecology. The city is home to more than 50,000 Cornell alumni -- including thousands already working in the tech sector -- and about 5,000 Cornell employees.

"I've spent a half century as a researcher and entrepreneur, translating technology into highly successful businesses," said Irwin Jacobs, a Cornell engineering graduate and the co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm. "I am very familiar with Cornell's excellence in these areas, and I know that Cornell has the research power, the vital links in the technology and finance industries, and the deep connection with New York City to make it the best partner to realize Mayor Bloomberg's vision."

"I caught the entrepreneurial bug as an undergrad at Cornell and since have co-founded three businesses with Cornell alumni," said Micah Rosenbloom, chairman and CEO of Novophage Inc., founding partner at Founder Collective, and adviser to TechStars NYC. "Now, as an entrepreneur and an investor that has seeded over 35 companies in New York City, I see every day how Cornell alumni are starting the businesses that create the high-tech jobs that are driving New York City's tech renaissance. Cornell's presence in New York City will be a critical hub to build on and expand the city's large and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem."

Since Bloomberg first announced this initiative late last year, Cornell has maintained its intention to join the city in building this new applied sciences and tech campus. In March, Cornell's formal expression of interest was among the 18 packages offered by 27 institutions from around the world.

"The mayor is asking the right question -- how can New York City create and keep the tech companies and jobs that will play a bigger and bigger role in the economy?" Skorton added. "A world-class tech campus is a crucial piece of the answer, and Cornell's academic leadership in the sciences, track record of entrepreneurship, and proven ability to build state-of-the-art research facilities in New York City are what make us the natural fit for Mayor Bloomberg's proposed tech campus."

Proposals are due back to the mayor's office this fall, and Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner in December.

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