SAN JOSE, Calif. – New York City officials selected Cornell and Israel's Technion as the first partners in a $2 billion effort to build a science and engineering campus on the city's Roosevelt Island.
The two universities will help build a two-million square-foot campus that could serve 2,500 students and 280 faculty by 2043. It aims to boost by 70 percent the number of graduate engineering students in the area.
Cornell will offer master and doctoral degrees in areas such as computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and information science and engineering at the campus as well as jointly accredited master of applied sciences degrees with Technion. New York officials are holding ongoing discussions with Carnegie Mellon, Columbia and a New York University-led consortium about participating in the project.
The initiative includes plans for a $150 million fund to spawn New York area startups. The move comes on the heels of plans from IBM, Intel and others to participate in a $4.4 billion New York state effort to develop semiconductor technology for 450 mm wafers.
"The message we are sending with this announcement is: look out Silicon Valley, look out Boston, New York will be second to none," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer in a press event at the launch on Monday.
New York City is providing the land and $100 million toward construction the campus. Cornell received a $350 million gift from an anonymous donor, the largest contribution in the university’s history, as a contribution to the effort.
The news comes at a time when China is also rapidly expanding its technical universities. Taking part in that boom, the University of California, Berkeley, recently announced plans to build a new teaching and research campus in Shanghai, mainly financed by the Shanghai government and local companies and expected to begin in July.
Several similar efforts are in the works. New York University and Duke University are each building a campus in the Shanghai area, and Stanford is building a $5 million research center on the campus of Peking University in Beijing, according to a recent report in the New York Times.
The $2 billion Roosevelt Island campus is part of a broad New York tech initiative.