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Tech-oriented grad school opens in New York City

14 September 2017

This Aug. 16 photo shows a southern view of Cornell Tech's campus from a 26-story residence hall on Roosevelt Island in NY.

A new graduate school that backers hope will boost New York's status as a center of high-tech innovation is opening.

The newly opened Cornell Tech campus on New York City's Roosevelt Island brings students, businesses, startups, and city government together in a shared vision for a tech-driven economy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called the school's opening "an important milestone in NY state's long-term economic strategy and a powerful symbol of possibility". "With unmatched resources, including a diverse and talented work force, Long Island City will be a natural place for new tech businesses to call home, develop breakthroughs and create jobs".

The school on Roosevelt Island is a collaboration between Cornell University and Israel's Technion.

Part of the concept is to promote close ties between academia and the startup economy, officials said.

Cornell Tech, a two-million-square foot campus aimed at serving students studying computer science, business, and entrepreneurship, is open for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Bloomberg Building was created to generate as much electricity as it consumes, using over 1,400 solar panels and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems.

"This really is an wonderful milestone for both universities and for the Roosevelt Island community and for the whole city", Bloomberg said at the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.

The idea for the school won a 2011 citywide contest to build a tech-focused school on Roosevelt Island.

"The best inheritance that I can leave my daughters and my grandchildren is a better city and a better world", Bloomberg said at the ceremony.

The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute was established with a $133 million gift from Joan Klein Jacobs and Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm. The campus is built on 12 acres of city land.

Cornell Tech's main academic building, called the Bloomberg Center, looks far more like a tech company than a university. Faculty members share an open-plan work space with researchers and others.

"Cornell Tech is an investment in the future of New York City - a future that belongs to generations to come, and the students here will help build it", Bloomberg said.

"With its proximity to Manhattan and to industrial space in western Queens, Roosevelt Island is the ideal setting for an educational institution, which is why I worked so hard to ensure that it was selected when the city was considering locations for the new applied science campus", Maloney said.

Bloomberg acknowledged when he announced the competition back in 2011 that it would take time for NY to become the high-tech leader he envisioned. "You see that in Silicon Valley". "Building a state-of-the-art campus will take years - and attracting a critical mass of technology entrepreneurs may take even longer".

NYC Ferry opened a new route last month that connects the island to Long Island City and Astoria and its bridge connects to Vernon Boulevard.

"The goal of an elected official is to make change for the people they serve", he said.

Tech-oriented grad school opens in New York City