After taking a brief moment to explain why he was late--he'd been visiting with firefighters at the hospital who had just been burned in a tragic Brooklyn fire--Major Bloomberg kicked off the announcement of New York's new high-tech campus by saying, Today will be remembered as a defining moment.
The city first began soliciting bids for a new science and technology research campus in July. They immediately began entertaining proposals from several applicants including many top-tier schools apply including Stanford, M.I.T., and others. The field of applicants was slowly whittled down to just two applications, but on Friday, Stanford unexpectedly withdrew from the competition. On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Stanford withdrew because it preferred to quit than lose.
The winning bid, an application put together by Cornell and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, will include an environmentally friendly campus built on Roosevelt Island. According to Mayor Bloomberg, the project will create 20,000 construction jobs, 8,000 permanent jobs in campus operations and, by a conservative estimate, about 600 new companies over the next three decades. A spokesman for Cornell later said that a conservative estimate is the creation of 30,000 permanent jobs in the technology sector. In a word, this project is going to be transformative, said Mayor Bloomberg.
The Mayor also said that he will continue to work with NYU, Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon to encourage them to invest in other projects that will promote a tech-based talent pool in other places around the city. Both the Mayor and Cornell spokespeople were quick to say that, although this is a celebratory moment, they're most interested in engaging other educational institutions and breeding a creative and competitive environment for engineers.