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9 January 2012

Cornell/Technion win NYC

The campus is expected to generate nearly 600 spin-off companies over the 99-year projection period, which are expected to create up to an additional 30,000 permanent jobs.

Author: James Mawson

New York City's Roosevelt Island will be home to a $2bn university built by Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and US-based Cornell University with a $150m revolving credit line to help incubate high-tech start-ups.

The partnership won the Applied Sciences NYC initiative against competition from Stanford University, which dropped out at the last minute, Columbia University and groups led by Carnegie Mellon University and New York University. This is the first selection announcement for the Applied Sciences NYC initiative with additional science and engineering partnerships expected.

In addition to the Roosevelt Island site 99-year lease, New York City will also provide $100m to assist with site infrastructure, construction, and related costs.

Prior to commencement of construction on Roosevelt Island, Cornell/Technion plans to open in an off-site location in 2012, with the first phase of their permanent Roosevelt Island home expected to open by no later than 2017. By 2027 the campus will have expanded to over 1.3 million square feet and ultimately culminate in the completion of a 2 million square foot build-out housing for up to 2,500 students and nearly 280 faculty members by 2043.

The campus is expected to generate nearly 600 spin-off companies over the 99-year projection period, which are expected to create up to an additional 30,000 permanent jobs. The NYC Tech Campus will host entrepreneurs-in-residence, organize business competitions, provide legal support for start-ups, reach out to existing companies to form research partnerships and sponsor research, and establish a pre-seed financing program to support promising research, according to New York Times.

The Cornell-Technion bid was helped by a gift of $350m to Cornell for the venture from Atlantic Philanthropies, whose founder, Charles Feeney, is a Cornell alumnus who ran the Duty Free Shoppers Group and previously given $600m to the university, according to news provider New York Times.

In the past five years alone, Cornell alumni have created more than 2,600 companies around the world -- employing some 34,000 people and raising more than $10.6bn - while Cornell's technology commercialisation arm, CCTEC, has provided Cornell technology to 10 start-ups in the past year, and 35 in the in the past five years.

Technion's tech transfer arm, Technion Technology Transfer (T3), has filed an average of 300 new patents each year and, as of November, 59 of 121 Israeli companies on Nasdaq stock exchange were founded or run by Technion graduates, Inside Higher Ed said. Israeli newspaper Haaretz said there were about 4,000 start-up companies located around the Technion's home campus.
As Peretz Lavie, Technion president, said in an interview with news provider Inside Higher Ed: "If you are looking for innovation, you come to Israel."

Lavie said Technion has a culture - similar to those at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Stanford University - that encourages the combination of research and entrepreneurship.

Oded Shmueli, vice-president for research at Technion, which has set up three research laboratories in Singapore with National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University over the past two years, told news provider The Media Line: "If you look at science and technology today, it's no longer a local affair. Our scientists cooperate with scientists worldwide."

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