NEW YORK CITY
NYC tech campus finds temporary home at Google headquarters
Cornell's new tech campus has its first brick-and-mortar home: Google Inc. headquarters in New York City.
Google CEO Larry Page hosted a May 21 press conference and was joined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cornell President David Skorton to announce Google's plan to provide initially 22,000 square feet of its Eighth Avenue building to Cornell, starting July 1, free of charge. In its new temporary home, CornellNYC Tech will begin operations this fall with its first crop of students and faculty. Several elected officials also participated in the announcement, including Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Jessica Lappin.
"Google, as everybody knows, is one of the world's most innovative companies," Bloomberg said. "And our applied sciences competition, we think, is one of the most innovative economic development strategies any city has ever undertaken. And the question is, what happens when you marry them? We are about to find out."
Skorton thanked Page and Google for their "unparalleled" commitment to CornellNYC Tech and the tech industry in New York. "We're here today to officially launch our new tech campus and to make it a reality," Skorton said, adding, "The key is engagement between world-class academics, companies and early stage investors, and this co-location is critical to jump-starting the right connections between academic research and industry in a mixing bowl and seeing what happens."
Google's prominent building in the heart of Chelsea, the company's second-largest location after Mountain View, Calif., will initially host just a handful of existing graduate students and faculty members this fall. CornellNYC Tech's address will be 111 Eighth Ave. New master's degree students will begin matriculation in 2013, with the first incoming class estimated to be about 25 students.
By the time Cornell moves out of Google's building in 2017, the tech campus is expected to have roughly 250 students and 80 faculty and staff members. Cornell will be a rent-free tenant at Google headquarters for five years and six months, or until the completion of its Phase I campus on Roosevelt Island – whichever comes first. Over these five years, Cornell will be able to expand up to 58,000 square feet to accommodate its planned growth. The agreement with Google came about from conversations between CornellNYC Tech's founding Dean Dan Huttenlocher and Google executives about the need to accelerate the growth of New York's tech sector.
Craig Gotsman, professor of computer science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and founding director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, a pivotal initiative of the new campus, thanked Google for its generosity on behalf of Peretz Lavie, Technion president.
Page said he was "tremendously pleased" that Google is helping Cornell get its new campus up and running, and he stressed how the campus would provide the growing high-tech sector in New York with the pipeline of talent it so desperately needs.
Phase I of the campus's permanent Roosevelt Island home is expected to be completed in 2017, with groundbreaking to begin in 2014.
Greg Pass '97 named entrepreneurial officer
Greg Pass '97, former chief technology officer at Twitter and a leading tech entrepreneur, was named the founding entrepreneurial officer for CornellNYC Tech on May 23.
As the entrepreneurial officer, Pass will lead efforts to establish the entrepreneurial culture of the new campus and to collaborate with the tech industry, working closely with the dean, faculty and administration to reflect an industry perspective in CornellNYC Tech's academic programs.
Since winning the competition in December 2011, CornellNYC Tech has taken many strides toward bringing the campus from vision to reality. In February the campus's leadership of Huttenlocher, Vice President Cathy Dove, and Gotsman was named; in May, Andrew Winters, the founding director of Bloomberg's Office of Capital Project Development, began as director of capital projects and planning. Also in May, Cornell chose Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis to design the first academic building on the Roosevelt Island campus.