[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING] MICHAEL BLOOMBERG Well, good afternoon, everyone. And I think it's fair to say this is a good afternoon. Over the past 10 years, as you know, we've worked very hard to diversify and strengthen our city's economy. And those investments I think are paying off. The press's eyes glaze over every time they heard Dan Doctoroff talk about his five-bureau economic diversification plan, but it was not a joke. It's something that has really happened.
Our tourism industry is the nation's largest today thanks to our hard work over the last 10 years. Film and television production continues to grow and recently surpassed Boston in venture capital for high tech start ups. But we are not slowing down in our effort to continue to transform the city's technology sector and prime the economic pump for generations to come. I think it's fair to say that today will be remembered as a defining moment.
Earlier this year, if you remember, we made an offer to universities near and far. Build or expand a world class science and engineering campus here in our city, and we will provide prime New York City real estate at no cost, plus up to $100 million in city capital for infrastructure improvements. I was happy to say we received seven qualifying applications from 17 top tier institutions from around the world with some partnering with top tier private companies. The applications were innovative, comprehensive, and far reaching. I think they were much more than we had hoped for.
And today, after nearly two months of reviewing the proposals and interviewing the applicants, I might say there's something like 10,000 pages if you added up all the proposals. So if Bob Steele and Seth Pinsky's eyes look a little bit glazed over, that's probably the reason. But we are very excited to announce a winner. And it is a dynamic joint submission from two world class institutions. Cornell University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.
Their sweeping proposal envisions an 11 acre campus on the former Goldwater Hospital site on Roosevelt Island right in the heart of our city. It promises to create a beehive of innovation and discovery, attracting and nurturing the kind of technical talent that will spawn new companies, create new jobs, and propel our city's economy to new frontiers.
Now, we launched this competition because we have seen the power of universities to be a magnet for talent and economic innovation and growth. Some 150 years ago, Cornell was established through the US government's university land grant program to promote advances in agriculture and engineering. And if you remember-- and none of us can say we did, although Hank Greenberg and Sandy Weill maybe--
--are old enough to remember 150 years ago-- that program helped propel America to become the world's most innovative economy. And now I think it really is appropriate that one of the recent original recipients of that historic land grant is receiving the new land grant to help us drive the 21st century economy. And we believe this new land grant can help more dreamers and entrepreneurs from around the globe come to New York and help us become the world's leading city in technological innovation.
As elected officials, we need to focus on the day today. We all know that. But as with everything else, we are doing-- to diversify and strengthen our economy, we need to take a long term view. And that's what this campus represents. It really is a game changer. In fact, the economic impact will be even greater than what we originally thought. A new analysis conducted by the city's Economic Development Corporation predicts that it will generate more than $23 billion in economic activity over the next three decades, as well as $1.4 billion in total tax revenues.
The campus will also be a major job creator. Building it will generate nearly 20,000 construction jobs. Operating it will produce up to 8,000 permanent jobs. And those jobs I might point out not just for PhDs. Thank goodness, because maybe I can get one of them.
They'll be jobs for building staff and administrative assistants and office workers. And by conservative estimates, the campus is expected to spin out something like 600 new companies over the next three decades, which will create up to 30,000 permanent jobs and attract other existing companies to move here.
In a word, this project is going to be transformative. With its cutting edge campus and pioneering green elements, it will transform Roosevelt Island. In startup, spin out, and naturally settle across the river in Long Island City, it will transform Western Queens. By bringing in new talent and resources, it will build on the transformation already occurring within our academic community. And most importantly, by fueling growth, not just in our tech sector, but in all industries, it will transform our economy.
I'll let the leaders of both Cornell and Technion give a more detailed presentation in a few minutes. But let me quickly run through the highlights of why we found this proposal so compelling and why we think it will redefine our economic future. First, of all the applications we received, Cornell and the Technion was far and away the boldest and most ambitious. Their proposal called for the most students-- about 2,000 a year-- the most faculty-- about 300-- and the most building space-- over 2 million square feet.
Their plan includes a state of the art, environmentally sustainable campus designed by the leading architectural firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. It will comprise laboratories, teaching and research space, dormitories and housing facilities, incubator space for start ups, and spin out space for commercialization. It's multidisciplinary academic program has intentions of being among the best in the country, one that will initially concentrate on digital and connective media, health care, and the built urban environment. But will have the flexibility to focus on the industries and ideas that have the greatest potential to create new companies and jobs in New York City. The proposal also features elements that will help integrate the campus into the city, including 500,000 square feet of public spaces, public programming, and partnerships with our public school system to enhance math and science programs for at least 10,000 students a year. Something that is just desperately needed.
In addition, Cornell and the Technion plan to do something no other university proposed. Immediately establishing a $150 million fund for start ups that maintain activity in the city for at least three years. That fund is going to pay instant dividends and continue making New York the hottest city in the world when it comes to startup activity.
The second major factor behind its selection is the dynamic and historic partnership between Cornell and the Technion. Cornell, of course, as you know, is an Ivy League university that already has one of the top 10 engineering schools in the nation. It's also no stranger to our city with a wide range of satellite programs based in four out of our five boroughs. The university already employs more than 5,000 people here, most of them here at their world class medical school on Manhattan's east side. In addition, our city is home to some 50,000 Cornell alumni, a community that has shown strong support for this project and will play a key role in connecting the campus to our business community. That support I think could not be better illustrated than by Cornell's announcement on Friday that it had received a magnificent $350 million gift, the largest in its history, and one of the largest in the history of American higher education to support the development of this tech campus.
Furthermore, Cornell has a very strong culture of entrepreneurship. 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 $10.6 billion in new capital. And the university hopes its new high tech campus will allow it to replicate this rate of activity right here in New York City.
The Technion you may not be quite as familiar with. It brings international star power to this project, which is only fitting since we are the world's most international city. The university has been a major force behind Israel's emergence as the home of one of the greatest concentrations of high tech startup companies anywhere in the world. According to one report, the Technion's campus in Haifa sits at the center of an ecosystem of 4,000 start ups. And global companies like Intel, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo have all established R&D operations nearby.
Israel has 121 companies listed on the NASDAQ, more than all of Europe combined. And half of them are headed by graduates of the Technion. Meanwhile, three of the four Israeli scientists who have won the Nobel Prize in the physical sciences are professors at the Technion. And the Technion's alumni have been responsible for the development of the world's first wireless technology microprocessors, the first intestinal pill camera, the first standalone anti-ballistic missile defense system, and leading internet search engines. It amounts to an incredible record of breakthroughs in technology. And combined with Cornell's own successful track record as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs, it makes a tantalizing groundbreaking partnership.
The third reason for this submission selection is its incredibly aggressive schedule. Cornell and Technion plan to open an initial program in 2012-- that's correct, in a few months-- at a leased off site location. The first phase of their permanent Roosevelt Island campus will open no later than 2017. Remember, we have to move the hospital out, and then they have to get going and building. And by the end of 2018, some 300 students will be enrolled in the program taught by some 70 faculty.
Now, before introducing today's other speakers, let me add one more important point about our applied sciences initiatives. The competition is not over. Because we are determined to make this city the dominant global force in technology, we remain in active discussions with three other applicants. NYU, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon. And we're eager and hopeful that we'll be able to find ways for them to realize their proposals, each of which envisions building campuses in other locations around the city.
But I also want to take this moment to thank all of the universities who are taking part and have taken part in this competition. They invested an incredible amount of time, energy, and money putting their proposals together. And these proposals were stronger than anything we could have imagined. Their hard work and enthusiasm for this project only reinforced our belief that this is an endeavor with incredible potential.
I also want to thank the two guys who conceived and carried out this game changing competition. Deputy mayor Bob Steele and EDC president. Seth Pinsky.
To say that they are the heroes here is so much of an understatement that-- it's just history will write that this was a game changing time in New York City. And these two guys really were the ones that thought about it, created it, did all the work with their staffs. And we are here today because of them. And sometime, hopefully we'll find ways to really say thank you to them.
I want to thank them and their respective staffs and an advisory group who spent a lot of time evaluating the proposals and, of course, received support from a number of leaders in government and the worlds of technology, education, and business. And some of them have joined with us today. And I'm happy to say, including Israel's consular general, Ido Aharoni. Thank you.
Of course, this is not just a watershed moment for New York City. It is also a very big day for Cornell and the Technion. In fact, this announcement is being streamed live to Cornell graduates and students next door and to the Technion's students in Israel. If they give a loud enough cheer, maybe we'll hear them all the way over here.
In this day and age--
In this day and age, great universities know that they have to expand. They have to expand their locations. They have to expand their horizons. They have to expand their faculty and interests. And here are two universities who certainly have shown the courage to go and do that. And their success will be our success. Our success will be their success. But I'm sure there's an awful lot of proud people that are alumni and are currently matriculating or working at both these universities that have a very big smile on their face.
Cornell's president David Skorton and the Technion's president Peretz Lavie are also here today. And I want to congratulate them again and their respective institutions and turn the floor over to them, beginning with David Skorton. David.
DAVID SKORTON: Mayor Bloomberg, before I thank you for those incredibly, incredibly good news and share a few thoughts, President Lavie and I have considered your application for work on the campus.
And we're pleased to tell you that we've accepted your application. And as soon as you're done with the duties in New York City, we have an office waiting for you in an anteroom and some assistance. Welcome to the New York tech campus.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Does it pay more than a dollar a year?
DAVID SKORTON: I'll have to allow President Lavie to answer that later.
PERETZ LAVIE: We pay in chickens.
DAVID SKORTON: We're here today to accept with very, very strong humility and with gratitude this great vote of confidence of the city of New York and of its mayor and deputy mayor and head of the New York City Economic Development Corporation for a dream that we have long held. This is a story of connectivity. Of connectivity between people and their ideas. Between researchers and business people. Between students and their dreams. In the back of the room is a phalanx of Cornell students. And it is to them and to the students around the world who will aspire to futures in the tech industry in this magnificent city that these efforts are oriented.
We believe that New York City has established so many milestones in so many areas of technology and enterprise. No better example of that can be by our mayor, one of the most successful tech entrepreneurs of his time. And so in a few minutes after my partner speaks, we will share a bit about our vision for this. But I do want to make one very, very important point. And if nothing else gets across, I hope this gets across clearly.
This is not a moment for a touchdown dance for Cornell or for Technion. This is a time for a touchdown dance for New York City, for the people who are dreaming to get ahead. And we are going to open our arms and our activities to the K through 12 system, to those in the CUNY system, to those in the SUNY system, and the other fine institutions of higher education. This is not an exercise in exclusion or winning. This is an exercise in inclusion and having all the ships rise in the fine city. So I want to thank you very, very much.
PERETZ LAVIE: I'm standing here in front of you with excitement and very proud. I just came from Stockholm. Didn't sleep much last week.
Landed in Israel on Friday and got a phone call that I have to be in New York--
--for this event. And this is as excited as a Nobel Ceremony, I must tell you.
And I have been to two of them. We got the first letter from the mayor I think it was December 2010. And I was sure that somebody was playing a joke on me. And I called the city, and I think I spoke with Seth. And he told me this is for real. And I ask why Technion? And he said something that really touched my heart. He said, "You know, your university took a country with a Jaffa oranges economy and turned it into a semiconductor economy."
I must tell you that we read [INAUDIBLE] sent by the mail. And we were captivated. It was prophetic. I used the slide of your first page talking about the power of knowledge in the 21st century ever since in every one of my talks. Simply incredible.
But we needed a partner. We knew we cannot do it ourself. 6,000 mile, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, too far.
And we found a partner. And what a partner. The teams. The Cornell and Technion teams that work together did a marvelous job. Marvelous job of innovation. The program that they put together is an innovative program. I'd like to thank the mayor for his warm words. But we are not going to have an extension of the Technion or Cornell. We are going to have something new. Something new that will really energize this city.
The links between the Technion in New York goes back to 1941. 1941. And even before that. We are celebrating now, Mr. Mayor, the 100th anniversary of the Technion. The cornerstone was laid in 1912. The support came from New York. A banker by the name of Jacob Schiff was the one who helped us to build the historic Technion building. And here 100 years later, we come to New York and close a historic city.
We are proud. We built the bridge between Israel and the United States. The two countries that share so much. Between New York and Haifa. Between the Technion and Cornell. We have a presence in New York. Our American Technion Society of Friends here, the headquarters are in New York. And together, I'm sure we'll stand up for this challenge. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for picking us. Thank you very much.
DAVID SKORTON: So we're going to take you on a journey now. And we'd like you to think about a current college students somewhere in the United States. And she's thinking about graduate school. And she's thinking about a way of combining her strong interest in the technological fields with a strong desire that she has for entrepreneurship. And we're going to show you our vision for how to take this student's dreams and aspirations and bring them to reality here in New York City, and have the company remain in New York City, and generate revenue and jobs. And we're going to tell you just a little bit about how we think that could occur.
We believe that the applied sciences challenge that the mayor has given to the world, which we have responded to, is the right idea at the right time. In the 21st century, the technology sector is shifting from technology for its own sake to technology in the service of business and industry. We firmly believe, my partner and I, that New York City is positioned to become the new technology capital of the world because of the unrivaled potential for this deep connectivity as I mentioned between technological advance and the many businesses that it may serve. The scale that would matter to a city this size and vibrant, of course, is the creation of tens to hundreds of thousands of jobs. And this is a scale that Cornell and Technion have already succeeded in the past and will continue to in the future.
The Cornell and Technion have developed a strategic alignment because of many, many things that we have in common. As you heard the mayor recite, Cornell faculty and alumni have been responsible for approximately 2,600 companies as a conservative estimate just in the last five years that employ more than 34,000 people.
PERETZ LAVIE: As you heard the mayor said, the Technion has changed the economy of Israel. Technion graduates are now leading the high tech economy. There are more startup companies in Israel than in the entire European continent in absolute numbers. Every major corporation have an R and D center within 15 minutes drive from the Technion, including Apple that just announced that they are going to open their R and D center in the vicinity of the Technion.
Combining the two traditions, the Cornell and Technion, will bring I believe such a level of excellence to the Roosevelt Island that it will catalyze and change the economy of the city. We believe that the new campus will be a magnet that will allow us to attract high tech companies, entrepreneurs, VC groups, and excellent faculty to this new campus. We envision a ring of companies around the campus that will allow us both technology transfer and mentoring of students by the industry. And this new interaction between industry and academia will be something which will be innovative and new.
DAVID SKORTON: We estimate conservatively the creation of 30,000 permanent jobs from spin offs, from licensing of intellectual property, and for growth of existing business. As the mayor mentioned, we envision up to 8,000 permanent jobs from campus operations and up to 20,000 construction jobs as the campus takes shape.
What are the ingredients for success? Well, of course, we need what is called thought leadership, envisioning and experimenting with the future, and of course, technology innovation. And we sorely need and we believe we have found the right city for entrepreneurial ecosystem.
And I want to make a very important point. We are not so naive as to think that one single campus is going to create all of these jobs by itself. Our idea is to blend in as [AUDIO OUT] any other aspects of the city that are currently so active and successful. And the mayor has mentioned some of those activities and successes, and to come together with the already existing and flourishing ecosystem in this city and helped to add one more piece to the puzzle to make it a complete picture. But the part of the picture that the mayor challenged us to do is to expand the talent pool. And how can we do that?
Well, first we need to attract the most outstanding and diverse students to New York City. And Cornell and Technion and the many other excellent educational institutions in this city will attract them aplenty. Secondly, we need to utilize all the powers in our disposal to develop and hone their skills not only in technology, but in the related business skills that are necessary to complete that circle. Very importantly, we need to retain them in New York City, as many as possible for as long as possible. And by this active positive feedback loop create that expanded talent pool that the mayor has wisely called for.
PERETZ LAVIE: We plan on having two new academic degrees. Master of Applied Sciences, a dual degree between Cornell and the Technion, and PHD, a dual degree between Technion and Cornell. These will be new degrees, again, emphasizing engineering on one hand and entrepreneurship spirit on the other. In addition to that, there will be the traditional academic degrees on campus like a master and a PHD in more traditional fields.
We decided to go away from the traditional structure of a university. Instead of having faculties, we're going to have hubs. And the hubs will be flexible. You can see now the first three hubs that we envision on Roosevelt Island. The health, life, the healthier life hub, the connective media hub, and the built environment hub. Computer science, electrical engineering, information sciences, economics, and business will be the common theme of all three hubs. But each of them will interact with specific more traditional fields. And these hubs will be flexible.
In five years, they may be different. And these hubs will be interacting with the traditional industries outside Roosevelt Island. Like with the advertisement, entertainment, finance, publishing, the connective media hub; health care, insurance, medical information system, the healthier life hub; and the architectural designs, construction and energy, the built environment hub. We envision it as an open, very flexible system that will build around themes rather than around traditional fields of expertise.
DAVID SKORTON: In a moment, we're going to take you on a very, very brief tour of an artist's conception of this beautiful campus. Then want to tell you some of the attributes that we have designed into the plan. Once again, taking a challenge from the mayor and from the way this city looks at how we should build things and develop things.
This campus will be an environmental standard bearer that will make people in the city of New York and around the country proud. It will have open and welcoming public spaces, and as I mentioned to you, will be inclusive and not exclusive. It will be both a campus and a community and we believe a technology magnet for those many other pieces of the puzzle already successful throughout New York City.
[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING]
And finally, within the campus buildings, the idea is to set up the opportunity for spontaneous interaction between people, between organizations both academic and corporate, and make it a living laboratory for bringing together the many pieces in New York City in a micro level that also have to be brought together and have been brought together successfully by this administration at the macro level.
[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING]
Mr. Mayor, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I think the most impressive was the yellow water taxi going down the East River on the eastern side of Roosevelt Island. We have a number of people who wanted to say something. And one of the most important is our Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. She represents this area, and she's also been a major supporter of this initiative. Congresswoman.
CAROLYN MALONEY: Thank you. Bravo to all. This is so important to our city and I would say to our nation. Congratulations to Cornell. So proud of you for being selected. Congratulations to the Roosevelt Island community and Western Queens community that also worked hard and was welcoming and want to help and support this project in every way. But most of all, I want to thank our great mayor for coming forward with a really visionary, great idea and his team. It is a tremendous investment in the future of our city and our nation. And thank you too for having the wisdom to choose Roosevelt Island, which is located in the district that I am honored to represent.
This is a wonderful holiday gift for New York that will pay tremendous dividends for generations. Our city's diversity culture transit network and historic role as a center of the world economy have always given us the ability to lead in the high tech sector. And this new campus will be the catalyst to help us realize that potential. Just three weeks ago, Facebook opened up their high tech division, or one of them, here in New York. And speaking to Mr. [INAUDIBLE], I said that this new university would be supplying many of the leaders for businesses such as Facebook and Google and all the high techs, and certainly the innovation and leadership for the new companies that will be created by these young people that will be educated there.
Roosevelt Island will be an outstanding site for this high tech campus, accessible by transportation to all five boroughs, very close to Western Queens and Manhattan. But it's an island unto itself. It will be a beautiful campus. And it has a small town feel about it. It is perfectly situated to spin off new projects that can be incubated in the growing business district of Long Island City.
And I am particularly thrilled that Cornell University was selected. I congratulate their leadership. They wanted to win, and they went out to win. And they worked very hard to win this competitive competition. They met with every elected official, all the business and community leaders in Roosevelt Island and Western Queens. They recruited a very generous donor. They created a beautiful campus that was sensitive to the beauty of New York. They protected the access to the waterfront and integrated the community into their plans. And they partnered with one of the world's great engines of the high tech industry. If Israel is said to be the startup nation, a lot of its success is due to the entrepreneurial spirit nurtured at the Technion.
The economic development office projects that an applied science facility could, over time, spin out more than 400 new businesses across our great city, generating billions of dollars in new economic activity, and creating tens of thousands of jobs. So once again, I offer my congratulations to our mayor, to Cornell, Technion, the residents of Roosevelt Island, Queens, and Manhattan. And above all, we thank you, Mayor Bloomberg. We are the center and the capital of many areas. Finance, the arts, media, health care. Now we're going to be the center of high tech. Thank you. It is a great investment in the future of our great city and I would say our nation.
Thank you so much. My favorite project. [LAUGHS]
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: State Senator Jose Serrano represents Roosevelt Island in the state legislature. Would you like to say a few words?
JOSE SERRANO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor. This is really an exciting day. And I'd like to thank you and for your vision in bringing this together and making this happen. And many congratulations to Cornell and Technion.
As some have said before me, our greatest strength as a city is our diversity. For generations, we continue to attract the best and the brightest people who want to work hard and make a new way and a very innovative way. And I think that this applied sciences campus goes hand in hand with that culture that we have here in the city of New York.
And like many have said before, Roosevelt Island is a perfect place for this applied sciences campus. I feel very fortunate to represent it in the state Senate. We are the mecca for culture and the arts. And I think that we should be being that we attract so many great and talented people. Also be the main area for technology. And I think this will be wonderful. Thank you.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Jose, thank you. Probably much to Helen Marshall's annoyance, Roosevelt Island is part of Manhattan, not of Queens. But the great borough resident of Manhattan is very happy about it. Scott Stringer.
SCOTT STRINGER: Thank you very much. Well said, Mr. Mayor.
First of all, Mayor Bloomberg, Bob Steele, Seth Pinsky, this really is a transformative moment for New York City. It's the day we really do usher in the high tech economy. It's a time when the possibilities for young New Yorkers and people from all over the world who will come here will explore things that we can't even imagine. And I think that this facility on Roosevelt Island in the borough of Manhattan is something we should be proud of.
But I also want to just recognize the last six or seven years and the commitment of this city to university expansion even beyond this campus today. When you think about Columbia's expansion, and Fordham University's expansion, and the NYU 2030 campus plan, we are putting our marker down that we will continue to attract the strivers from all over the world. People who will come here and get educated and then stay here because of our wonderful culture, our wonderful diversity. We are a city on the move. And I would not want to be the mayor of Silicon Valley today because here we come. Thank you very much.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Now, let me just point out that while this island is between the island of Manhattan and Queens, the transportation to this island really is unique. There is a subway stop on a subway that is a very popular one going out into Queens. There is a bridge over the Long Island City, which is one of the new hot growth areas in New York City. And there's a tram right to Second Avenue in midtown. So it perhaps has a-- and there's the possibility of water taxi as well. So it probably has as much diversity in terms of transportation as any place.
Jessica Lappin has been a champion of Roosevelt Island. She's a young city councilwoman that really has worked very hard on this. And she's going to talk a little bit about what this means for the neighborhood and for our city. Jessica.
JESSICA LAPPIN: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. We're very happy to hear you talk about water taxi service. That's something we've been lobbying [LAUGHS] for a very long time. When I watched the presentation, I got goosebumps. And it took my breath away. It is such an exciting thing for this city. And it is how we will remain the greatest city in this world.
I want to thank the New Yorkers who joined our high tech campaign to try and bring this project to Roosevelt Island. A few months ago, we launched a Facebook, Twitter, email, an old fashioned letter writing campaign as well to EDC. And I'd like to think that that helped make a difference. And I wanted to thank everybody who participated.
But Roosevelt Island is a world class island. We have the Four Freedoms Park and FDR Memorial under construction that's already going to bring people from all over the world to come to the island. And this partnership right there overlooking the river with the United Nations right behind I think really symbolizes where we are as a city, where we're going as a city, where we're going in the world community. And I'm really thrilled that Roosevelt Island was selected. I look forward to working with Cornell, Technion, and the residents out there to make this the best possible campus it can be.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Jessica, thank you. I noticed Herald Tanner has been working me over about how great Cornell is for the last 30 plus years, Harold.
Your message finally got through. Congratulations.
And if Lou Coletti isn't happy, I don't know what would make you happy but this.
Today's game changing announcement. Deputy Mayor Bob Steel and his staff really have set the stage for an incredible influx of talent and entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic activity to our city. Bob, do you want to say a little bit?
ROBERT STEEL: Perfect. Well, thank you, Mr. Mayor. It's terrific to be here on behalf of the administration and talk for just a second. And first, let me congratulate the presidents of the two institutions. Their teams worked very hard and just really put the best foot forward so that when we were evaluating the different proposals, it really was quite impressive. And we think too-- just to remind you as the mayor said-- this is the first selection in this initiative of applied sciences. And stay tuned. We hope to have more to come.
And I think too that since we've seen this partnership come together and develop, it's really become more and more clear of how much support there has been. The mayor mentioned that there were 50,000 alumns in the area. Most of them call me directly. But those that didn't get through--
--they were good enough to send a book about this thick with 21,000 signatures just in case you wanted some light reading on the weekends to understand how committed they were to the project.
I think really too though that as people have suggested, this is really quite exciting. We study the history of how do we keep our economies growing. And for 3,000 years, we saw the agrarian economy. And for several hundred years, we've seen the industrial age. And now we all know that we're in an information driven economy.
And basically, the skills that we need for the future we believe will be able to be birthed. And this will serve as a crucible for those type of skills. I think really-- and this is not about this year or next year, this administration. This is really 30, 50, 100 years in the future to provide a foundation for something new and exciting for New York City.
Before I close, let me just say a couple of things. I think that the mayor said it, but I just want to say in front of everyone and provide testimony that the work of the staff and the EDC people-- many of whom are here-- and the team in city hall that brought all this together in record time is really extraordinary. And they're the unsung heroes of getting this done. These things are complex. The documentation, the commitment, all the hard work that's been done to make sure this really does happen. And that team should be recognized. And I just wanted to do that publicly. I think too that--
Seth Pinsky in particular has been a wonderful ally. My fellow deputy mayors, and Cas Holloway in operations, Linda Gibbs in Health and Human Services, Dennis Walcott, who's here also from education, have all done great jobs to make this happen. Now, I thank them, but I also want to put a marker down that we have lots of work to do. So I'm going to thank in advance Amanda Burden, Bob LiMandri from--
--buildings, and also Carter Strickland, and others who are going to help us get this done. So they're on record, and they're kind of all in now too.
I think that we should stop here and just say Mr. Mayor, it's terrific. We're proud to be part of it. Thank you very much.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Perhaps the only downer for Bob and me is that his university and mine were not in the competition. They didn't win, anyway. But I don't think they even entered. Bob, you may know, was chairman of the board at Duke University, one of the great universities in this country. But they didn't submit an application, nor did my Alma matter that has an engineering school. They didn't either. Have to call the president and ask why now that I'm free to do that.
As Bob mentioned, from the start, it was Seth Pinsky and his team at EDC that really have been the driving force behind this competition. And they worked so incredibly hard to finalize the deal. Seth, you want to say a few words?
SETH PINSKY: Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg. And I want to apologize for my voice. As you can imagine, this has been a busy week or two. But I wanted just to offer my congratulations to President Skorton and President Lavie and their teams, and also to congratulate and thank the team at EDC and in the mayor's office that have worked so hard to make this a reality.
For the past several months, I've been referring to our applied sciences initiative as an Erie Canal moment for our city. And what I meant by this was that as was the case with the canal nearly 200 years ago, this project has the potential to create competitive advantages for the city that could carry its economy and its people forward for many, many decades to come. Now, I know that sometimes at announcements such as these, they can lend themselves to hyperbolic proclamations. However, I really do believe in this case that what is being unveiled today is a project that will not only meet, but has a real potential to exceed the very high standard that we've set for ourselves, becoming a true engine for economic activity for many generations to come.
And I think this would be exciting in any era in American history, but this is particularly exciting in this era in American history. An era in which unfortunately, too many seem to be experiencing shrinking ambitions, an era of uncharacteristic self-doubt, an era when many Americans view the future as something to be feared rather than something to be embraced. And given this, I think that we as New Yorkers should be really, really proud of what we're embarking on here today. Proud of the fact that we're not just dreaming big, but that we're building big. Proud of the fact that we're continuing to view the future as a series of untapped opportunities. And proud of the fact that in Cornell and Technion, we found partners who not only believe in our vision, but believe in us and our potential as well.
This is really a great day for our city and a great day for our country. And I look forward to more good news coming out of this partnership and our applied sciences initiative in the coming days and weeks ahead. So until then, best of luck and thank you to President Skorton and Lavie. And we look forward to many more years of success together. Thank you.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Now, this is on Roosevelt Island. So it is perfectly appropriate to have the president and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Leslie Torres here. Leslie.
LESLIE TORRES: Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: All the best. You go.
LESLIE TORRES: All right. We on Roosevelt Island are absolutely thrilled to become the home for Mayor Bloomberg's vision to expand New York's role as a center for technology and innovation. On behalf of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and the state of New York, we welcome Cornell University and the Technion's new world class applied science and engineering campus as our neighbor. And we look forward to working with them closely.
Roosevelt Island has been a pioneer in advancing municipal technology from its very inception. Innovation is in the island's DNA from our groundbreaking underground sanitation system to the recent modernization of our aerial Tramway, which I know the mayor mentioned. We look forward to being a major hub for cutting edge ideas that will continue to improve the lives of the local community as well as the global community. And we look forward to partnering with both Cornell and Technion to make this plan a reality. Thank you so much. Thank you.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Leslie, thank you. Our schools chancellor is here. Dennis, I don't want to put any pressure on you. But when you graduate students and then they go and finish their undergraduate work, and they want to go into the sciences and at one of the great graduate schools that will be around, this is the place.
DENNIS WALCOTT: We're preparing now.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Way to go.
This new campus seriously will benefit a lot of industries in the city, especially our growing tech center. And I've recently helped open a number of new offices for tech companies founded in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, which is represented here today. But this afternoon, I'd like to hear from one of our homegrown tech companies, one that was started here. And want to see what this new campus will mean for their business. So please welcome the founder of Tumblr, David Karp. David.
DAVID KARP: Thank you. We founded Tumblr in lower Manhattan four years ago. And in just four years, we're now a top 20 website in the world. We are determined to be the first top 5 website headquartered in New York City. But to do that, we're going to need more brilliant engineers. And I really have to say having two institutions who are responsible for-- or at least partly responsible for some of my favorite engineers who I've had the privilege of working with, we really couldn't be happier. And I have to say I really couldn't be prouder. So thank you so much.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: We'll take some questions. But one thing David said is just true. No matter who I talk to, they cannot find enough engineers anyplace, and particularly in New York City. And this is where if we're going to have these businesses, we have to have the engineers here. And engineering and sciences are one of those industries that grows on itself. So the more we get, the easier it will be to get the one afterwards. And we're well on our way. We'll be happy to take some questions if anybody has any. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: Can you give us details on why the Stanford application fell through and what the problem was?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The Stanford application, they withdrew. It just didn't fit for this time being. I hope that down the road, Stanford comes back. I would urge them to do so. I think Stanford would really benefit from having a branch here in New York City. And we would love to have them.
But keep in mind these are very big, long term commitments. And sometimes, some organizations, it just doesn't fit where they are at a particular point in time. They may have other projects going on and feel that they just can't do everything at the same time. Or the program that we want may not exactly fit what they want. A variety of those things.
But I had a talk with John Hennessy, the president of Stanford University. He wished us well. I wished him well. I said I was disappointed that he dropped out.
But I've said all along that there was never anybody that was a clear front runner from the very beginning. We had great proposals. And I think in the end, the [AUDIO OUT] that wanted it the most and that fit the best with what New York is all about and what opportunities there are to grow here was the winner. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: Mr. Mayor, you said that the process is still open. You might have a second--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Yes, we hope so.
AUDIENCE: What is that depending on? And is there any problems with the proposals?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No. You just cannot evaluate everything they are at a different scale. And you can't do them all at the same time. Bob and Seth and their staffs can only handle-- they only have so much bandwidth, if you'll pardon the terminology should be used. Bob, do you want to add anything?
ROBERT STEEL: I think all along, our frame was to be finished in January. And this all came together so that we could announce it actually earlier than we'd planned. We're on the original schedule to finish the evaluation of all the other projects by January and look back to reporting on to you on our results then. Thank you.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: You said [INAUDIBLE] go to? Or are these new winners actually not going to have any--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: It all depends on what they want to do. Some places have buildings and land. Some places need. It's just much too early to tell. This is clearly what would be the biggest of all of the projects. But that doesn't mean that the others won't be equally as important or equally as impactful. Yes, sir. Henry.
AUDIENCE: How much money is going to be invested by the two institutes in this project? And is it going to be borrowed money? Or is it going to be pay as you go money? What happens if the infrastructure cost extends beyond $100 million?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, number one-- let me just before the presidents talk about this. I saw some articles in the paper that talked about environmental concerns on the island. We've done boring. And for New York City land, this is pretty clean. There are no real environmental reasons.
No, because all this land had been built up. It was just used farmland over the years. You would not expect anything. But there have been other things. There's a hospital right now on the site. But from what we've found so far, we do not expect any big problems with environmental remediation. And if you're going to sign a contract to build or to tear down, you couldn't have a better time in terms of being able to negotiate a good deal. Do you want to talk about money? How much and where it comes from?
DAVID SKORTON: Sure. Thank you very much. The initial estimates of the capital development over the decades is about $1 and 1/2 billion. At Cornell University, since the recession started, we have decided not to further leverage the university's balance sheet. So right now, we're not using any long term abundant indebtedness for this. We've been very fortunate to attract the philanthropy that we have already reported. We have ongoing philanthropic efforts.
Other revenue streams that will be relevant to this will be, of course, tuition. We also expect that these excellent professors and graduate and postdoctoral students will be very competitive for federal and other grants. And we also hope that the connections with the business world will allow us to have corporate research contracts and other sort of umbrella agreements of that type.
When you add up the actual operating funds for this campus, paying the salaries of the hundreds of-- excuse me-- hundreds of faculty and thousands of other workers over the years. And when you add that annual up over years, it's going to be many, many billions of dollars over the decades in which it's envisioned. But it's going to be more or less a pay as you go operation, which we think in the present circumstances is the only prudent way to go.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I don't want to get his hopes up too much. But New York City-- if there is a place to raise philanthropic funds, New York City is it. And I think everybody knows that. This is the philanthropic capital of world. This is where there's great wealth owned by people who believe in making a difference and giving back. And you can only take a look at the hospital we're in today. When they do fundraising campaigns, they've been very successful so far. And there's no reason to think that they won't. I'm just trying to-- yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: Why did you select Roosevelt Island as the location for your campus as opposed to--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, it was one of those we made available. Do you want to talk about one?
AUDIENCE: --as opposed to other New York City neighborhoods? What kind of infrastructure improvements do you intend to make on Roosevelt Island? And how do you intend to work with Roosevelt Island community?
DAVID SKORTON: Well, as the mayor just mentioned, we looked at the choices that the EDC put forward. Of those choices, Roosevelt Island was good because of its proximity to Manhattan, because of the subway stop. Also because of its proximity to Weill Cornell Medical College, which is already a very big footprint that we have in Manhattan.
In terms of the infrastructure improvements on the island, they're complex. They have to do with roads and other areas that would make it possible to have access to the new campus. And I'm glad to talk to you more about that in more detail offline if you wish. I forgot your third question. I'm sorry.
AUDIENCE: How do you intend to work with the community? The local community.
DAVID SKORTON: How will we work with the local community? I'm not 100% sure the intent of the question. But what we intend to do, as I mentioned my first comments, is not just window dressing. We intend to think about the overall impact not just within the walls of the campus. So just as we do everywhere else that we have campuses around the world, we will consult with the local community, and we will make sure that there is as much as humanly possible coalescence of interest between it.
It's important to us that we participate in teacher training. We are the land grant institution for the state of New York, the only private land grant in the country. We take it very seriously. And we're going to work to help the K12 system. We're going to try to make this a destination for the community, including green space. And beyond that, we're going to take it step by step with the leaders of the community, as we always do.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: And I might point out there's been enormous outreach to the community who, from every report I've gotten-- I mean, it's New York, so you can never get 100%-- but the community was phenomenally supportive and interested in it. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: Mr. Mayor and Dr. Skorton, if you will, the selection process obviously didn't happen overnight. But recently announced $350 million gift to Cornell seems very favorable. Does that have a roll in plans for the new campus?
DAVID SKORTON: Permit me just a couple of minutes, if I may, Mr. Mayor, of expansion. I don't really know the reason that we won this magnificent competition. But I'll tell you the reasons I thought we were very, very well qualified to match the mayor's vision.
First of all, we have this excellence. Second of all, we have this tremendous support from an alumni base that's very substantially in this area, which was exemplified to some extent by the widespread support that Bob Steel mentioned. Thirdly, we have a history of knowing how to develop projects in New York City. And then fourthly, we have a great network of entrepreneurs and other alumni on the ground who can help connect these students with the actual industry.
As just one example of that, this definition of a $350 million gift will help us with the capital development and operating funds for the first phase of our project. That phase that we'll go over the next several years, that will allow us to build the initial campus and to operate it while we are establishing the full size of the student body and faculty body. So that's our intention of how to use the first $350 million. But as I mentioned, many other revenue streams will contribute to this, including we believe more philanthropy, tuition, grants, license income, and then corporate interactions.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: There was a recent analysis that showed that New York City lags behind other major cities with regard to the number of engineers that live in the metropolitan area.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No. Even if we had a majority, we still wouldn't be enough. I think that's clear.
AUDIENCE: --that presents any challenges to recruitment or--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No. We're going to fix that problem. I mean, this is why we're doing it. To have them come here--
--and create them here. All the way in the back, sir.
AUDIENCE: The hospital that's currently on Roosevelt Island, is there a specific timetable on when those I guess 1,000 beds will be moved out?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Yeah. I think it's over the next two years, it'll all be done. It's on schedule.
AUDIENCE: Where will that be moved to?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: North general. The closing down of this hospital and moving it has been in the plans for a long time. That has nothing to do with this. It's one of the reasons why people said, oh-- or we said it was available. But the movement of the hospital, the combining of Goldwater up with the North General, which is sort of in Harlem near Fifth Avenue, that's been in the works for a long time.
AUDIENCE: They're all going to be moved to North?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Oh, yes. Yeah. The hospital is an underused hospital and not suitable to fill in other needs where we need hospital beds. Seth, you want to add something?
SETH PINSKY: Yeah. A couple of things. First on that, HHC, as the mayor mentioned, has had plans to close Goldwater for some time. They want to create a new modern facility at North General. They're also building next door to that a new skilled nursing facility. And their intention has always been to move all of the patients out of Goldwater, do it obviously in a responsible way. And that is why this site was available for us to make available as part of this competition.
With respect to your question about engineers, just to give you a sense of the scale of what we're talking about. If this project comes to the maximum fruition that Cornell and the Technion are talking about, up to 2,500 students per year, we would increase the number of full time graduate engineering students here in New York City by something like 85%. Nearly doubling the number of full time graduate engineering students. And that's exactly the reason why we've undertaken this project in order to provide that talent so that our economy and our companies can continue to grow.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Yeah. And keep in mind we have some other great engineering schools here like NYU Poly and Columbia. And they will benefit from this because once engineers start coming, other engineers want to do the same thing. Yes.
AUDIENCE: --the K through 12 education--
DAVID SKORTON: Uh-huh. Well, one thing we're going to do is participate in teacher training on Roosevelt Island and we believe elsewhere throughout the city. And then we would love to be able to engage with the department in discussions of what we can do to establish even a greater capacity. One of the great challenges in our country is in the area of STEM education. It's an area that's of great interest for me in which I worked for the last 20 or so years.
And so I believe with the leadership in the city, with the mayor's having put a stake in the ground that this is the direction we're going, and with the expertise not only of Technion and Cornell, but of the other really excellent higher education institutions in this city, most particularly CUNY, we think that we can join forces to be even more focused in this area. I believe that the education department's already moving very, very briskly in this area. And I'm sure details are available. We would just like to sort of pile on that effort and do what we can to be helpful in that regard.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Seth, do you want to answer?
SETH PINSKY: Yeah. The one thing that I would just add is in our agreement with Cornell and the Technion, the schools have promised that they will impact no fewer than 10,000 public school students each year and 200 public school teachers each year. And the idea was that we wanted to establish the scale of the programs. And then we would have the universities work with the Department of Education to figure out what the Department of Education thought would be the best way to achieve that goal.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I think it's fair to say the hardest to recruit has been science and math teachers in the public school system. And arguably, it is for the world of tomorrow the most important. Dennis, you want to add anything?
DENNIS WALCOTT: The visions of sugar plum is dancing in my head right now. I mean--
--the partnership we're looking forward to is just tremendous. As far as the opportunities, we've already started talking with Deputy Mayor Steel, with Seth. And the partnership as far as STEM is just truly exciting as far as preparing our students for the future. So this is a great opportunity for all of us.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: All right. We'll take one or two more questions on topic. Yes, miss.
AUDIENCE: This is a question for President Skorton. I know Cornell's a big influence in the city of Ithaca. And I just wanted to know what the announcement--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: We can't hear a word you're saying. So--
AUDIENCE: I'm sorry. I just wanted to ask what the announcement would mean for the city of Ithaca and students at Ithaca's Cornell campus.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Ithaca isn't closing.
DAVID SKORTON: But as always, I appreciate the mayor's straightforwardness. Of course--
Of course, you would understand how people might be concerned about this very substantial focus on New York City. I'm going to just give you three pieces of evidence about this. One is our magnificent provost on that campus, Dr. Ken Fox-- who got out of answering any questions today-- made it very clear in the beginning that the funding for this new established campus would be separate. It would not add mixed funds with the Ithaca campus. Secondly, I just want to-- if I may remind you of an answer to an earlier question, this is going to be a pay as you go operation in which we believe that we could match this scale by this variety of revenue streams that I won't burden you with.
The students on the Ithaca campus without any encouragement from me, the undergraduate representative body, the student assembly-- the president of whom is right behind you, Natalie Raps-- have on their own developed and passed a resolution in support of this. Not being satisfied to yield to the undergraduates, the graduate professional student assembly under the leadership of Evan Cortens also developed its own strong support of the effort. So the evidence would suggest that the students in Ithaca and others believe that this will add, and all the ships will rise in Cornell. And because of the orientation of the students in Ithaca all over the world and the energy that has led us to start 22 companies in the last two years, we need to expand beyond Ithaca.
However, Tompkins County in Ithaca is a very important continuing focus for Cornell University. And the good of our immediate community in Tompkins County could not be more important. I just had the honor of coach sharing the southern tier economic regional economic development council established by Governor Cuomo because it's very important for us. And we have the bandwidth as the mayor said to do both, just as we have the campus in Geneva, New York, in Doha, Qatar. And we have offices and classrooms in Washington DC, London, Paris, Rome, and Beijing. We're very used to working outside of Ithaca while still focusing on the core of the university.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I can't think of anything that will help the school in Ithaca more than being on a world stage here. All of these institutions are in competition for the best and the brightest faculty and students. And this just makes Cornell even more that attractive. Yes, miss.
AUDIENCE: Yes. President Lavie said that he got the call Friday afternoon. Does that mean the decision to pick Cornell as the winner was made Friday afternoon? And also, are you waiting to find out whether NYU Columbia will be picked before you determine how much of the $100 million is given--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No. We've committed the $100 million to this site. And I don't know at what point yesterday Bob Steel and Seth Pinsky finally signed everything. I signed some documents today. But until it's signed, it ain't done. And so there was nothing done on Friday. I think that you have to arrange travel plans in advance. The president of the Technion was in-- I don't want to brag for him, but he was in Sweden where one of his faculty members just received the Nobel Prize. So if you're going from Israel to Sweden, you might as well keep going and come through here.
Hopefully, he'll spend a little bit of money, buy some things to take back for his family.
You want to add something? [LAUGHS] I don't want to put any pressure when you get back. But if you--
PERETZ LAVIE: Well, I must say I went from Stockholm to Paris to Rome to Tel Aviv to New York, so--
But what happened on Friday was that Stanford decided to withdrew. And somehow I was optimistic.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: We'll take one or two more questions on topic. Sir.
AUDIENCE: What were some of the factors that propelled you to make this decision now instead of in January?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Bob or Seth?
SETH PINSKY: Well, we had been making very substantial progress with Cornell and the Technion in our negotiations over the last couple of weeks and had come pretty close to resolving all of the open issues by the end of last week. And what we were really drawn to here was that of all of the proposals that were submitted-- and we had many, many, very strong proposals-- this was the proposal with the most students. This was the proposal with the most faculty. This was the proposal with the most square footage. The proposal with the most aggressive timeline, the most money for start ups, the most money for building, and a partnership of two world class institutions that had experience in New York and had experience developing entrepreneurship. And so we thought that with all of that given, the progress that we had made, that the time was right to make the selection.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: And keep in mind, we've been negotiating with all of the last seven participants simultaneously. And we still are with a bunch of them. And we'll see what happens with those. Yes, miss.
AUDIENCE: Mr. Mayor, just wondering after 2013 what your role will be in this project? Are you going to--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, I've not-- my academic background is such that if I applied, I probably wouldn't get in.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] in terms of funding and--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: If you assume that when they make phone calls, I'd be on the list.
But I also have some commitments to some other educational institutions, as you know. Sir.
SPEAKER 1: One or two more, then we'll take off topic quickly. Then we've got to--
AUDIENCE: Does this rank as the greatest achievement of your 10 years as mayor?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I don't know. I think the greatest achievement of my life is my two daughters. And after that-- this is a wonderful thing for New York City. But there have been so many wonderful things to New York City. New York City continues to improve its education system, bring down crime, be a magnet for people around the world. We've made the kind of infrastructure investments that everybody around the country is complaining that they don't have. But the New York City people, the citizens, taxpayers reached into their pocket, and they've done what should be right to position New York for the future. And that is one of the reasons why we are attractive to the Technion and Cornell and these other institutions. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: To what extent is this binding? What happens if Cornell's unable to do what--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: It's binding.
Keep in mind, if we're going to commit this land, turn down other people who wanted it, and invest $100 million dollars, you don't do that unless you have a binding commitment. And Cornell and the Technion uncertainly have an understanding of that. One of the attractive things about Cornell is they certainly know how to do business in the city. Just look around. And that's very important. I will take one more question on topic. Yes.
AUDIENCE: Is the Roosevelt Island maxed out with this project? Or would there be room for expansion?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: There's no room for any big thing after that. And I think the people of Roosevelt Island would like the density to be roughly what it is. North of the Edward Koch Queensboro Bridge, it's all residential with some stores to service those people. South of it will be this great combination advanced applied science campus and the Four Freedoms Park, which is getting close to being complete. We'll take off topic if anybody-- take two or three off topic. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: What's your opinion of the Stanton [INAUDIBLE]?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I haven't heard. I don't know what it is. And I wouldn't have any comment. That's up to the court system. Other questions, other topics? If not, thank you very much. This is-- I keep saying it. This really is a wonderful day for New York. Congratulations.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this request.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg named Cornell and Technion the winners of his highly publicized competition to create what he called a "game-changing" applied sciences and technology campus, December 19, 2011 at a press conference at Weill Cornell Medical College.